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Ngrave Zero Review

by
Maja Nagelj
updated:
May 4, 2022

This is our detailed Ngrave Zero review - the coldest cryptocurrency wallet.

Security is one of the most important features when choosing a cold wallet to store your cryptocurrencies. The Ngrave team promises a top-notch solution with their product - a fully offline wallet Ngrave Zero. They eliminated any connection with the online world and, with that, closed the gap for cyber-attacks.

The wallet is currently available for pre-order, and the estimated shipping starts in June/July 2022.

In this review, we will, besides security, look at some essential features, connectivity, supported currencies, ease of use, etc.

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

Let's start!

Ngrave Zero Wallet

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Pros

+ This hardware wallet works entirely offline.
+ Supports major cryptocurrencies.
+ The team is working with experts in the field for the highest security.
+ The wallet is water and dust-resistant.
+ Large touchscreen

Cons

- It is costly compared to other wallets on the market.
- They haven't started shipping the product yet, so the user experience can't be evaluated.

Table Specifications: Ngrave Zero Wallet

Dimensions 125x70x13 mm
Weight 180 g
Biometric Sensor 12 x 12 mm Fingerprint Sensor
Materials High-End Metal
Camera 640 x 480 with Built-in Light Sensor
USB-C Port Yes, only for charging and secure firmware updates
Screen 101,6 mm (4”) diagonal LCD, 480 x 800 Pixel, 600Cd/m2 Capacitive Touch Screen
Power Management 1 200 mAH (Ultra-Efficient Low Power) Battery with USB-Compatible Battery Charger
Certification level CC EAL7, CE, RoHS, FCC
Connectivity Zero Online Connectivity, communication with the app through QR codes
Supported Currencies Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash, Zcash, Litecoin, Binance Coin, XRP, Dogecoin, and Groestlcoin. Also compatible with all ERC20 tokens.
Secure User Key Interaction Yes
Backup form Graphene - Two-part encrypted backup

Overview: Ngrave Zero Review

Xavier Hendrickx, Ruben Merre, and Edouard Vanham founded Ngrave, a digital asset security company, in 2018 in Antwerp, Belgium. The team is all about making the world of crypto a safer place. Among others, they collaborate with the nanotechnology institution IMEC (Interuniversity Microelectronics Center) and COSIC (The Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography) research group for applied cryptography.

Ngrave Zero is the first crypto hardware wallet with the highest security certification in the world EAL7.

Ngrave product suite consists of 3 products:

Zero - the hardware (cold) wallet

Graphene - your backup solution, made of stainless steel

Liquid - the mobile application.

Features and Usability: Ngrave Zero Review

Image Credit: ngrave.io

Connectivity

Zero connects with the Liquid through QR codes, so there is no Bluetooth connection, Wi-Fi, USB, or NFC, making Zero a standalone device. However, it does come with a USB type C charging port, which is also used to transmit firmware updates in a completely secure, isolated partition.

Ngrave Perfect Key

Ngrave Zero generates your private keys offline, which are never taken online.

They call it Ngrave Perfect key as it introduces additional protection to existing and known 24-word mnemonic phrases. The team believes that while the use of a 24-word seed phrase is safe, they are concerned that since the user gets the pre-determined set of keys that are recorded by the wallet manufacturer, your security could be compromised.

For that reason, they are using a 64-character hexadecimal equivalent, in which each character can have 16 possible values chosen between A-F and 0-9. In this way, the creation of the seed phrase is impossible to trace online, even for the Ngrave company.

Let's have a closer look at how this works in practice and how you can generate the Perfect Key.

First, you need to create and enter a 4-8 digit PIN code and capture your fingerprint on the sensor. Then, the fingerprint is added to the key generation process.

To create the hexadecimal seeds, the wallet uses the internal TRNG (Hardware random number generator), your fingerprint, and the device's ambient light.

When creating the hexadecimal seeds in real-time, you can 'freeze' and 'unfreeze' to start and stop the keys from changing during key generation. In addition, you can shuffle the characters to personalize them to your satisfaction. This way makes them nearly impossible for someone to guess them.

Your private keys are generated on the device and can be backed-up offline on their two-part encrypted backup solution, Graphene.

Ngrave Graphene

Image Credit: ngrave.io

Ngrave Graphene is the second part of the Ngrave set for securing your crypto funds. Graphene is used for backing up your seed phrases.

The Graphene is made of two stainless plates, resistant to any environmental damage.

Both plates are the size of an A5 paper 148x 210x 3mm, and come with a pen to mark each character of your phrase on the plate.

