Anyone who uses cryptocurrencies should consider getting a wallet to store them after buying from the exchange. Storing your tokens on the exchange is like leaving your money at the money changer – there is a risk of getting hacked/robbed. Having bought my first bit of crypto, the next step was to find a way to store it safely.
This isn’t the place to compare the types of wallets available, suffice to say, pick a secure wallet that suits your needs. I followed the prevailing wisdom and decided to get a hardware wallet.
Comparing hardware wallets
As a bargain hunter, I always look for the best deal. For me, a good hardware wallet has 2 criteria: value-for-money features and good security. Having compared the more established brands on the market, I decided to buy a Ledger Nano S (NB: they did not sponsor this post).
What a deal!
When buying hardware wallets from third-party retailers, there is a risk your tokens might be stolen if the wallet was compromised. Despite this, I stubbornly believed third parties like Amazon would give me a better deal than the official store. Buying through authorised distributors listed by Ledger and checking the seller’s reputation, I thought, would help eliminate this risk.
After confirming my order for a nice 20% discount on the list price including shipping, I happily awaited delivery. When I finally opened the package, my heart dropped. Although the product was “New”, the package was slightly worn and looked re-sealed. There were small scuff marks on the documentation and wallet that set off alarm bells, though no red flags like a written recovery sheet.
To return or not to return?
These weren’t deal breakers though, so I decided to verify whether the wallet was genuine before returning it. Stepping through the process on Ledger’s website, the box contents and start-up screen checked off.
Next, I wanted to make sure the hardware had not been tampered with, so I opened the wallet (do note that this voids the refund/return policy). I gingerly pried open the back cover to compare the circuit board & elements against imagesof the different production versions. Once again, everything was ok.
For the last steps, I installed Ledger Live on my computer and connected the wallet. After some set up, the software verified that the wallet was genuine. I ran the secure element attestation code on Command and breathed a sigh of relief as the output read “GENUINE”. Finally, I felt (somewhat) confident to deposit my tokens.
What did I takeaway?
- Verification is not worth it. Although steps are detailed and intuitive, the hassle and voiding of returns makes the verification process not worth the time and effort. Save yourself the worries and…
- Buy direct from manufacturer. Unlike other consumer goods, the potential risks from knock-off crypto products far outweigh the initial savings. A deal that is too good to be true is probably that: not true.