OVERALL SCORE: 7
- Security Tech: 7
- Application Compatibility: 8
- Product Build: 8
- Post Purchase Support: 5
What is a Keepkey and Why Should I Care?
It is BitBarricade’s pleasure to present you an up close and personal review of the Keepkey cryptocurrency hardware wallet; Bothell, Washington’s finest crypto currency security solution on the market right now. Yeah, we bought it. We use it; and now we are going to review it. Don’t worry, we did the heavy lifting so you can make an informed purchasing decision.
Just as you would invest in anti-virus software to protect your electronic information, it is equally wise to invest in a hardware wallet to protect your cryptocurrency wealth. Let’s face it, in this new digital world, technology is enabling crime to make the inevitable transition from the “seen” to the “unseen”. Arming yourself with superior blockchain security technology is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Lucky for you, BitBarricade only reviews the most quality devices the market has to offer.
To date, the Keepkey cryptocurrency hardware wallet is a contender for the top spot in the crypto security market. Branding itself as “the simple cryptocurrency hardware wallet”, Keepkey advertises that it is the most user-friendly interface currently available. With the largest display screen (for this price point) and integrated ShapeShift support the Keepkey may just offer the ease of use many cryptocurrency newcomers crave. However, here at BitBarricade we have trust issues; we always do our own research. In this review we will be looking into how the Keepkey cryptocurrency hardware wallet works, pros and cons, and our opinion of the product.
The Keepkey cryptocurrency hardware wallet is a Bitcoin/Altcoin device that stores cryptocurrency assets and protects them from online security threats. The wallet connects to a computer via a USB cable and uses a screen to display addresses and amount verification. Using this wallet is rather simple:
- Follow the set up instructions (download firmware, establish your PIN number, download the Keepkey Client Chrome application, record your recovery seed).
- Connect to a computer (via the provided USB cable) and input your established PIN number.
- Open the Chrome browser.
- Within the browser open the free Keepkey client you downloaded (during the set up phase).
- Using your computer monitor to select the desired cryptocurrency you would like to transact in.
- Using your computer monitor you are free to send/receive crypto payments (of the cryptocurrency of your choice) or simply check your balances.
- When sending payment you will need to authorize your transaction (verifying the amount and send-to address) by clicking the button located that the top of the wallet (when prompted to do so by the display screen).
Should you lose your hardware wallet, don’t sweat it. Granted that you still have your recovery seed, all you have to do is order another Keepkey (or another BIP39/BIP44 type wallet) and the restoration of your crypto is a breeze.
Note: Follow the Keepkey provided instructions. This is just the short and dirty version. .
Keepkey uses a STM32F205RGT6 multi point control unit (produced by STMicroelectronics) to provide the devices’ encryption and stores your private key on flash memory. In addition, the STM32F205RGT6 MCU maintains both FIPS PUB 140-2, and FIPS PUB 180-2 cryptography certifications. The device also uses True Random Number Generator (T.R.N.G.) which generates random sequences of numbers from a physical process and not from software). For those of you who are not technically inclined allow me to translate; the components used in this device are verified to be effective in protecting against encryption hack attempts. Unless aliens tried to hack into your crypto wallet… we are not sure that this wallet (or any wallet on Earth) is alien proof.
Keepkey only supports five unique chain cryptocurrencies; however, it is the only hardware wallet on the market that provides native support for ERC20 tokens (29 to be exact). All other wallets use a third party to securely store ERC20 token. Keepkey devices also have integrated ShapeShift support which allows the user to swap cryptocurrencies back and forth without leaving the wallet software. This is another feature that Keepkey’s competition does not offer at this time.
Weighing 52 grams and standing at a compact 38mm x 93.5mm x 12.2mm the Keepkey’ build is definitely a handsome hardware wallet to look at. The wallet casing consists of a lower half which is constructed out of aluminum and the entire upper half is a 256x 12″ OLED display screen; for those of you who don’t know, that is a very large screen for a hardware wallet! At the bottom of the device is a USB HID interface which is used to connect your wallet to a computer. At the top of the device a single button is located which is used to verify transactions.
While the physical design isn’t the most complex piece of hardware I have laid my eyes upon, I have to give it to them; the wallet looks sexy!
What’s in the Box?
- A Keepkey.
- A woven nylon micro-USB to USB cable.
- You get a recovery sentence backup card in the event that your wallet is ever lost or stolen.
Good, The Great and the Ugly
Now, let’s get down to business!
- Portability: The thing only weighs 52 grams; if you cannot comfortably pick up 52 grams you need to (1) stop reading this review right now. (2) Close your laptop. (3) Make your way to the closest gym. While it is not the smallest available hardware wallet I think we speak for every rational person out there by stating “It’s small enough”. You can basically hide/take the device anywhere with little to no physical effort and still remain discrete. The one draw back we have is that the large OLED display is prone to getting scratch over time (but so is most screens).
