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The Ellipal Cold Wallet 2.0 is totally isolated from the internet. It costs $149 and will erase your data James Bond-style after too many password attempts. (Don’t worry, you can still recover your funds afterward.) Here’s what we think of it.
And at the end of this review, we’ll be giving away a free copy of the Ellipal Cold Wallet 2.0! Read on to learn more.
Ellipal Cold Wallet 2.0: The Hardware
The Cold Wallet 2.0 takes a different approach to wallet design. It’s not a mobile wallet, and it’s not a USB device like the Trezor or Ledger Nano X, which are some of the best cryptocurrency wallets available.
This wallet looks like a touchscreen phone from 5-10 years ago. It’s chunky at 4.7 x 2.6 x 0.4 inches and weighs 3.8 ounces. The 4-inch screen and 5-megapixel camera won’t be a match for any modern smartphone, but are more than good enough for a hardware wallet.
You won’t find any Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or mobile connections, and the Micro-USB port is only used for charging the built-in battery, which is large enough to last 650 hours in standby mode. This wallet supports BTC, ETH, XRP, DGB, DASH, LTC, ETC, USDT, CMT, hundreds of other ERC-20 tokens, and more tokens are being added all the time. You update the wallet through a microSD card slot underneath the rear case.
This wallet works through the companion mobile app and by scanning QR codes. There is no risk of getting hacked, or a virus stealing your keys, as this wallet is not connected to the Internet. You can’t connect it to your computer, and after several incorrect passwords, the wallet will erase itself.
If you lose it, damage it, or it wipes itself, you can still recover your coins with your secure mnemonic—but the downside is, you’ll need to purchase a new wallet. Your private keys are internally encrypted, and multi-stage passwords mean that nobody will be guessing their way in.
Inside the box, you’ll find the Cold Wallet 2.0 (suitably named “EC-01”). You’ll also find a USB charging cable, warranty card, stickers, and mnemonic sheet, to write your recovery keys on.
The hardware feels nice and premium. Textured buttons and a raised camera compliment the dark gray color scheme. The bezels are chunky, but remember, this is a hardware wallet and not a mobile phone! The full-color touchscreen lets you quickly and easily configure the wallet.
Ellipal Cold Wallet 2.0: The Software
You get started by installing the Ellipal app. Unfortunately, once installed, I encountered a problem right away: it requires you to agree to its terms and conditions, but no matter how much reading, scrolling, and clicking I did, I could not check the box to continue. Eventually (presumably after enough time had passed to “read the whole agreement”), the box unlocked and I could continue. This is frustrating, and shouldn’t be an issue in 2018!
Once in, I created an account. You can do this either on the wallet itself or on the app. You’ll need to configure all the usual security settings, but it’s a simple process:
- Coin type: The type of cryptocurrency you want to store.
- Username: A basic account username.
- Password: A strong password for your account!
- Mnemonic: An auto-generated recovery seed.
Ellipal forces you to use a “strong” password, containing at least an uppercase letter, a number, and a symbol, along with a minimum length. You’ll need to confirm this, then you’ll see an automatically generated mnemonic. Write this down, and then you’ll need to enter it in again, to ensure you’ve got it stored correctly.
This is pretty standard practice for wallets, but it’s so easy here! You don’t have to type out every character, you drag and drop the words into the right order. Other wallets, take note.
Once ready, you link up the app and wallet by scanning the QR code. It’s super-simple, and while the tiny touchscreen may give you some trouble, you’ll be all done and ready to go in less than ten minutes!
The app is fantastic to use. I use an Android phone, but the whole experience is great. The app is fast and polished. It never crashed and is simple and easy to use.
The wallet itself appears to be running Android, and the software is equally as easy to use. Big buttons and clear writing provide easy access to everything you need. As this is an offline wallet, you’ll need to use it with the mobile app. The app handles the exchange and transfer of funds, but the wallet itself hangs on to private keys, so nobody can hijack your account.
I sent $1 worth of Bitcoin (big spender, I know) to my new address, and once confirmed, it arrived in my account without any issues. (Not sure how this works? Read our quick start guide to cryptocurrency). As you’d expect, the app shows transaction history and total balance.
When it’s time to send money, you’ll need to get the wallet involved. By using the app you enter the address, amount, and fee etc. You then generate a QR code which the wallet can read. Switching to the wallet, confirm the transaction details, and then generate another QR code, which your phone reads. By using QR codes for any communication between the wallet and app, there’s almost zero chance of getting hacked, or a virus stealing your coins. It’s a brilliant idea and works very well.
Even if everything goes wrong, the wallet breaks, gets stolen, or wiped by too many password attempts, you can always recover your account through the Mnemonic.
Ellipal Cold Wallet 2.0: Is It Worth Your Bitcoin?
The Ellipal Cold Wallet 2.0 is a wonderful device, but one that’s difficult to recommend. It’s a well-built product, with a brilliant app and software interface. It’s affordable, and its QR-code only security system is a brilliant idea.
Unfortunately, until this wallet undergoes a third-party security audit (something the makers are open to), or until everyone uses it and they gain a trusted reputation, it’s still very much an unknown. While I doubt Ellipal will pull a fast one and steal your funds, what happens if they release a new product? Or go bankrupt? Who will support the wallet then? How often will Ellipal release software updates for upcoming cryptocurrency forks? These problems aren’t unique to Ellipal, but they are things you should consider when using any wallet.
Based on my experiences so far, I’m happy using this wallet, but you should consider the risks for yourself. If you’re still interested, you can grab the Ellipal Cold Wallet 2.0 for $149—or enter our giveaway below to get one for free!