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Keepkey Wallet Review 2020 – Fees, Security, Pros, Cons and Features

Created in 2015, the Keepkey wallet is a hierarchical deterministic (HD) hardware wallet that allows you to store multiple cryptocurrencies and access them on the go.
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Author: Nica San Juan
Last Updated: 12 August 2020
KeepKey is a good wallet but it is not our recommended one. Read this review to find out which one we actually believe in.

Keepkey wallet is one of the costliest hardware wallets in the cryptocurrency space with premium looks and a sturdy aluminium case. In this Keepkey wallet review, we will analyze its features at length and establish if it is the safest option in the market.

 

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    Is the  Wallet Recommended?

    ❌Keepkey wallet has a lot of compelling features, especially with regards to security. But after a thorough review, we have found out that it is not the safest wallet out there. Though it is difficult to compromise the wallet, its main weakness is the unregulated status. A regulated wallet such as the eToro wallet (read the eToro review here) offers an extra layer of safety for users. eToro adheres to the stringent security measures set in place by regulatory authorities to protect user interests.

    If you still have doubts as to what the best service for storing your cryptos is, you can compare the best Bitcoin wallets here.

    What is Keepkey Wallet?

    What is Keepkey wallet? Keepkey is a hierarchical deterministic (HD) hardware wallet that allows you to store multiple cryptocurrencies and access them on the go. Initially, the Keepkey wallet project was a fork of Trezor wallet. Its developers sought to create a hardware wallet with more premium looks and a larger screen. The essence of the latter was to enhance the user experience in as far as transaction verification is concerned.

    It has been in existence since 2015 and in 2017, it was acquired by ShapeShift AG, a Swiss company. ShapeShift is an online platform that allows users to convert cryptocurrencies with ease. As an HD wallet, it can generate and store an unlimited number of private keys and also sign transactions.

    Keepkey wallet compatibility

    • Windows
    • Linux
    • MacOS
    • Android

    Its software part works with Mycelium, MultiBit and Electrum wallets.

    What wallet type is Keepkey ?

    • Hardware wallet
    • Open source
    • Multi-currency
    • Hierarchical Deterministic (HD)

    What cryptocurrencies does the  wallet support?

    • Bitcoin
    • Bitcoin Cash
    • Bitcoin Gold
    • DASH
    • Dogecoin
    • Ethereum
    • Litecoin
    • AELF (ELE)
    • Aeterenity (AE)
    • Aragon (ANT)
    • Augur (REP)
    • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
    • Binance Coin (BNB)
    • Bancor (BNT)
    • Civic (CVC)
    • Storj (STORJ)
    • com (MCO)
    • CyberMiles (CMT)
    • Dai (DAI)
    • Decentraland (MANA)
    • DigixDAO (DGD)
    • District0x (DNT)
    • Edgeless (EDG)
    • FirstBlood (1st)
    • FunFair (FUN)
    • Gifto (GTO)
    • Gnosis (GNO)
    • Golem (GNT)
    • ICONOMI (ICN)
    • IOST (IOST)
    • iExec (RLC)
    • TrueUSD (TUSD)
    • Maker (MKR)
    • Matchpool (GUP)
    • Melon (MLN)
    • Metal (MTL)
    • Numeraire (NMR)
    • OmiseGO (OMG)
    • Polymath (POLY)
    • Populus (PPT)
    • Ripio Credit Network (RCN)
    • SALT (SALT)
    • SingularDTV (SNGLS)
    • SpankChain (SPANK)
    • Status (SNT)
    • 0x (ZRX)
    • 0xBitcoin (0xBTC)

    What fees does Keepkey wallet have?

    There are no Keepkey wallet fees charged for using the device. However, any transaction you make will attract transaction fees from the blockchain network in question.

    How to open your Keepkey Wallet account

    Now that we know the basics about the device, let us find out how to open Keepkey wallet.

    Step 1: To begin with, you will have to install a Chrome extension (Keepkey client) for the wallet from the Chrome Web Store. Find it here.

    Step 2: Once you have completed the installation, connect Keepkey to your PC using a USB cable. Expect to see a logo on the device screen once it establishes a connection.

