Both hardware wallets are intended for the public ranging from beginners to advanced. The initialization phase of the wallets is identical in both cases:
- Updating the device’s firmware
- Creating a wallet
- Creating a backup seed phrase
- Creating a PIN for the device
It’s something everyone can do. Ledger wallets offer an additional step with the installation of the Ledger Live App, which can be downloaded and installed like any other app and includes a built-in crypto exchange where users can trade different currencies. Trezor wallets interact with a computer through a Web-based interface on MyTrezor.com.
Trezor and Ledger wallets keep your Bitcoin in cold storage, which means that everything is stored offline, safe from hackers. To enhance security, Ledger uses Secure Element Chips. These are the same chips used in passports, SIM cards, or credit cards. The important thing to remember here is that all of these hardware wallets are still much more secure than any hot wallet.
Both wallets have a display screen. The screens are larger in Trezor, which allows you to see more lines of text. Those with vision problems may prefer Trezor’s large color screens. This makes it easier to check addresses. The Ledger wallet screen does not support color. Text larger than the screen size will scroll slowly so you can read it all. This is not something that I think is critical, but it may be important for some users.
In terms of design, Ledger’s wallets look like a USB stick and may look better.
Both wallets support a whole bunch of cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin. The small exception on the Trezor side is that the device does not allow you to store XRP. Again, this isn’t important to me, but if you’re planning to buy XRP someday, it’s good to take it into account when deciding. Finally, it’s easier to interact with Ethereum or ERC-20 tokens, traded on the Ethereum Blockchain, with Ledger wallets. The support does not require any additional phase as with Trezor wallets.
Price-wise, the Ledger Nano S is slightly cheaper at $55, compared to $70 for the Trezor One. Prices are more expensive with the higher-end models: the Ledger Nano X currently costs $149, compared to $215 for the Trezor Model T. A notable price difference.
With these high-end models, you’ll be able to store even more cryptocurrencies. The Ledger Nano X supports a mobile app for both Android and iOS, is battery-powered, supports up to 100 cryptos at once, and has a larger screen. If you trade, this is probably a better choice than the Nano S. The Trezor Model T supports more cryptocurrencies than the Trezor One, can also be used as a password manager, and also works as a U2F (universal second-factor) hardware token that generates one-time passwords for an extra layer of security on supported apps and websites. These are features that go beyond Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Verdict: top-notch security products, with small differences that will give supporters of one brand or another
I may disappoint you, but since both products are top-notch in terms of security, which is the most important thing to me, I’m not going to steer you towards one or the other. Beyond security, the differences will depend on your preferences and profile.
The Trezor’s larger, colorful screen will appeal to some, while the built-in crypto exchange of the Ledger’s wallets will give others more ease of use. The design of the Trezor One will leave something to be desired for others compared to the USB stick look of the Ledger Nano S which with its stainless steel body will be more durable.
The fact that Trezor does not support XRP and requires additional configuration steps for Ethereum or ERC-20 tokens may be a deal-breaker for some. Finally, others may not like having to install an additional application with the Ledger Live App.
The important thing is that you have very good products to take responsibility for the security of your Bitcoin, which is an essential thing. Finally, you should know that Block, Jack Dorsey’s company, is currently working on defining a hardware wallet with a user-oriented approach since the community is being asked throughout the design process.
So we might have a third player that will revolutionize this market in a few months. To be continued!