KeepKey Hardware Wallet Review – A Beginner’s Guide
By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 2/11/22
KeepKey is one of the top 3 hardware wallets around today (along with TREZOR and Ledger). In this post I’ll review the wallet from head to toe and also share my personal experience with it.
KeepKey Review Summary
KeepKey is a cryptocurrency hardware wallet that supports over 40 different crypto assets. It is beautifully designed, easy to use and comes at an affordable price.
When comparing it to its main competition (the TREZOR One and Ledger Nano X), it still lacks the coin support and company reputation. Overall KeepKey is a solid hardware wallet.
That’s KeepKey in a nutshell. If you want a more detailed review of KeepKey keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:
- What is a Hardware Wallet?
- KeepKey Company Overview
- KeepKey Design and Unboxing
- KeepKey Supported Coins
- How to Setup KeepKey
- KeepKey Price Tag
- KeepKey vs. TREZOR vs. Ledger
1. What is a Hardware Wallet?
In 2013 a new type of cryptocurrency wallet has emerged – the hardware wallet. Basically, a hardware wallet is a piece of hardware that stores your private keys and is not connected to the Internet. This way a remote attacker won’t be able to steal your coins.
If you want a more detailed review about different types of wallets watch our complete wallet tutorial:
Due to the way hardware wallets are designed, it’s possible to use them safely even with computers infected with malware.
The first hardware wallet to reach mass Bitcoiner adoption was TREZOR with the TREZOR One. Later on came the Ledger Nano S, and finally came Keepkey.
Even though today there are multiple companies that manufacture hardware wallets, these three still remain the top choice for crypto enthusiasts.
2. KeepKey Company Overview
KeepKey was founded by Darin Stanchfield in 2015 and is headquartered in the US. KeepKey acquired the Bitcoin wallet Multibit in 2016, and was later acquired itself by Shapeshift on August 2017.
The company is headed by Darin as the CEO and Ken Hodler (yes, Hodler is his actual name) as the CTO.
3. Keepkey Design and Unboxing
The first thing you’ll notice when you get your KeepKey is how exciting the whole unboxing process is. You can tell that a lot of thought was put into the packaging and product design.
The box comes with a KeepKey seal which shows that no one has opened it before you, indicating that the device is secure.
The content of the box includes the KeepKey hardware wallet, a USB cable to connect the KeepKey wallet to your computer, a card to write your recovery sentence on and a nice leather case to keep that card in.
It may sound stupid but KeepKey’s sleek design and cool digital animation makes the experience of using it feel much better than other hardware wallets. The device itself also feels much more durable than the competition.
Even though you won’t be able to walk around with it in your pocket unnoticeably, like you would with a TREZOR or Ledger, you still need to remember that this is a hardware wallet which is used to store large amounts of Bitcoin – so why would you want to walk around with it in the first place?
The device uses the same 2nd screen protection that TREZOR and Ledger use which makes it more secure to keystroke spying.
4. KeepKey Supported Coins
Falling a little short of its competitors, KeepKey supports 40 different digital assets. The main supported coins are:
For reference, TREZOR and Ledger support over 1000 assets each. For the complete list of Keepkey supported coins click here.
5. How to setup Keepkey
Setting up your KeyKey for the first time is pretty similar to any other hardware wallet. You’ll need to download the KeepKey client from the Chrome web store, connect your device and follow the instructions you see on the screen.
The whole process, including adding PIN protection and writing down your recovery seed takes about 5 minutes.
Here’s how it’s done:
You can also use KeepKey with other software wallets like Electrum and MyCelium.
Since Keepkey was acquired by Shapeshift, there’s also a built in crypto to crypto exchange inside the wallet so you can easily trade between cryptocurrencies as shown below:
6. KeepKey Price Tag
When KeepKey first came out its price tag was extremely high ($239). Since then, the company decided to reduce it to a much more reasonable and competitive $79, making it one of the most affordable hardware wallets out there (similar to the TREZOR One).
Alternatively, you can also purchase KeepKey from an authorized US reseller together with a fireproof, waterproof offline backup for $99.
7. KeepKey vs. Ledger vs. TREZOR
When putting KeepKey up against its main competitors I personally feel it falls short of them. While the price tag and design are great, the number of coins supported and the overall company reputation don’t match those of TREZOR and Ledger.
I think the price reduction was an awesome move by KeepKey, as it can now actually compete much more aggressively. Personally, I still use a TREZOR One and Ledger Nano S as my personal wallets.
The guys at KeepKey did a great job with creating a beautifully designed, user-friendly hardware wallet. If you don’t mind the size, this is a cool product to own.
With more coins supported by the device and greater company presence in the Bitcoin ecosystem, KeepKey can definitely overtake its competitors place in the future.
If you already own a KeepKey or any other hardware wallet, I’d love to hear your experience with it or answer any questions you have in the comment section below.
Bought a keep key when they first came out and added my bitcoin to it. Went to open it the other day and find a new owner of company old app won’t open can’t upgrade to new version as new app won’t find my keep key here I am stuck with the ability to get to my bitcoin! New owner shapeshift has only bots for support looks like I man never get my bitcoin back!
I am working on getting you an answer.
I have used a KeepKey for a little over a year now. I like it. As mentioned, it is a bit bigger, but most of the time it just sits in my safe anyway. Updates can be a bit clunky and sometimes I have to do it a couple of times to get it to take, but it hasn’t been burdensome. I like the feel of it. A nice feature is the “keypad” to enter the pin is randomly laid out. For example the “9” might be in the center this time but lower left the next then somewhere else the time after that. If you have a shoulder surfer and they think they know you pin by where you click, they’d be wrong.
All in all I like the unit and I have given a few away to friends and they seem to like it as well.
Sadly I transferred $500,- pf BTC to my Keepkey wallet. I saw it hit my wallet but when I went back to check the next day, my BTC had gone. Never managed to get it back. I don’t dare use it again after that experience.
Be careful!!! I have hijacked my coins with KeepKey
“I could never afford one.” <— If you are storing less than $200 in crypto, then there's not much point in paying for a cold wallet. If you have more than $200 in crypto, you can afford to buy a decent cold wallet to protect your assets. Don't scrimp and save $50 to lose hundreds or even thousands.