Now that Ledger is having a complete meltdown with their Ledger Recover service that has caused people to stop using the Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X. In fact some people are even breaking their Ledger devices in protest. (If you look around on Twitter you can find pictures of that. Here’s a start.) Indeed, most people are not fans of the new Ledger Recover service which extracts your seed phrase outside of the hardware wallet to some company’s servers. So this forces us to re-evaluate our position, of which air gapped wallet is the best to use in 2023.
Drama About Ledger Hardware Wallets
Ledger doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, so I’m going to pull info from Reddit (at least before their protests begin). So on May 16 2023, Ledger announced in their subreddit the Ledger Recover feature. Very quickly, it is a way to extract the seed phrase out of the hardware wallet, encrypt it, and then send it in pieces to Ledger and different 3rd parties. The idea being, if you ever lose your seed, you can just ask Ledger to give it back to you.
Immediately, the internet blew up in an angry reaction. You’re probably wondering though, “what’s the big deal?”. Most people are upset at Ledger because of the possibility of the seed phrases being stolen and decrypted by a hacker. Or even a government. On top of this, Ledger’s firmware is closed-source, so nobody knows what it’s actually doing. One of the Ledger co-founders made an apology about the whole thing, but it went down like a lead balloon. So that’s where we are now.
Air Gapped Wallet Users Start To Panic
Now prior to all this, Ledger was one of the trusted hardware wallet brands for storing cryptocurrency, the other being Trezor. But people still worry about which hardware wallets they can trust now. Fortunately, our friends at The Bitcoin Hole have made a website where you can compare hardware wallet features and go to the manufacturer’s link to buy the one you like. So let’s briefely list the safest air gapped wallets for 2023 and beyond.
Best Air Gapped Wallets of 2023
The hardware wallets you should be using, going forward, are:
- Foundation Passport
I’m not going to review these wallets in great detail, to make things short. All of the important details are on the Bitcoin Hole website. All of these hardware wallet are open-source and support the Lightning Network, allowing you to make payments rather quickly. They also let you, the user, back up your seed phrase without sending it to anyone’s cloud. And they all have great support for most platforms and hardware wallets.
There is one more air gapped wallet I want to mention – the AirGap Vault app. This is a mobile app for iOS and Android that turns your old phone into a cold storage by turning off the networking. It works by utilizing the secure chip present inside most phones, and storing the private keys and seed phrases there. You can find out more about this project on www.airgap.it.
Some crazy things are happening to wallets these days, so it is best for you to use a hardware wallet to keep your funds safe. See you next time!