    Step 3: Open the Keepkey client on Chrome

    From this point on, all the instructions will appear both on your PC and the device screen. If you get a prompt to update device firmware, click “Update Firmware.” You will get a question asking whether you want to configure an old device recover a new one. Take the first option by long pressing the device button and wait for the update to complete.

    Step 4: The next sentence will ask if you have a backup of the recovery phrase. Ignore this since it is the first setup and long press the button again.

    Step 5: Click “Initialize Keepkey” to start the configuration process.

    Step 6: Name your device by clicking on the “Choose a Label” tab.

    You will then get a prompt to select a desired PIN for securing device access. Be careful with this step since the Keepkey will cipher the digits as an extra safety measure.

    Step 7: “Re-enter the PIN” to confirm.

    Step 8: You will get a prompt to write down your Recovery Sentence. Write the words in the same order as they appear on the device. As you write, press the device button to display the next word.

    That is how to open a wallet on Keepkey, one of the simplest processes for hardware wallets. Your device is now ready to use, and it’s time to find out how to add currency to Keepkey wallet.

    How do I add cryptocurrencies to Keepkey Wallet?

    To use your wallet, you first need to get your Keepkey wallet address. In order to do this, you will first need to create an account. During the configuration process, your wallet will by default create a Legacy Bitcoin Account. But you have to create accounts for every individual altcoin. So, before you ask how to transfer Ethereum to Keepkey wallet or how to transfer Ripple to Keepkey wallet, let’s create the relevant accounts.

    Step 1: Open your Keepkey Chrome client in your browser and connect the device

    Step 2: At the bottom right corner, click “Add Account”

    Step 3: From the drop-down menu, select the altcoin. For illustration purposes, let’s choose Ethereum. Click “Add Account” when done.

    Step 4: Name the account so that you can have several accounts for the same altcoin and again click “Add Account”

    Step 5: Wait for the account creation process to complete and then you will see a list of available accounts.

    To obtain the account address, click on the account and then click “Receive.”

    You can now copy the address and paste it on another wallet to send some Ethereum to your Keepkey wallet. Alternatively, you can buy cryptocurrencies on an exchange and send it to your Keepkey wallet using the address. In case you are wondering how to transfer Bitcoin to Keepkey wallet, you simply need to follow the same procedure.

    How to send payments on Keepkey wallet?

    Let’s now find out how to send payments on Keepkey wallet. Here is the procedure:

    Step 1: If you want to send a payment from your Bitcoin wallet, click on the Bitcoin account and select “Send Bitcoin.” Enter the address of the recipient and the amount.

    Step 2: Click “Send” and you will get a prompt to enter PIN and double check the address. After doing so, hold the physical button to confirm the transaction and send the payment.

    How do I receive payments on wallet?

    And now, we want to find out how to receive payments on Keepkey wallet. We will use Bitcoin to illustrate.

    Step 1: Open the Keepkey client and click on Bitcoin, and then select “Receive Bitcoin”.

    When you do that, you will get your address and a QR code, both on the PC and on the device.

    Step 2: Copy the address and send it to the person sending you the payment and then wait for the funds to reflect in your wallet.

    This could take anywhere between a few seconds and half an hour or more depending on network status.

    How safe is Wallet?

    Related image

    Multiple Keepkey safety features work together to keep your cryptocurrency safe. Let us examine one at a time and find out how they function.

    Here are the security features that the wallet offers users:

    Private Key Storage

    During the initialization process of the device, it automatically generates private keys using entropy from the computer and the device. As such, it generates unique, unpredictable keys every time. As an HD device, it can generate an infinite number of private keys and store them. Users’ private keys are never exposed when using the device on a PC as it uses a limited protocol for communication.

    PIN Code

    Every Keepkey wallet is PIN-protected, securing it from unauthorized use. Without the PIN, no one can access or use the device. Additionally, it also limits PIN entry attempts and increased the timespan between attempts after every wrong entry. By the 27th attempt, the delay time increases to a non-negotiable 388 days.

    Recovery Phrase

    In addition to the PIN code, you can also generate a 12-word recovery sentence to back up your wallet. Though 12 is the default number of words, the wallet can also support an 18- or 24-word phrase.  The sentence generation is a one-time feature that appears during initialization. Its generation makes use of entropy from the device and the computer you are using for setup. It is generated offline and only displayed on the device and not on your PC screen. Consequently, it is never exposed online.

