Bitcoin btc
$ usd

7 Best Ledger Wallet Alternatives for Crypto Storage in 2023

13 mins
19 May 2023, 12:29 GMT+0000
Updated by May Woods
26 May 2023, 13:08 GMT+0000

Once thought to be one of the most secure options for securing your crypto, the Ledger hardware wallet, especially the Nano X, is under fire as of May 2023. Having assessed public sentiments and researched the entire market for credible Ledger wallet alternatives, we have zeroed in on seven strong Ledger alternatives.

Before we proceed with detailed wallet reviews, let us understand why many are considering other self-custody options for their crypto. Here’s why each of these listed wallets might be a better option for safely storing crypto than Ledger’s hardware offerings. 

BeInCrypto Trading Community in Telegram: read reviews on the best cold & hot wallets, get the hottest news on crypto, read technical analysis on coins & get answers to all your questions from PRO traders & experts!

Join now

Why is Ledger in the crosshairs of the crypto community?

ledger nano s vs x cover

Ledger continues to be a market leader when crypto hardware wallets are concerned. Yet, for a number of reasons, the crypto community is turning its back on Ledger.

The controversial firmware update

Ledger’s new firmware upgrade — v2.21 — introduces a subscription-based seed phrase recovery feature — “Recover.” As convenient as this might sound, it gives the company the option to have parts of the “seed phrase” handy, which to many feels like a breach of trust. Especially in a crypto space that hinges on “trustlessness.”

“Today, we’re proud to announce Ledger Recover, an upcoming and optional service for users who want a fully secure backup of their Secret Recovery Phrase.”

Pascal Gauthier, CEO of Ledger: Twitter

Ledger previously mentioned that users’ private keys would never leave the secure element chip. Some crypto folks believe that the new “Recover” feature doesn’t align with that.

User-registration 

Pseudonomity is a huge deal in crypto. Yet, Ledger’s new wallet update makes ID-based user registration a mandate for users to access the “Recover” functionality. Do note that the user registration, in this case, will need a government-issued identity card — signifying further privacy erosion.

The gimmicky necklace

In April 2023, Ledger faced a similar criticism, albeit on a smaller scale, when it flaunted its hardware wallet necklace. This move bewildered many as a stylish necklace is bound to attract theft. 

Furthermore, Ledger has suffered a number of data security breaches, with nearly 270,000 physical user addresses being freely shared in 2020 alone. And despite the breach, the response to it, especially from the CEO, felt quite underwhelming. 

As of now, the firmware update only extends to Ledger’s Nano X wallet but may be extended to other offerings. And while Ledger, including the CEO, has defended its new offering, mentioning that security implementations like Liveness detection are in place, the community hasn’t taken to it kindly.

“You’re saying this is not what customers want. Actually, this is what future customers want.”.This is the way that the next hundreds of millions of people will actually onboard to crypto.”

Pascal Gauthier, CEO of Ledger: Twitter Spaces

It should be stressed that the feature is “optional” and not forced. 

Here is a thread that captures the technical and implementational elements of this feature:

Ledger wallet alternatives to consider

If the current direction of Ledger disconcerts you, do not fear. There are other hardware options on the market. Here are some solid Ledger wallet alternatives to look at: 

1. Trezor: Best in terms of global positioning

What is it, and how does it work?

Like a standard hardware wallet, Trezor provides secure storage for your crypto. Moreover, Trezor wallets aim to dissociate your private keys from online exposure by using the device itself and the wallet interface — a web-based app. 

Ledger wallet alternatives: Trezor
Ledger wallet alternatives: Trezor

Trezor, in 2023, continues to follow the quintessential approach to hardware wallet setups with standard key pair initialization, recovery seed generation, a two-interface transaction signing gig, and the PIN-Passphrase combo for additional security.

Highlights

  • Seamless UI
  • Supports a diverse range of cryptos, with the Model One supporting almost 1300 cryptos and Model T closing in on almost 1500 assets
  • Model T features the “Shamir Backup” functionality, allowing users to have a 16-way share feature activated for your seed phrase. This way, your seed phrase isn’t stored in one place but is shared across locations. 

What makes it better than Ledger?

Unlike Ledger, Trezor’s software is open-source, making critical changes community-centric and hence more transparent. Also, setting up or using Trezor wallets does not require legacy user registrations using IDs.

Moving to specifics, Ledger uses the Secure Element chip — a security implementation that needs specific agreements and stops it from being open source. Trezor uses the STM32 microcontroller that is open to community-based audits. 

Hits

  • Open-source wallet with firmware and software that people can contribute towards
  • The built-in security module hinges on one microcontroller and isn’t a dual-chip setup. 
  • Top-tier models can support close to 1500 cryptocurrencies.