- Open Source Code: Keepkey’s firmware is open source. This allows for code quality verification and allows for and objective and ongoing product improvement.
Crypto Asset Support: We have to give credit where credit is due, since Keepkey’s inception they have significantly expanded the amount of crypto assets that the wallet supports. In the beginning Keepkey stored 5 crypto assets (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Dash); now the wallet supports 7 times that amount! While a large majority of those 34 assets are ERC20 tokens (coins ran on the Ethereum blockchain), Keepkey is the only major hardware wallet that stores ERC20 tokens in a native environment and does not require a third party service. Should you be in love with ERC20 tokens, this wallet just may the answer to your crypto prayers.
1) Bitcoin (BTC) 10) Ethereum (ETH) 19) Augur (ANT)* 27) Civic (CVC)*
2) Dogecoin (DOGE) 11) Dash (DASH) 20) Basic Attention Token (BAT)* 28) DigixDAO (DGD)*
3) Bitcoin Cash (BCH) 12) Litecoin (LTC) 21) Bancor (BNT)* 29) Districtox (DNT)*
4) Edgeless (EDG)* 13) FirstBlood (1st)* 22) FunFair (FUN)* 30) Gnosis (GNO)*
5) Golem (GNT)* 14) ICONMI (ICN)* 23) iExec (RLC)* 31) Matchpool (GUP)*
6) Melon (MTL)* 15) Metal (MTL)* 24) Numeraire (NMR)* 32) OmiseGo (OMG)*
7) Ripio Credit Network (RCN)* 16) SALT (SALT)* 25) SingularDTV (SN)* 33) Status (SNT)*
8) Sorj (STORJ)* 17) SwarmCity (SWT)* 26) TenX (PAY)* 34) WeTrust (TRST)*
9) Wings (WINGS)* 18) Ox (RX)*
Product Build: Measuring at a whopping 256x 12″ this wallet has the largest OLED display on the market right now. Due to the small profiles of the wallets a common issue that plagues most products is not being able to fit the entire send-to address on the screen at any given time. Not only is this problem annoying but it also compromises security due to the fact that it makes it difficult to verify send-to addresses.
Fortunately for us this is not an issue if you use a Keepkey! The screen literally spans the entire length of the wallet and displays addresses in their entirety; making transactions faster and easier to verify. The large screen also gives it a sleek futuristic look making sure you are definitely the coolest crypto nerd on your block. I guess in this situation size really does matter.
Post-Purchase Support: Long story short, Keepkey needs to improve the post-purchase support they provide to their users. We have been in the crypto game for a while and personally dealt with their customer support division and been able to observe how they handle changes in the industry. This has been our experience thus far:
- Hard Fork Support: Keepkey, when compared to their competition, is slow in providing hard fork support for the resulting crypto asset. For example, when the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork occurred Keepkey allowed its customers access to their BCH a good three months later than Trezor and Ledger; and in some Bitcoin hard fork cases we are still waiting for support (Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond AND Bitcoin Private)! We have even submitted tickets to customer service asking if support will ever be provided, since you know, that’s our money. You know what we heard back? Nothing … that’s right, we heard crickets.
- Timely Firmware Updates: Keepkey typically provides frequent firmware updates for your wallet device and, for the most part, security issues have not been a concern for this wallet. However, when Segwit support was rolled out for Bitcoin it did take a while for them to make Segwit addresses available. To their defense we eventually got address support so we won’t split hairs on that one.
- Additional Crypto Asset Support: This is an area where we gave Keepkey a pat on the back; they have added a slew of native ERC20 tokens onto the wallet (which no one else is doing so far). This provides a nice alternative to securely store ERC20 tokens in cold storage instead of with a third party site that is susceptible to malware and hacks. They are strategically positioning themselves as the ERC20 cold storage solution; we think that is a smart move on their part.
Conclusion – A Good Buy for the ERC20 Token Capability
This was our first hardware wallet and it has kept our funds safe and our minds at ease over the years. A Keepkey will do a fine job storing any of the cryptocurrencies list above, but the area where it really shines is the native ERC20 token functionality. The wallet stores 29 native, ERC20 tokens; it’s competition stores none (enough said). The folks at Keepkey have done a good job at providing a sexy looking, functional piece of hardware that has a unique use case; and for that, the good people at BitBarricade applaud you.
BitBarricade is a registered affiliate of Keepkey products. We consistently deliver to you the most comprehensive hardware wallets reviews available; we earnestly hope that you feel the same. The affiliate commissions we receive help us maintain this good thing we have going on.