Trezor vs Ledger – A Detailed Comparison Between the Two Hardware Wallets

Deciding which cryptocurrency wallet you will use to store your crypto is quite a big deal. This is mainly because your cryptocurrencies safety is determined by those wallets. However, safety is not everything. When choosing your wallet, you should consider many other aspects as well, such as efficiency, supported cryptocurrencies, and price/fees. 

There are two main types of crypto wallets: Hot Wallets and Cold Wallets. The term ‘hot wallet’ often stands for a wallet that requires an internet connection to work. On the other hand, the term ‘cold wallet’ stands for wallets that complete most of their work offline. This makes cold wallets way safer than hot wallets.

Throughout this article, we will compare two of the leading cold wallets: Trezor and Ledger. Moreover, we will touch upon the specifics of these hardware wallets and provide a detailed comparison between their features.

What is Ledger Wallet?

Ledger is a cold wallet that was created by The Ledger Company back in 2014. The founding team of Ledger consists of Eric Larchevêque, Joel Pobeda, Nicolas Bacca, and Thomas France. Since it is one of the first hardware wallets that joined the crypto industry, Ledger aimed to be the solution to keeping your private keys secure while being able to execute transactions on the blockchain. What makes Ledger preferred by many is its well-built devices that include the specialized chips known as ‘Secure Elements’ and its secure Operating System known as (BOLOS) that has high-security capabilities.

What makes hardware wallets unique is that you are the only one that has access to your private keys; unlike wallets like those provided by different exchanges, where the private keys are owned by a central authority and can be compromised. This puts the safety of private keys in your own hands, but on the other hand, you are the one that has full control over your funds.

Trezor vs Ledger - A Detailed Comparison Between the Two Hardware Wallets
Physical Appearance of the Ledger Wallet. Source: Medium

At the time of writing, there are two versions of Ledger hardware wallets: Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X. Ledger Nano S has been acknowledged as a ‘longstanding trusted crypto hardware wallet’ by Forbes earlier this year. As for Ledger Nano X, it was launched in 2019 and it is considered to be the premium version of Ledger.

What is Secure Element?

The Secure Element is a type of microcontroller that is used in SIM cards, passports, or payment cards. Unlike the ‘normal’ microcontrollers that are used in your TV remote controller or your microwave, the ‘secure’ microcontroller promotes safety. It is also known as the SE.

Read more: Ledger Wallet Review – What are the Pros and Cons of Ledger?

What is Trezor Wallet?

Trezor is a cold wallet that was created by SatoshiLabs in 2013. It is a hardware wallet, meaning that it is a device in which you store the cryptocurrencies that you own. Hardware wallets function and store your cryptocurrencies offline, keeping them off the internet and making it nearly impossible for hackers to get their hands on them. Unlike most cold wallets, Trezor secures transactions by keeping your private keys completely private, meaning that your private keys can’t be exposed to any compromised computer. Trezor has been called ‘The Best All-Round Cold Wallet’ by Forbes – mainly because of being so complete.

Trezor vs Ledger - A Detailed Comparison Between the Two Hardware Wallets
Physical Appearance of Trezor. Source: Medium

Additionally, Trezor is the longest surviving cryptocurrency hardware wallet out there, being around for more than 7 years. This means that Trezor has been tested for quite a while in the market, leaving its team with an experience that cannot be bought. 

Trezor Wallet is also the favorite cryptocurrency wallet of the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey. He stated this in a tweet back in 2019; a tweet that, of course, influenced the market performance of Trezor.

Trezor has launched two official hardware wallets: Trezor Model One and Trezor Model T. Trezor One is the first generation of Trezor, having been created in 2013 and released one year later, in early-2014. Then came the next generation of Trezor with the launch of Trezor T in early-2018.

Trezor vs. Ledger

Ledger Trezor
Type of Wallet Cold (Hardware) Cold (Hardware)
Supported Cryptocurrencies +1150 +1600
Price $59 – $119 $59 – $189
Mobile App iOS/Android No

 

Basics

When it comes to comparing these two hardware wallets, not much can be said since they are two of the best cryptocurrency wallets right now. That being said, they offer similar things and their platforms have alike features.

First off, both wallets connect using a USB cable. However, Ledger looks more like a traditional USB while Trezor has a unique shape to it. Moreover, Ledger is made out of steel while Trezor has a plastic casting, making Ledger about 12 grams heavier than Trezor.

When it comes to their size, they do not differ much. The biggest model of Trezor, Trezor Model T, has a size of 64mm x 39mm x 10mm. Similarly, Ledger Nano X, the biggest Ledger model, has a size of 72mm x 18.6mm x 11.75mm.

 

Trezor vs Ledger - A Detailed Comparison Between the Two Hardware Wallets
Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X comparison. Source: Cryptonomist

At the time of writing, Ledger supports both Android and iOS devices, whilst Trezor only supports Android devices.