Misses

  • No built-in app or Bluetooth support
  • Doesn’t actively support staking
  • Doesn’t offer direct NFT management 

2. Safepal: Best for QR code support

What is it, and how does it work?

SafePal’s crypto storage suite extends to hardware and even software offerings, with one app — the SafePal app — managing all. Note that it is a conglomerate backed by Binance Labs and best known for the S1 hardware wallet. 

SafePal:
Ledger wallet alternatives: SafePal

The wallet operation is simple, with activation generating a pool of keys. Plus, the recovery seed still needs to be written down, whereas the transactions via wallets follow a QR-code-based offline approach to minimize online threats. And yes, the PIN-passphrase combo continues to exist even here. 

Highlights

  • QR-code access and a mobile-first approach ensure that the wallet itself isn’t overexposed and is always air-gapped.
  • SafePal’s usability extends to 20 blockchains, NFTs, and over 10,000 tokens. 
  • As for security, there is a dedicated Cypher “Seed Protection” board to safeguard mnemonic phrases from corrosion, fire, and water. This board can work with other hardware wallets from Trezor and Ledger. 

What makes it better than Ledger?

While Ledger offers the “Recover” feature to have a cloud-like backup for seed phrases, SafePal does better with its proprietary “self-destruct” feature. Also, while you need to plug in Ledger wallets to a PC for transactions, SafePal’s QR functionality is via a mobile device and can be used offline. 

Hits

  • Cost-effective wallet
  • In association with Travala and Rarible

Misses

  • Doesn’t support some trending cryptos like TRON, EOS, and more
  • QR-based usage might feel a tad cumbersome 
  • Not an open-source wallet

3. Ballet wallet: Best paper-like Ledger alternative

What is it, and how it works?

The Ballet wallet feels like a standard, thick credit card and is supposed to work like a paper wallet. Founded by Bobby Lee, the Ballet wallet is simple to understand and use. The wallet only houses a QR code sticker on its front, which is the receiving address of your BTC. 

Ballet wallet and the Ledger alternative
Ledger alternative: Ballet wallet

In simple terms, the Ballet Wallet is supposed to be a bearer instrument. The product itself is made of 304-Grade stainless steel. And while it is primarily marketed as a bitcoin hardware wallet, it can accommodate other tokens when the card is used alongside Ballet’s phone or desktop wallet.

Highlights

  • The best thing about the Ballet wallet is its uncomplicated setup. 
  • Users can always be in possession of the card without ever needing to plugin in anywhere. 
  • Plus, the QR code approach for checking balances is seamless and effortless. 

What makes it better than Ledger?

It is the unique physical-only design that makes the Ballet wallet stand out. You do not need complex wallet apps and chip-based setups to get started, as the wallet itself feels like a “physical bearer” instrument. And yes, as it looks like a credit card, you can slot it within your physical wallet or the car dashboard if needed. It isn’t fancy enough to be worn as a necklace. 

Hits

  • No need for cumbersome frills regarding two-factor authentication
  • Looks and works like a standard paper wallet with QR functionality
  • Can be carried around without being noticed
  • No worries about software-specific breaches
  • Perfect for crypto beginners

Misses

  • As it is a bearer instrument, losing the Ballet wallet means forsaking funds forever.
  • The keys are not exactly on the metallic surface but engraved on the plastic sticker, which makes them prone to scratches, wear-and-tear, and heat-based damage.
  • Transactions still need to move through the Ballet app and hence aren’t completely offline.

4. NGrave: Best for experienced holders

What is it, and how does it work?

NGrave wallets emerged in 2020, with the company tagging itself the “Coldest” wallet ever. NGrave ZERO — the wallet in consideration — never connects to the internet, Bluetooth, or anything that can comprise the security. Instead, it also uses the QR-code approach coupled with a mobile app that can process offline transactions.

NGRave as one of the popular Ledger wallet alternatives
Ledger wallet alternative: NGrave

Highlights

  • The device resembles a military-level mobile.
  • The first wallet to be EAL7-certified
  • Comes with a built-in ARM TrustZone — an integrity verifier that checks for security threats
  • Comes with a unique feature — the NGRave Perfect Key — which generates private keys securely.

What makes it better than Ledger?

Ledger wallets, even without the current set of criticisms, are EAL5-certified. NGRave, with its EAL7 certification, edges past that standard. Plus, unlike Ledger, NGRave wallets can be used without connecting to physical devices or the internet. Only the app connects to the internet and only when you choose to broadcast a transaction to the blockchain. 

Unlike Ledger, which now backs up seed phrases to the cloud (as an optional feature courtesy of the “Recover” update), NGRave uses a physical solution. With NGRave Graphene, steel plates, and hole patterns are used to keep your seed phrase handy. Completely offline and with no cloud. 