    Even during a recovery process, Keepkey uses a cipher to mix up the characters you enter. After every entry, the cipher gets a reshuffle; and after entering four characters, Keepkey autocompletes the word. This means that a malicious entity would get little useful information from the characters you type into the keyboard or what reflects on the screen. The process has the strength of 111 bits of entropy according to Keepkey’s site.

    Passphrase

    This is an additional word that you can append to your recovery sentence but is not stored on the device. With this optional feature, you can encrypt the private keys so that even if a malicious entity circumvents read protection, the keys will remain secure. However, the official site cautions users to implement this feature only if they fully understand its implications. It is not possible to recover the wallet without this word.

    TREVOR Source Code

    Keepkey used TREVOR hardware wallet source code, which has a strong reputation for security. It uses multiple protocols to achieve this. Keepkey has further improved on this to enhance its security.

    Physical Button

    In addition to the above features, Keepkey wallet has a button for confirming transactions. To verify any transaction, you need to long-press this button. Essentially, the button functions as a 2FA protecting users from erroneous payments. It also ensures that if someone is able to access your private keys or recovery phrase, they cannot transact without the physical device.

    The team behind Keepkey has gone to great lengths to offer safety to its users. However, the one glaring loophole in all of this is the fact that the device is not regulated and is therefore not safe. For a crypto wallet to offer seamless security, it needs to adhere to regulatory requirements, which could be stringent but necessary in this nascent industry. eToro is one of the few wallets that have taken this into consideration. It is regulated in multiple countries such as the UK (FCA) and Cyprus (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission). Only such regulated platforms can be said to be truly secure.

     Wallet Pros and Cons

    Pros:

    • Premium design
    • Cold storage
    • Multilevel security features
    • Integration with ShapeShift for easy currency conversions
    • Multi-currency support

    Cons:

    • Needs third-party software add-on
    • Slightly less portable than other hardware wallets (TREZOR and Ledger) due to its large display
    • Does not save setup progress
    • More expensive than other hardware wallets
    • Unregulated
    • If you lose your password (PIN) and recovery phrase, you cannot access the wallet
    • The wallet does not have transaction fee estimates
    • Keepkey does not have local currency amounts and thus requires manual calculations when sending payments in cryptocurrency

     Keepkey Wallet vs. other wallets – how does it compare?

    As a hardware wallet with multiple security layers, Keepkey is a tough competitor to eToro. However, eToro has some unique features that give it an edge over Keepkey. Consider some:

    eToro Commits To Better Future Growth with Delta AcquisitionKeepkey wallet vs. eToro

    • User friendliness

    Keepkey is not very user friendly all things considered. We consider it to be a wallet that is more suitable for professional traders because it is quite complex to use and not as intuitive as wallets like eToro. It is very simple to set up an account on a wallet like eToro. Finding out how the wallet works is also very intuitive, which makes it a very good option for beginner traders.

    • Security

    Given that eToro is regulated and Keepkey is not, we also believe that eToro is a much safer platform. In fact, eToro has some of the most sophisticated and trustworthy security measures. That is demonstrated from the fact that eToro has never been involved in hacking scandals of any kind.

    • Customer Support

    We also believe that customer support services on eToro are much more efficient than they are on Keepkey. At Keepkey we did not find them to be very responsive whereas on eToro, they will get back to you within a maximum of a couple of hours, no matter what time you decide to contact them on. They are also friendly and well-trained and certainly capable of fixing any problem you might be having.

    Keepkey wallet vs. Coinbase

    • Convenient Trading

    Coinbase offers a comprehensive package incorporating cryptocurrency storage and trading for all levels of users. For newbies, it is easy to learn the ropes as they can follow and emulate more seasoned traders. This adds to its value to crypto users as they can generate revenue from the wallet.

    • Regulatory Compliance

    A major distinguishing factor between Coinbase and Keepkey is that the former is regulated by relevant authorities in several jurisdictions. It is regulated by Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) in Europe, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange (CySEC0 in Cyprus.

