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KeepKey Review

Best hardware wallet for a small budget.

by
Maja Nagelj
updated:
September 5, 2022

KeepKey is a well-known hardware wallet supporting over 40 different cryptocurrencies. In a nutshell, it's an easy-to-use, sleek, and affordable wallet that keeps your assets safe.

This review will go through the essential traits of cryptocurrency wallets to see if KeepKey is a good option for you. We will look at the main features, security, ease of use, price, and other functionalities that will help you decide.

We are digital nomads using and testing cryptos, hardware, and software around them and their real-life applications. We are using different hardware wallets to store our cryptos, and we were excited to look into the following cold wallet on our list - KeepKey.

Let's go right into it!

KeepKey

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Pros

+ Secure hardware wallet
+ Easy to use software
+ Very affordable
+ Large display: Ideal for viewing long addresses
+ Aluminum Case
+ Open Source
+ Integration with ShapeShift non-custodial exchange

Cons

- It supports a limited amount of currencies compared to other wallets
- It can be heavy and bulky to carry around
- It does not work with iOS
- No Bluetooth support

Wallet Specifications: KeepKey Review

Company behind KeepKey Shapeshift
Wallet Type Hardware wallet
Coins Supported 40+ tokens
Wallet Integration Electrum, Mycelium, MyEtherWallet
Device Support Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
Dimensions 38 x 93.5 x 12.2 mm
Weight 53 gr
Display Yes
Connectivity USB
Screen resolution ‎256x64, OLED screen display
Backup form 12-word security phrase

Overview

KeepKey was founded in 2015 in the US by entrepreneur Darin Stanchfield and was acquired by Shapeshift, a known Swiss crypto exchange, in 2017. Shapeshift was founded in 2014 in Switzerland by Erik Voorhees.

KeepKey is one of Shapeshift's popular products. The wallet's integration with the Shapeshift exchange API allows you to exchange crypto assets using the KeepKey device.

The wallet supports over 40 different crypto assets, and interestingly, in the beginning, the price was significantly higher - $239, compared to the current price - of $49. This price makes it one of the more affordable hardware wallets on the market.

Since we already like the price, let's look into some features to see what KeepKey has to offer.

Features and Ease of Use: KeepKey Review

Image Credit: shapeshift.com

Design & User Friendliness

KeepKey is a reasonably simple wallet with a very straightforward design and is easy to use. It consists of one button meant to communicate with the device and confirm commands. The rest of the device is managed through the app, like entering the PIN code and setting up the recovery seed. The device does not have a touchscreen.

While the wallet's design looks sleek and modern, we have to point out its size as it's one of the biggest on the market of hardware wallets. While this is convenient for the widescreen where you can easily see your crypto address, it is not so much for carrying it around. As digital nomads, we prefer smaller and more compact wallets like Ledger or Trezor. But it depends on what you want to do with your wallet.

The device is sturdy and has a massive screen with a polycarbonate casing that protects your device from physical damage.

Supported Coins

KeepKey supports a limited number of cryptocurrencies for now. While they support the bigger, known ones like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, LiteCoin, and some ERC-20 tokens, you will not be able to store more alternative tokens.

So Keepkey is excellent if you are a beginner looking for an affordable and safe wallet to start by diving in with the most available coins. However, if you are looking for a hardware wallet where you can store more alternative currencies, we would recommend some other known players on the market like Ledger, Trezor, or BitBox02.

Making Transactions

All transactions are done through Shapeshift app, and sending and receiving assets is easy and fast.

For sending, you need to click Send, select the asset you want to send from the list, enter the amount, and confirm the transaction by confirming your PIN.

For receiving, you click Assets from the sidebar and select the asset you want to receive. After clicking the Receive button, you will see a scannable QR code and a shareable receiving address.

You must confirm your PIN every time you send the funds to verify the transaction.

Compatibility With Wallets

KeepKey is compatible with the following software wallets Mycelium, MultiBit, MyEtherWallet, and Electrum wallets.

Security and Privacy: KeepKey Wallet

As already known by now, KeepKey is a hardware wallet that makes it a secure offline cold storage for your crypto assets. But, let's look in detail at how safe KeepKey is.

KeepKey wallets are packed in a tamper-proof wrap when you receive them. Before opening the tag, always check if the security seal is damaged. If the seal is not broken, then you are safe.

Besides being an offline (cold)storage, KeepKey is protected with a PIN code and backed with a 12-word recovery phrase that you generate when setting up the wallet. You can use the code to recover your private keys in case your device gets lost or compromised.

Make sure to save the recovery phrases in a safe and offline place. You don't want to be a reason for losing your assets while being sloppy with the security.

For an additional layer of protection, you can enable the BIP39 Passphrase in the Shapeshift platform. This is an additional security word you can add to your recovery phrase, and it's not stored on the device. However, it's important to note that forgetting/losing your passphrase and/or 12-word code will result in losing access to your funds. So you should be careful when setting it up.

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Price: KeepKey Wallet

Currently, the KeepKey wallet costs a fair 49 USD, making more affordable hardware wallets on the market.

The table below shows the comparison prices between the most known hardware wallets on the market.