Hits

  • Comes with a secure element chip
  • Features a tamper-proof layout
  • Completely offline usage is allowed
  • Touch-interface is interactive

Misses

  • Premium price point
  • You still need an additional mobile app — the NGrave Liquid — to do your blockchain bidding. 

5. Grid.Plus Wallet: Best for EVM interactions 

What is it, and how does it work?

GridPlus’s Lattice 1 is a programmable hardware wallet that can help you store a wide range of digital assets, courtesy of its unique connectivity traits. 

Importantly, the Lattice 1 from GridPlus isolates your private keys — protecting your assets even if an attacker gains control of the physical device. 

Grid Plus Lattice 1
Ledger alternatives: Grid Plus Lattice 1

Highlights

  • It can serve as a functional Ethereum node and direct blockchain interactions.
  • Has an initiative touch interface courtesy of a 5-inch TFT screen
  • Comes with a proprietary SDK for developers to build on top of it
  • Pin-protected Safecards in existence

What makes it better than Ledger?

First of all, with Lattice 1, there is no need to register using government-specific documents or any document whatsoever. And the unique Safecard-feature with PIN support ensures account recovery, unlike Ledger’s new cloud-based initiative. Plus, any intrusion attempt associated with the Lattice can trigger a complete data wipe — adding to the failsafe mechanism.

Hits

  • Comes with a secure computing environment supporting programmability
  • Safecards allow you to move seamlessly between different wallet accounts
  • Offers a wide range of connectivity-focused traits, including Wi-Fi and USB.

Misses

  • On the expensive side
  • Feature-rich UI isn’t suitable for crypto beginners
  • Power outlet need, minimizing portability
  • For accessing the Ethereum EVM chain, Lattice 1 still needs the MetaMask extension.

6. Coldcard: Best Ledger alternative for failsafe features

What is it, and how does it work?

There are many wallets with multi-crypto and blockchain access. But if you seek a wallet only for your BTC, nothing beats Coldcard’s utility. Developed by Coinkite in 2019, the Coldcard wallet MK4 (the most popular) is intended to stay completely offline and boasts a tamper-proof secure element processor. 

Did you know? Coinkite is one of the leading hardware global wallet players. The company released Tapsinger — an NFC-powered Bitcoin wallet — in 2022. 


Major hardware wallet players: Mordor Intelligence
Major hardware wallet players: Mordor Intelligence

Setting up and using the wallet is easy. Once you initialize, the wallet generates your private and public keys, followed by the 24-word seed phrase. You still need to write the seed phrase securely. In terms of transaction signing, Coldcard’s M4 uses the PBST technique — Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions — allowing you to use an SD card to load details into the wallet and then use the private key to sign.

 Coldcard MK4
Ledger wallet alternatives: Coldcard MK4

Highlights

  • Uncompromising security in the absence of internet connectivity
  • One of the best Ledger wallet alternatives with a bitcoin focus 
  • Truly air-gapped
  • Comes with an optional passphrase and PIN protection
  • Comes with a Brick-me-Pin as a failsafe, data-wiping arrangement
  • Boasts a “Duress Pin” functionality to mislead attackers

What makes it better than Ledger?

For starters, Coldcardworks without any form of internet access. Plus, there is no need to plug in this hardware wallet to any computer, unlike Ledger devices that look and act like pen drives. Also, as of now, there is no need to register using legacy documents. 

Hits

  • Offers multi-signature steps
  • Transparent operation and tamper-proof
  • Secure element chips like the ones in credit card
  • Comes loaded with a “Login Countdown” feature to delay access during stressful times.
  • Features two unique anti-phishing words. 

Misses

  • BTC-only hardware wallet
  • SD card transfer means the user needs to carry another physical device
  • No touchscreen

7. KeepKey: Best Ledger alternative in terms of display

What is it, and how does it work?

The KeepKey wallet from ShapeShift dates back to 2015 and works with a wide range of cryptocurrencies. The idea is that private user keys are kept completely offline.

Ledger alternative KeepKey
Ledger alternative: KeepKey

While KeepKey wallet initialization and seed phrase handling remain the same, transaction signing requires access to KeepKey’s Chrome browser extension or third-party software integrations. And even though an internet connection is needed, the signing happens within the wallet securely. Also, a KeepKey DApp guarantees safer access. 

Highlights

  • Large display
  • Sleek design and easy to carry
  • Supports bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum, and other popular cryptos
  • Can support limitless wallet addresses
  • Lets you customize transaction speeds

What makes it better than Ledger?

KeepKey keeps things simple. It doesn’t offer any seed phrase-backing-up feature. Plus, setting up the wallet doesn’t require any government-authorized ID.

