KeepKey was launched in 2014 and later bought over by Shapeshift in 2017. Since its change in ownership, KepKey has grown to be one of the most popular hardware wallets right after Trezor and Ledger wallets.
Over the course of this review, we will be looking at basic KeepKey features, how to set up as well as use the wallet, and important security best practices to keep in mind when using this device.
Basic KeepKey Features
KeepKey comes in a 0.23 x 0.11 x 0.06 inches frame and weighs about 1.7 ounces, this size gives a large and sturdy feel, when compared to wallets like the Trezor and Ledger Nano.
At the time of writing, KeepKey supports over 40 cryptocurrencies and is relatively affordable, when compared to other prominent hardware wallets.
The KeepKey wallet comes boxed with a USB cable for connection to a P.C, and a sheet for writing out the recovery seed phrase, for wallet recovery.
Setting up Keepkey wallet
To get started, visit the KeepKey web wallet page or install the KeepKey browser extension and connect your PC to the hardware wallet using the USB cable boxed with the device. You will be required to update the firmware before use.
Note that, as of the time of writing, KeepKey does not endorse its earlier browser extension following several adulterations of its extension.
That being said, click on the KeepKey icon, on the ShapeShift webpage on your PC browser (this page is still in the beta stage as at the time of writing), to initialize and generate your mnemonic key on the hardware device. To proceed with initializing, click on Initialize KeepKey, Input a label. The label serves as a title for that particular hardware wallet, to distinguish it from others assuming you have others in your collection.
After initializing, click on “Set label” to proceed with setting your pin. To set the pin, click on the pin pad, on the ShapeShift webpage. Click on “choose pin” on the PC. After that, you will be required to validate the pin you have chosen. To do this, you will need to confirm the pin by inputting it again and click on “Confirm pin” on the PC.
Note that the order of the pin pad on the hardware will not be the same with every new entry.
After this, a 12-word-recovery phrase will appear on your KeepKey device. Make sure you write it down on the card or any sheet and keep it safe.
How to receive cryptocurrencies on KeepKey
Once your KeepKey device has been initialized, you can now send and receive funds using the wallet. For the sake of this review, we will be assuming you want to fund your KeepKey BTC wallet.
There are two ways to do this; which is by using the QR code on the hardware wallet or by converting the QR code to an alphanumeric receiving address using the KeepKey mobile wallet or any wallet that converts QR code to an alphanumeric text format.
To use the QR code, click on “Receive Bitcoin”, scan the QR code, through your mobile wallet, input the amount you want to send from your wallet, and set your transaction fee based on your expected delivery time, on a scale of fast to slow on the web app interface.
To know if the fund was sent, you can click the refresh icon, at the top-right side of KeepKey layout on the web browser.
How to send cryptocurrencies on KeepKey
To send Bitcoin from your KeepKey wallet, connect the device to your PC and open the desktop wallet.
- Click on the KeepKey tab on your desktop wallet.
- Proceed to click on “Send Bitcoin” assuming you want to send out Bitcoin.
- Copy and paste the recipient’s address on the PC. and also input the amount.
- Click “send”
- Enter the pin for your KeepKey wallet.
As we pointed earlier, during pin setup, use the pin layout on your KeepKey device. To do this, click on the pin pad on your computer screen. Repeat that again to confirm your pin. Click on “send pin” once confirmed.
- Confirm the amount and address on your Keepkey device by holding down the button at the top-right of the KeepKey device.
- Reconfirm the transaction by holding the button again.
You will receive a notification if your transaction is successful.
Adding multiple KeepKey accounts
With KeepKey, you can have multiple accounts. To add account;
- Click on “Add account” on your PC, when connected to your KeepKey hardware.
- Select your default coin( for example, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and so on)
- Input your “Account name”
- Click on “Add account”. If done correctly, you should have successfully created a KeepKey account.
Security Best Practices with KeepKey wallet
The premise of cryptocurrency storage via hardware wallets is to give the user full sovereignty over their funds. As such, you have full control over your funds and you are also responsible for securing your private key, or mnemonic seed phrase, which is a readable format of your private key. This section is therefore meant to equip you for that responsibility.
- Initially, using a keepKey hardware wallet required using a browser extension, called KeepKey proxy. However, Shapeshift has warned that there are scam versions of this wallet. So users are advised to use their KeepKey only with the ShapeShift web platform.
- Don’t store your seed phrase on web storage or on a device without an internet connection. Seed keys are best stored on paper or on a physical piece. If possible keep an extra copy as a backup.
- Never store your seed phrase on a device, with an internet connection.
- Do not use your device in an environment that has a surveillance camera.
KeepKey supports over 40 assets, at the time of writing and is also a leading hardware wallet. One downside with this device is that it is not very user-friendly, especially for folks new to cryptocurrency wallet management.
There is a lot of removing and inserting of the USB cable upon setting one up for use and a complex seedkey recovery process. However, for a $49 price tag, the wallet is worth the value it porvides.