KeepKey 49 USD Buy
Trezor One 79 USD Buy
Trezor Model T 260 USD Buy
Ledger Nano S 59 USD Buy
Ledger Nano X 119 USD Buy
BitBox02 131 USD Buy
Ngrave Zero 523 USD Buy

Initial setup: KeepKey Wallet

KeepKey wallet falls into the category of simple hardware wallets, meaning that the whole setup is a rather quick process.

The wallet is shipped in a small tamper-proof sealed package. After opening the box, you will see the following items in your package:

  • KeepKey hardware wallet,
  • A USB to micro-USB cable,
  • Recovery cards, and a leather case for storing the cards,
  • An installation manual.

It's recommended to create a Shapeshift account so that you can store the transaction history.

Once you have everything ready, you can start setting up your wallet. Here are the steps you will need to take:

  1. Connect KeepKey via USB cable to your computer and select Connect the Wallet in your Shapeshift account, and from available options, select KeepKey. You can also connect your Trezor, Ledger, or Portis wallet with this app.
  2. Pair your device,
  3. Next, you will be prompted for any updates. Click on Download Updater App and follow the instructions,
  4. After initializing and naming your device, you will be prompted to select up to a 9-digit PIN code and confirm it.
  5. Once your PIN is set up, you must write down your 12-word recovery sentence. This phrase will display only once, so write it down correctly and save it in a safe offline place.

That's it; you can now use your wallet to store, send and receive crypto assets. Then, on your Shapeshift dashboard, you can view your portfolio, buy crypto, and make trades using decentralized exchanges.

Compatibility and Applications: KeepKey Review

KeepKey is compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android (via Mycelium). Unfortunately, KeepKey connects to the phone via an OTG adapter cable, which means it is not compatible with iOS, which is quite a drawback for Apple users.

In the past, you could connect KeepKey through the Chrome app; however, with Google deprecating Chrome Apps, the Google Chrome KeepKey app is not available anymore. So instead, you should get the official software interface via Shapeshift Platform.

Comparison Table with Other Wallets

Feature KeepKey Trezor One Trezor Model T Ledger Nano S Ledger Nano X BitBox02 Ngrave Zero
Supported Tokens 40+ 1500+ 1600+ 1000+ 1800+ 1500+ 1000+
Screen Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Device Size 38 x 93.5 x 12.2 mm, 53g 60 x 30 x 6mm, 12g 64 x 39 x 10 mm, 22g 56.95 x 14.4 x 9.1 mm, 16.2g 72 x 18.6 x 11.75 mm, 34g 54.5 x 25.4 x 9.6 mm, 12g 125x70x13 mm, 180g
Connectivity USB USB USB USB/Bluetooth USB/Bluetooth USB-C QR codes
Compatibility with wallets/exchanges 4 15 15 50 50 7
Price 49 USD 79 USD 260 USD 59 USD 118 USD 131 USD 418 USD
Get KeepKey Now Get Trezor One Now Get Model T Now Get Ledger Nano S Now Get Ledger Nano X Now Get BitBox02 Now Get Ngrave Zero Now

Our verdict: KeepKey Wallet Review

What do you think? Is KeepKey worth it? We would say yes. Overall, the KeepKey is an excellent device if you are a beginner or long-term holder looking for a simple way to store your first crypto assets or if you plan to make some trades in and out of ShapeShift.

It's nicely designed, a bit larger than other devices on the market. It has a large screen that improves usability with confirming transactions and is easy to set up.

The two drawbacks for us are the limited support for currencies and the fact that it's not compatible with iOS. But if this is not a dealbreaker for you, KeepKey at the current price of $49 is a great deal for you.

If you want to dig deeper into the world of hardware wallets, check out our selection of bests here.

If you are using the KeepKey wallet already, we will be happy if you share your experience in the comment.

Faqs

Is my Bitcoin in the KeepKey hardware wallet?

KeepKey is a safe hardware wallet where you can store your Bitcoins or other coins. In addition, your private keys will be stored offline. The wallet is protected by a PIN and backed with a 12-word recovery phrase.

Is the KeepKey open-source?

Yes, the firmware is fully open source.

Which operating systems support KeepKey?

KeepKey is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android (via OTG cable).

What if my KeepKey wallet is compromised, or I lose it?

If your device is lost, stolen, or broken, you can use your 12-word recovery phrases to restore all funds. That's why you need to store your recovery phrases in a very safe, offline place.

How does KeepKey compare to Trezor or Ledger?

The main differences between KeepKey and Ledger or Trezor are:

  • KeepKey has lower brand recognition compared to Trezor and Ledger,
  • KeepKey supports fewer currencies but also comes with a lower price.

Does KeepKey have an App?

No, KeepKey doesn't have a native app; however, you can use it with the MyCelium app that you can download from GooglePlay and connect your wallet with an OTG cable to your device. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with iOS.

Best for small budget.

Pros

+ Secure hardware wallet
+ Easy to use software
+ Very affordable
+ Large display: Ideal for viewing long addresses
+ Aluminum Case
+ Open Source
+ Integration with ShapeShift non-custodial exchange

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