KeepKey is a crytocurrency hardware wallet that you can use to keep your Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc safe from hackers and thieves. But how well does it actually do what it is intended to do? It is one of the sleekest and nicest looking hardware wallets on the market but is KeepKey safe? Or does this hardware wallet lack safety and give you a false sense of security?
In this post I’ll be going over all you need to know about the safety of KeepKey and I’ll be keeping things simple and easy to understand…. no technical jargon here.
What Is KeepKey?
I’m guessing you probably already know what KeepKey is but I’ll touch on this anyhow.
In a nutshell, KeepKey is a hardware wallet that gives you access to various blockchains and keeps your private keys safe at the same time. The reason a wallet like this is attractive to users is because it stores your private keys on the device and does not let them out. This way hackers cannot get access to your funds even if you were to accidentally plug your KeepKey into an infected computer.
As with pretty much every hardware wallet, it is open source, provides a seed recovery feature and so on.
Open Source… What Does This Mean?
KeepKey’s firmware that it runs on is 100% open source. This has become the standard for hardware wallets, blockchain technology, and pretty much everything related to cryptocurrency but what the heck does it mean?
Open source means that the source code is available to the public. Anyone can take a look at this code and see what it contains to make sure it is safe and not malicious. Essentially what open source means is transparency and trust.
KeepKey has been around for a while now, not as long as other hardware wallets like Trezor, but it has still been around and has been vetted by many 3rd parties.
How Does It Keep You Crypto Safe?
As mentioned briefly above, what it does is keeps your private keys stored inside and never gives them to your computer or device that you plug it into. This is very different from wallets like MyEtherWallet where you have the ability to actually enter in your private keys. It is much safer than this.
If you have been involved in cryptocurrency for any length of time then you should know how your private keys mean everything. They are the cryptographic keys that give full access to your funds and if someone would get a hold of them they would be able to steal everything. They are what unlock your account on the blockchain.
KeepKey uses a protocol that never exposes your private keys. So if you were to plug your wallet into a computer that has malware on it, it would not matter. The keys never actually leave the device.
If Someone Steals Your Wallet…
If someone actually steals the physical device then you are still protected.
When you get your KeepKey and set it up for the first time you will be able to create a PIN for it that you will have to enter before use. You should either memorize this pin or write it down in a safe place that no one has access to.
If someone were to steal it they would have to enter this pin. What would happen is they would likely guess some pins to try to get into it but would end up getting locked out due to the security measure in place where you are limited to entering the pin a certain number of times.
What If Your KeepKey Gets Lost or Damaged?
When you set up your KeepKey it will generate you a bunch of words (12 words) that you need to write down, which they will give you a small piece of paper to do so on. This is your recovery seed. You need to store this in a safe place in another location because this is how you will recover your account even if you lose your wallet or if its damaged.
Since your account isn’t actually on the wallet, its on the blockchain which resides in cyberspace, you are still able to get back into it without losing a thing.
Protection Against Even If KeepKey Were To Go Under
So one fear is that KeepKey might go out of business and then all your funds that you had stored with the KeepKey wallet will be gone forever. But luckily this isn’t the case at all.
KeepKey uses BIP39 and BIP44 recovery seed standards. These are the same cryptographic standards that many other hardware wallets out there use, like TREZOR for example.
What this means is that you can recover your account on any device or wallet that uses these standards. So if you lost your KeepKey and have a TREZOR, you could recover the account on it.
Conclusion on KeepKey – Safe?
KeepKey provides all the security features that all the good hardware wallets do, like Trezor and Ledger Nano. You have your PIN that you need to access the device, you have the safeguard in place that limits the amount of PIN input attempts, you have the recovery seed that you can use to restore an account that was on a lost/damaged device, you have the open source code for transparency…. Am I missing anything?
Well I guess you could also add in that the device itself is durable and well made, which means that hopefully you will never have to use the recovery seed due to damage. It is constructed with an anodized aluminum casing and a polycarbonate front. Its definitely not something I would carry around anywhere I went like a phone but its a durable and sturdy design that is well put together.
All in all KeepKey is a safe hardware wallet and its the less expensive choice compared to other more popular ones out there. In my opinion its a good deal.
Caution: Only Buy From Reputable Sources
While KeepKey itself is safe you cannot just go out and buy any KeepKey that you find.
Scammer are known to sell KeepKey’s that have been tampered with. It is common to see scammers selling ones that have already been set up with PIN’s and recovery seed phrases. What this does is allows the scammers who sold them to access your accounts.
When you buy a original, un-tampered KeepKey it will not come with anything “pre-done” for you. You will be able to set up your own PIN and recovery seed. KeepKey also places anti-tampering tape on the package that is destroyed when opened which alerts if it were possibly tampered with.
There are legitimate sellers of KeepKey’s on Ebay, Amazon, etc but you have to be very careful. I would only suggest buying one from the official website.
As always… leave any comments, questions or concerns below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can 🙂