A lot has changed with Bitcoin in the last year.
A year ago there were debates about whether it might have already peaked, and whether it really had the potential to become more useful than it already was. Investors were uncertain, users weren’t quite sure where to find opportunities, and the future was generally foggy. But what a difference a year or so can make.
In the past six to twelve months we’ve seen a lot of changes working together to spark more usage and a higher value for the leading cryptocurrency. The biggest story was probably that the Far East more or less got on board. Japan established new regulation that actually made it easier for citizens and companies to embrace Bitcoin usage, and China eased some restrictions as well. That naturally opens up a couple of massive markets where more Bitcoin usage can increase demand and drive up the price for cryptocurrency.
Other changes have happened with no regard to government regulation. Most notably, some major industries have embraced cryptocurrency for deposits and payments. It’s been noted that online casinos, which do a massive amount of business worldwide, are welcoming Bitcoin transactions due to stellar privacy and security, and that means more demand and more activity as well. And several large-scale internet retail companies have made similar decisions.
These and other changes have led to skyrocketing Bitcoin value, enthusiastic investor interest, and something of a frenzy about cryptocurrency in 2017. That means more people are getting curious about getting their hands on some of these digital coins, and that in turn means you may want to start looking into your wallet options.
Generally speaking a Bitcoin wallet is a program or device that stores “private keys,” which you can use to access your digital Bitcoin when you’re conducting a transaction. The majority of wallets these days operate on mobile devices or desktop computers. But if you’re the type to enjoy your gadgets, and you prefer something physical when keeping track of your finances, you might want to look into what are often referred to as “hardware wallets.” These are small, physical tools that store keys and can be used in conjunction with computers and mobile devices.
Here are the ones you should know about in 2017.
Ledger Nano S
This is probably what most would call the premiere hardware wallet on the market these days. It’s mentioned in just about every article about these types of devices, and was ranked first on a short list by a cryptocurrency site. It’s essentially a tiny flash drive with the added benefits of a tiny display screen (which is not common on hardware wallets) and built-in backup. It’s not merely a utility, but rather a pleasure to use, which gadget lovers should appreciate.
This is probably the most popular alternative to the Ledger Nano S, and has actually been on the market longer. It too gets a lot of recognition in discussions about Bitcion hardware wallets, and with good reason. It’s easy to use, and its company has a proven reliable track record. The downside is that it’s significantly more expensive than the Ledger Nano S and some of its other competitors.
KeepKey actually has a larger screen than the Ledger Nano S, which will certainly be appealing to some users. It works similarly as well. Though some find that it’s almost a little bit inconvenient, as it’s almost the size of a small smartphone, rather than a USB stick.
There are other options you can find and buy as well. But almost anywhere you look, these are the three that come up first, and they’re definitely the most proven devices on the market. If you’re interested in using Bitcoin but you haven’t gotten around to it yet, these devices can actually make it somewhat fun to get started.