Like a wallet that stores cash, cryptocurrencies are held in a type of wallet. Well, not the actual cryptocurrencies, but what’s called your private keys. Private keys are like your digital signature – they give you access to your cryptocurrencies native to the blockchain. Whoever has access to your private keys has access to your cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency wallets store private keys.
Should I leave my cryptocurrency on an exchange?
Cryptocurrency exchanges are one of the most convenient and straightforward places to buy, sell and store your funds. However, they aren’t always very secure. When you leave your funds on an exchange, often called a hot wallet, you’re trusting that they’ll be kept safe. In the crypto space, there have been many devastating stories of people losing life-changing amounts of cryptocurrencies that they’d been keeping on an exchange.
→ Related: Bitcoin Wallets: Everything You Need to Know
What are hardware cryptocurrency wallets?
Hardware wallets are the recommended way of storing cryptocurrencies. They are physical devices that are completely offline and disconnected from any automated systems. Some hardware wallets are more complex and include more features than others, which is something to consider depending on how new you are to the crypto space.
The most popular and trusted hardware wallet providers are Ledger and Trezor. All Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets can support over 1000 cryptocurrencies.
How do you set up a hardware wallet?
When setting up a hardware wallet, you will receive a 24-word seed phrase. We strongly recommend writing the seed phrase on paper with a pen and storing it somewhere safe. If you lose this phrase, there is almost always no way to regain access to your wallet.
Best crypto wallet for beginners
We recommend starting with these crypto wallets if you’re new to the crypto space and prefer a safe, relatively easy-to-use storage solution.
Ledger Nano S ($129*)
The Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular wallets, known for its simple usability, competitive retail pricing, and support for over 30 cryptocurrencies, including all ERC-20 tokens.
Your private keys are stored in a tamper-proof memory area protected by a PIN that must be physically entered on the device to access it. The device also connects to your computer via a micro-USB connection.
Trezor One ($169*)
The Trezor One features PIN protection, an in-built screen, USB connectivity and seed phrase recovery. It uses push buttons to navigate and send transactions.
It is the cheapest option of the Trezor wallet range and includes sophisticated security features, such as a password manager and Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) authentication.
Best crypto wallets for the more advanced
If you’re after more advanced functionality from a wallet – such as the ability to support more cryptocurrencies – we recommend the below crypto wallets.
Ledger Nano X ($229*)
The Ledger Nano X is based on the same security principles as the Nano S, except it comes with a more powerful chip and integrated Bluetooth, making it compatible with smartphones or tablets via the Ledger Live mobile app.
It also comes with end-to-end encryption, ensuring all data on the Ledger Nano X remains private. Compared to the Ledger Nano S, the Nano X has a larger screen with higher resolution and greater storage capacity.
Trezor Model T ($479*)
The Trezor Model T is Trezor’s premium hardware wallet. Building on the Trezor One, it supports the same cryptocurrencies plus others such as EOS, Cardano and Tezos.
The device has a colour touchscreen, additional compatibility with a USB-C connector and MicroSD card slot, and enhanced security features. Your recovery seed phrase is never entered on your computer, only the device itself to ensure your cryptocurrencies are secure.
Remember, protecting your cryptocurrency is entirely on you. Should you lose your cryptocurrency because of an exchange hack, for example, there’s almost always no central body that can get them back for you. That’s why it’s strongly recommend using a crypto wallet.
* Prices from retailers websites, current as of 24/11/21. Further information on pricing can be found at individual retailer websites. This should be used as a guide and not considered an actual quote.
Where to buy Crypto in NZ
The display order does not reflect any ranking or rating by Canstar. The table does not include all providers in the market.
|Provider||Fiat Currencies||Bitcoin||Other Currencies||Est.|
|Easy Crypto||NZD, AUD||Yes||100+||2018|
|Independent Reserve||NZD, AUD, USA||Yes||24||2013|
This information is not an endorsement by Canstar of cryptocurrency or any specific provider. Canstar is providing factual information supplied by providers. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks. Canstar is not providing a recommendation for your individual circumstances or in relation to any particular product or provider.
About the reviewer of this page
This report was reviewed by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.