It works like this: the upper plate has 64 columns, and each column has 16 characters, and the bottom one is blank. To back up your phrase, place the upper plate on the empty one and use the embossing pen to mark each character of your phrase. It would be best to store the plates separately after you are done.

While you could use the 24-words mnemonic phrase on your Zero device, the Graphene supports only backing up the 64 hexadecimal phrases.

Ngrave Liquid

Image Credit: ngrave.io

The Liquid is the third part of the product suite; a mobile app is used to sync each hardware wallet's generated accounts. Users can easily access the balances and view transactions in real-time using this app. In addition, the app communicates with the device through QR codes to initiate and sign transactions.

Liquid has no access to the secret keys, which additionally protects your wallet.

The app is available in the App Store and Google Play.

Supported Currencies: Ngrave Zero Wallet

Ngrave supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash, Zcash, Litecoin, Binance Coin, XRP, Dogecoin, Groestlcoin, and all ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum network.

They are planning to add more tokens with future firmware updates.

Security: Ngrave Zero Wallet

As you might figure out, Ngrave Zero is all about providing the highest possible security for your cryptos in offline form.

The wallet has several layers of protection and the highest security certificate EAL7.

💡 There are seven Evaluation Assurance Levels (EALs). The higher the level, the more confidence you can have that the security functional requirements have been met. EAL7 is the highest and is Formally Verified Design and Tested. Applies to the development of security targets of evaluation for application in extremely high-risk situations, as well as when the high value of the assets justifies the higher costs. (source: cisa.gov)

At the first activation of your Zero Wallet, you will be asked to scan a QR code on Ngrave's website, which will verify that the device was sealed and not compromised in any way before reaching you. Of course, different companies deal differently with proofing that your device is safe. E.g., the Shift CryptoSecurity team behind BitBox02 ships their products in vacuum-sealed packages to prevent any supply chain and delivery attacks.

Instead of creating the 12,18 or 24-word recovery seed phrase, like with most hardware wallets on the market, the Ngrave team implemented 64 character hexadecimal equivalent to enhance the security. At the moment, this is considered to be the most secure system available in the industry.

Also, if the device detects that someone is trying to access the hardware, it will automatically delete the keys from it.

Ngrave Zero supports 2FA Biometric Security.

How do I do the transaction using Ngrave Zero?

  1. You create a transaction request in your mobile Liquid app.
  2. The app will then generate the QR code that you need to scan with Zero.
  3. You will have to verify and sign the transaction in the Zero wallet. Make sure the transaction information is the same as in the app.
  4. After that, you have to scan your signature with the Liquid app.

That's it; your transaction will be recorded on the blockchain after that, completely offline and without connection to any network.

Price: Ngrave Wallet

Compared to other hardware wallets on the market, the price for Ngrave is relatively high. Zero alone will cost you 398 EUR / 418 USD; if you decide to go for a combo with Graphene plates, the price jumps to 498 EUR / 523 USD.

You can pay with crypto.

For a comparison, Tresor or Ledger, bigger players on the market, are priced from 70 USD to 185 USD. So if you are looking for a good but more affordable wallet, you can read our comparison of Tresor vs Ledger for additional information.

Of course, depending on the amount of cryptos you want to store, the security should be essential for you, and investing in a solid wallet with the highest security is a must.

Compatibility and Applications

Ngrave Zero is compatible only with the native Liquid mobile app, with which it communicates through QR codes.

The app is used for real-time transactions and does not store or have access to your private keys.

Faqs

Do I have to be online or connect the ZERO to receive funds?

No, you don't need to connect to Zero to receive funds. The funds go to the address that is always available. You will see the funds that you received when opening the Liquid app.

Can I be hacked during transactions?

No. With Zero, your private keys are offline, so your crypto cannot be stolen.

Can I create a 24-word seed phrase instead of making the "Perfect Key"?

Yes, you can, but you will not be able to back it up on Graphene.

Our Verdict: Ngrave Zero Wallet

We love the promised additional layers of security that the Ngrave team added to their product and enhanced the safety compared to the existing products in the market.

At the moment, the product is too new on the market, but we are excited to see how the coldest wallet will perform.

The security features that the product is built on are impressive, but since it lacks customer feedback and performance reviews, it's important to do good research before making a purchase.

The price is way above average, but if you have larger amounts of cryptos that you want to keep in a safe place, the price is justified with security of Ngrave Zero alone.

We will definitely keep our eyes open and share more about this product once it reaches the market, hopefully in the mid of this year.

The Coldest Cryptocurrency Wallet

Pros

+ This hardware wallet works entirely offline.
+ Supports major cryptocurrencies.
+ The team is working with experts in the field for the highest security.
+ The wallet is water and dust-resistant.
+ Large touchscreen

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