Hits

  • The OLED screen is easy to view
  • A minimal device with a solid build
  • A lower price point than other Ledger alternatives
  • Allows you to interact directly with the ShapeShift exchange

Misses

  • Not the most portable device around
  • Doesn’t include secure element processors for enhanced security
  • Crypto spread is lower compared to others on the list
  • Lacks NFT support

Honorary mentions: other Ledger wallet alternatives to consider

The seven Ledger wallet alternatives that we discussed offer a solid variety for users. And while the mentioned ones are slowly moving up the popularity charts, here are a few more — both hardware and software wallets — that offer advantages over Ledger wallets.

  1. Exodus wallet

Exodus is a software or rather a hot wallet with no hardware requirement. There is no need to provide registration and identification details. Plus, the Exodus wallet supports 100+ digital assets and also has built-in exchange support to facilitate quick trades.

  1. CoolWallet S

CoolWallet is strictly hardware, designed like a credit card, and allows smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth. It is water-resistant, brings biometric authentication into the mix, and doesn’t require ID-based registrations. CoolWallet S — the most popular BTC hardware wallet from the brand — is water-resistant and even tamper-proof. 

  1. ELLIPAL wallet

Consider the ELLIPAL wallet if you seek an air-gapped solution for your crypto storage needs in 2023. There is no need for cables or even Bluetooth connectivity. And even though the ELLIPAL wallet is a tad bulky, its large screen makes up for this minor issue.

  1. Coinbase Wallet

This is an exchange-based wallet with no need for separate registration. And while standard KYC rules hold and there is still internet access involved courtesy of it being a hot wallet, the Coinbase Wallet trumps others due to its support for ERC-20 tokens and a wide range of crypto assets.

Is it time to look beyond the Ledger?

Ledger is still one of the market leaders when hardware self-custody crypto wallets are concerned. However, considering Ledger wallet alternatives makes sense if the company moves towards a more centralized approach (as its direction in 2023 indicates). And while we have prepared a detailed list for you, it all boils down to the features you seek from your wallet. 

From different kinds of seed phrase backup options offered to more card-like form factors — this extensive list of Ledger wallet alternatives has a hero for every season. 

Frequently asked questions

What is the alternative to the Ledger wallet?

Trezor, NGRave, and Coldcard wallets all offer excellent user-specific and privacy-related features. While Trezor, from SatoshiLabs, is one of the clear market leaders in the hardware wallet segment, NGRave is easily one of the more resilient options for hardcore and experienced crypto holders. And with ColdCard, you can focus on BTC’s secure storage without having to worry about accidental or forced compromises.

Is MetaMask Wallet better than Ledger?

MetaMask and Ledger are two different kinds of self-custody crypto wallets. While MetaMask is a software wallet requiring internet access, Ledger, with its support for close to 1500 cryptos, is a cold storage option for long-term holders. However, with Ledger recently attracting a lot of criticism due to its “Recover” feature stressing cloud-based seed phrase recovery, MetaMask might just be a more palatable option for certain parts of the crypto community. Note that in early 2023, Consensys, the parent firm behind Metamask, also faced some backlash due to privacy concerns.

Is Ledger the best wallet?

Tagging Ledger as the best wallet provider for crypto self-custody isn’t accurate, as there are many excellent players in this keenly contested space. However, for a long time, Ledger has been considered a top wallet choice courtesy of its ability to offer direct staking, support for NFTs, and access to over 5,500 cryptos across chains. Also, after the recent criticism faced by Ledger due to its ID-based registration for a cloud-based seed phrase recovery feature, many in the crypot community have been looking at some Ledger wallet alternatives. Trezor and SafePal are both popular options.

Do I really need Ledger wallet?

You might just need a Ledger wallet if you are a long-term holder of many cryptocurrencies and digital assets. But then, if in 2023, you are looking for complete autonomy and pseudonymity, you might want to consider other hardware wallets instead.

Can a Ledger be hacked?

There is no fool-proof security system around, but Ledger still does a great job by encrypting customer details via a secure element chip. However, previous instances of data breaches corresponding to Ledger wallets have occurred. Also, with the new ID-based seed phrase recovery feature, a lot of users are skeptical that there would be third parties involved — opening a backdoor for hackers and breachers.

Disclaimer

In line with the Trust Project guidelines, the educational content on this website is offered in good faith and for general information purposes only. BeInCrypto prioritizes providing high-quality information, taking the time to research and create informative content for readers. While partners may reward the company with commissions for placements in articles, these commissions do not influence the unbiased, honest, and helpful content creation process. Any action taken by the reader based on this information is strictly at their own risk.

Sponsored
Sponsored