User Interface

The user experience is crucial for every crypto-related product. Trezor products do not fail to amaze in this area, offering larger displays and making everything clearer for the eye of the user. The Ledger Nano S has a 128×32 pixel display, while Trezor One has a 128×64 pixel display. Furthermore, Ledger Nano X has a 128×64 pixel display, whereas Trezor T offers a 240×240 pixels liquid crystal display (LCD) that is touchscreen.

Ledger Nano X has also included the Bluetooth connection option, an option that Trezor does not offer.

Using these wallets is relatively the same when it comes to difficulty. Both wallets require strict account verification and you must complete multi-layer security processes. However, Trezor T’s touchscreen feature makes it easier to use on most occasions.

Security

Even when it comes to security, these wallets are very similar. Since both Trezor and Ledger make sure that your private keys never leave the device, they are considered to be leaders when it comes to security.

When it comes to physical attacks, Ledger is safer since its devices use double chip bases. The second chip in Ledger is the Secure Element (SE). However, Trezor does not have a Secure Element since its devices are built with a single chip base.

Ledger has an open-source framework. This means that it uses a Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System (BOLOS). Similarly, Trezor wallets are also open-source. However, Ledger became open-source during 2016, while Trezor was open-source from day one.

Trezor vs Ledger - A Detailed Comparison Between the Two Hardware Wallets
Ledger’s Hardware. Source: Medium

However, in 2019, Kraken Security Labs executed a successful physical hack towards Trezor in only 15 minutes. They claimed that Trezor may be invulnerable to cyber attacks, but physical attacks are still an issue.

Afterward, in 2020, Ledger was hacked and more than 270,000 users were affected. This data breach lead to more than one million email addresses being leaked and many first and last names exposed.

Price

When it comes to the price of these crypto wallets, both are fairly prices; however, Trezor is quite more expensive. While the first generations of Trezor and Ledger are both $59, Trezor T is $70 more expensive than Ledger Nano X; with Trezor T being $189 and Ledger Nano X being $119.

Other Specifics

As we mentioned above, Ledger offers a mobile app while Trezor does not. This makes Ledger more user-friendly since it is way easier to control a wallet through a mobile phone than by looking at a small screen.

Trezor vs Ledger - A Detailed Comparison Between the Two Hardware Wallets
Ledger Mobile App is called Ledger Live. Source: Morioh

At the time of writing, Trezor provides a desktop app called Trezor Suite. This app offers an exchange and access to your portfolio’s information. Trezor aims to introduce its mobile app by the end of 2021.

Another thing we must note is that Trezor One does not support some major cryptocurrencies such as Ripple (XRP), Binance Coin (BNB), Cardano (ADA), and Monero (XMR).

Ledger vs. Trezor Staking

Staking is a process that takes place on Proof-of-Stake (PoS) networks. During this process, you lock your assets to secure the network and validate transactions in return for rewards. Staking can also be done in some hardware wallets. 

The Ledger wallet allows you to stake up to 7 coins simultaneously directly in their platform or an external wallet. On the contrary, Trezor does not support staking crypto directly in their platform. Nevertheless, Trezor wallets are eligible to link to staking pools through middleman such as AllNodes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why are hardware wallets considered to be safe?

Unlike hot wallets, hardware wallets often work offline, making them invulnerable to attacks coming from outside. Moreover, hardware wallets are highly encrypted and never expose your private keys to potentially compromised devices. Using a hot wallet often means that you do not own your private keys, making you more vulnerable to scams, account freezes, and privacy breaches. With cold wallets such as Trezor and Ledger, this issue is thought to be overcome.

Which is better Trezor or Ledger?

It depends. Even though these two wallets are very similar to one another, they both have their positive and negative sides. For example, Ledger experienced a security breach in 2020, while a Trezor device was hacked in only 15 minutes by Kraken Security Labs. Moreover, the premium version of Ledger may be cheaper but Trezor devices support more cryptocurrencies. That being said, choose the one that fits you best since both are very good crypto wallets.

Which wallet is more suitable for holding Bitcoin?

Probably Trezor. Because all Trezor models offer Bitcoin-only firmware, we believe that Trezor is the way to go when storing Bitcoin. Until today, there have been no major announcements on whether Ledger will launch Bitcoin-only firmware.

Also Read: Trezor Wallet Review 2021 – What are the Pros and Cons of Trezor?

Takeaways

  • There are two types of crypto wallets: Cold Wallets & Hot Wallets. Cold wallets are wallets that function offline while hot wallets often work completely online.
  • A hardware wallet is a type of cold wallet. As the name suggests, a hardware wallet is a device for storing cryptocurrencies.
  • The two leading companies in this field of the crypto industry are Ledger and Trezor.
  • Until today, Ledger has launched two devices: Ledger Nano S & Ledger Nano X.
  • Trezor also has launched only two devices: Trezor Model One & Trezor Mode T.
  • Trezor Model One is the first-ever cryptocurrency hardware wallet, being launched only four years after the introduction of Bitcoin.
  • Both wallets have their good and bad sides. So, when choosing between these two, check which one fits your purposes better.
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