    • Convenient Access

    To use Keepkey, you have to carry around a device almost the size of a portable hard disk. But Coinbase is accessible online both on your PC and mobile devices.

    Keepkey wallet vs. TREZOR

    As mentioned above, Keepkey developers used the TREVOR source code as the basis for the wallet. The two wallets therefore have some similarities. But they also differ in certain respects. Consider some distinctions:

    • Size

    TREZOR is much smaller than Keepkey, which can be considered as an advantage and a disadvantage. It is much easier to carry around unlike the comparatively bulky Keepkey. However, the screen is smaller and harder to use, especially to confirm addresses.

    • Setup Process

    Keepkey is much easier to set up than TREZOR and requires no technical know-how. The process is intuitive and convenient even for beginners.

    • Pricing

    Keepkey is one of the most expensive hardware wallets. This has to do with its premium looks and large screen size.

    Conclusion

    From the above comparison, it is evident that Keepkey is a solid wallet with numerous merits. However, eToro emerges as the winning choice. Apart from its versatility and convenience of use, it is also the safest choice of the three. Its regulatory compliance is a crucial feature that offers matchless user security.

    FAQs

    Where can I download Keepkey Wallet?

    You cannot download Keepkey wallet since it is a hardware wallet and not software. Rather, you can buy it from the Keepkey official website using any of the major credit cards, Bitcoin or PayPal. You can also find it on Amazon.

    My Keepkey wallet froze; what should I do?

    If your Keepkey wallet freezes, there could be a problem with the firmware and you might need to force an update. To do this, open the Keepkey client and connect the device while holding down the button. Ensure you have your recovery phrase and then click Update Firmware. Do not disconnect the device until the update completes.

    How do I reset my Keepkey password?

    Keepkey works with a PIN and to change it, you need to go to device settings by clicking on the gear icon in the Keepkey client.

    What is the difference between Keepkey and USB drives?

    When a person inserts a USB drive into a computer, the computer gets immediate access into everything that is inside the drive. However, the communication between a computer and Keepkey uses a limited protocol. As such, it does not reveal its private key. Furthermore, it only facilitates transaction requests. But before a request gets approval, the user has to manually press a confirmation button. Only then will the device sign the request.

    What happens if I lose my Keepkey or it gets stolen or damaged?

    In case you lose your Keepkey or it gets damaged or stolen, you can use the 12-word recovery phrase to restore your digital assets. If you have multiple accounts, you can use any BIP44-compatible wallet to recover your assets. But if you have one account, you can use any BIP39-compatible wallet for recovery. As a precaution, always use a strong password, as this in itself makes the device useless when stolen.

    How can I restore my recovery phrase to another Keepkey device?

    To restore a recovery sentence into a wiped Keepkey device, follow these steps: • Connect the wiped Keepkey device to a computer and open it • On the bottom right, select “Recover Keepkey” • Enter a label for the device • Create a PIN for the device (between 6 and 9 digits). Your Keepkey device has an unconventional numeric pad. Click the corresponding blank box on the screen to set your PIN. For instance, to select number 6, click on the top left box. • Re-enter the PIN to confirm • Use the cipher on the device to enter the corresponding letters of your recovery phrase. Note that upon entry of the fourth letter of every word, the word will auto-complete.

    What is the Keepkey PIN?

    All Keepkey wallets use a PIN number as a protective entry barrier. The number consists of 9 digits that you select after initializing the device for the first time. In case the device falls into the wrong hands, the PIN secures it against unauthorized use.

    Does Keepkey store my cryptocurrencies?

    No. Keepkey, as well as any other hardware wallet, generates your private keys mathematically and stores them. Your cryptocurrencies are stored, not on the device, but rather on their respective blockchains. Your private keys Keepkey wallet work together with your public addresses to communicate with these blockchains and let you access your funds. Though other people can see your public address every time you transact, it is useless to them unless they have the private key. Keepkey keeps the private keys and your cryptocurrencies safe.

    Remember, all trading carries risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
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    Janica Sherine is an expert writer who specializes in financial technology and cryptocurrency. At her young age, she was already able to work with founders who graduated from Harvard, tech startups funded by Y-Combinator, CEOs of multi-million dollar blockchain companies, investment companies in London and many more.

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