Warning, this post reeks of fanboyism!
I’ve been interested in bitcoin for the last few years, following the development, buying a bit here and there and spending some where I could. A couple of weeks ago I decided to spend a little to buy myself a Trezor.
What’s a Trezor now?
The Trezor was the first true hardware wallet that was safe, open source and easy to use.
A hardware wallet, you say?
Well, a bitcoin wallet is a piece of software that keeps track of all your private keys and their associated addresses as well as lets you spend the bitcoins you have. A hardware wallet contains this same functionality in a small, dedicated computer.
The hardware wallet keeps track of your addresses, and generates private keys (and addresses) for you without being connected to the internet, and thereby without the possibility of being infected with malware or key loggers. This means your private keys, and thus your funds, are kept safe from hackers. Thus, you can use your Trezor safely even on an infected or untrusted PC.
The Trezor is extremely easy to use. After connecting it, you simply navigate to mytrezor.com and follow the instructions on the screen. Write down the 24 seed words (with a PEN and on a piece of PAPER!) and store them in a safe place. The seed is your backup and can be used to restore your wallet on a different Trezor device or using another wallet that supports it (like Electrum). So even if you lose your Trezor or it breaks for some reason, your funds are still safe. It works like a charm with the Mycelium wallet on Android, and the device connects to your phone through a USB OTG cable, which is also available for purchase with the device.
I’ve been playing around with my Trezor for a few days and I can see quite a lot of potential in the device. Apart from storing bitcoin private keys (or other cryptocoins like Litecoin), the device also supports SSH login without the risk of you exposing your private SSH key to an insecure environment. In addition a few sites now support “Sign in with TREZOR” functionality, completely eliminating the need for user names and passwords. The device simply exposes a public key to the site and allows you to log in by signing a login request message with the corresponding private key, stored inside the Trezor. Brilliant!
All in all this might sound like a bit of a fanboy post but it’s not that often I buy a device that lives up to my expectations and more. I can’t wait to see what else the guys at SatoshiLabs will put into the firmware. How about U2F support, Yubikey emulation or GnuPG support? I’d love to carry my GnuPG private keys around in a secure manner without the hassle of storing them on an airgapped machine like I do now.
Anyway, if you’re interested in getting a Trezor of your own, just click on the banner to throw a referral at me