Trezor

Trezor Hard Cryptocurrency Wallet

Trezor is a hardware wallet for Bitcoin, and it was the first Bitcoin hardware wallet that was introduced in August 2014. This wallet provides both cold storage as well as the interface to trade directly when connected.

Trezor is designed to be small, USB sized, and to fit into a wallet pocket for convenience. What is also an advantage is that it can be used on a malware infected computer, although I personally don’t condone such actions unless it’s 100% necessary.

Hardware wallets are designed for the more affluent crypto asset holders that don’t want to rely on the safety and security of online wallet options. Trezor is a Czech Republic venture called SatoshiLabs, and their product is basically a USB memory stick with software embedded in the system designed to act as a storage (vault) for your Bitcoin.

Trezor is Slavic for “Vault” hence the Englsih word Treasure, which is a derivative of this, and Treasure was of course what was stored in a vault. The extra special feartre that I mentioned is that Trezor is designed with hardware and software functions that detect compromised computers and will still work without compromising the integrity of the vault.

The Trezor Package and Specifications

The Trezor package arrives in a slim, sleek package with good graphics and sealed in a plastic wrap. There is a holographic tamper seal to show that the package has not been opened.

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Photo Credit: Bitcoinworld.com

If the box arrives with any rips, tears or the seal has been moved or opened you must return the box to Trezor and also notify them by mail when you receive it. I suggest taking photos of the box to send wit the e-mail.

Just so you know, the box itself has a rigid integrity seal in all the glue that bonds and bids it together, so the seal itself is really just a nice little add-on.

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Inside the box you will find the Trezor device with a USB to micro-USB cable, an installation manual and a small lanyard.

Photo Credit: Bitcoinworld.com

The device is slightly larger than a standard USB stick, and you can order it in any one of three colors, white, grey or black. I happened to choose white.

The Trezor device is CE and RoHS-certified. The dimensions are 60 x 30 x 6mm (2.4 x 1.2 x 0.2 inches) and its net weight is 12g (0.42oz).

This is not waterproof device, it is water resistant as the company states, but don’t take it diving, and definitely don’t trade while in the shower.

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The Trezor hardware uses an ARM Cortex M3 processor with 120MHz. The display is a 128 x 64-pixel OLED screen, and when operating, the LED screen that is legible and crisp.

Operation of the device is provided via two touch buttons at the base of the screen. These buttons are key to perform all transactions with this device.

At the base of the device, under the buttons and screen, is a micro-USB port which is where you connect this device to the power source as well as to your PC or Laptop. This port is the only way to communicate with the Trezor so keep it clean and covered at all times when not in use.

Take heed that this device, like all USB sticks, is powered by the connection made to the PC or Laptop, as such, it is either off when not connected, or on, when connected.

My take on the quality of the body is this; it’s a simple and cheap plastic cover with very basic materials. The overall design is average, and the look and feel is “Chinese” quality, so the body might be better, at least the hardware is high grade.

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Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Quality control of the finished product is lacking, since there are some basic mistakes in finishing, such as the rough edges of the lanyard opening.

All in all, when compared to the ever-evolving smartphone industry, the finish could be better but the device itself is exceptional and delivers on performance, which is really where we want it to shine.

Installation Guide

The Trezor is a security device, so initializing is somewhat of an issue, but well worth the effort since it secures your device from everything but your own use, which is what we want it to do.

The first step is connecting the Trezor to your PC or Laptop using the USB connection cable.

Now download the myTREZOR app and the installation process becomes automated.

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Once the installation of the app has been successful, the app will ask you to input a PIN. To do this, you don’t use your PC keyboard; you input the PIN directly using the two buttons on the device. You use the buttons to navigate the small number grid you get on the screen. This might be a bit fangled, but it’s for your security since a keyed in code on your PC is susceptible to trojan style hacking of data. Swallow back your ire, and smile, Trezor is making the PIN process secure.

 

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Photo Credit: Bitcoinworld.com

To add to the confusion, but also to the security of the device, the numbers on the grid change place every time you key one in. So make sure you are not automatically navigating, and assure yourself you key in your PIN correctly.

The next step is creating and recording (writing down with a pen and paper, yes, we still use those old tools. The device generates 24 words randomly, this is your seed code, and you must write them down in their correct order, and never ever forget where you wrote them down because this is the only way you can get back any data if the device is compromised in any way.

Trezor uses BIP39 and BIP44 standards when creating wallets, and the Seed is recoverable for any new device you buy to replace an old one if lost, stolen or damaged. That is why the seed code is important.

You are not limited to using the seed on the device, but can use it via Mycelium 2.0, Wallet32 or Multibit HD when using the seed code to recover a lost wallet.

Photo Credit: Bitcoinworld.com

The Trezor uses deterministic signatures and external random entropy sources to create the seed code. This translates into; they use enough randomicity to confuse any possible attack of the seed code while generating it.

The seed code process takes around 10-15 minutes, and its mainly due to the time it takes you to write down every word.

GUI Simplicity

There will never be a real balance between security and simplicity. One defines the other, and the more security required will always lead to more complex processes. As such, the Trezor covers the issue of initialization and setup very well and some consider it to be a little convoluted, I think it’s a fair trade between the two necessities.

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Photo Credit: Coincentral.com

Once you have completed the process, the next time you access your account you are asked for your PIN code. Since the device is built around security, you can only do this with the buttons on the device, and using the number grid, input your code. For those that ask the obvious, the reason is that punching in keyboard keys can be compromised by various malicious codes nestled in your PC.

You have access to the Trezor wallet but bit limited to using it, you can opt for using Trezor with Multibit HD (beta) and Electrum 2.0 wallets.

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Photo Credit: Coincentral.com

The Trezpor device is intended to be a security device for sending Bitcoins, it does not get involved in receiving transactions, as such you only need to use it when sending from your vault outwards.

The Trezor, as a hardware wallet, is a device used by many with large caches of coin, and in many instances, most traders have standard online wallets with small quantities of coin for quick processing of transactions, using the Trezor to store large incoming amounts, and to act as a standard cold vault.

Photo Credit: Coincentral.com

Trezor is not a perfect device, it has its limitations, and one of these limitations, which is extremely rigid in my opinion is its inability to pair with all mobile devices. It only works with Windows OS X and Linux, so unless you have a Windows 8.1 tablet, and with Android devices, so if you have an iPhone or a non-Android smartphone, you can’t really use Trezor for your on-the go requirements.

Security

TREZOR is the ultimate solution for hard security against theft and virtual theft.

This is a hardware device, small enough to be portable but not yet fully mobile compatible. The requirement to use the buttons for PIN and seed is excellent and this is just one of the many reasons this is secure device that only requires a PC connection to power up, and to send BTC.

Every time you want to send BTC, you will be asked for the PIN. Now, if you make a mistake, beware, the PIN is protected by an algorithm that makes waiting between each incorrect guess double. As such, you wil need to wait “years” literally after making 12 mistakes.

The 24 seed code is a standard of any hardware wallet and if you lose this, say goodbye to your BTC assets.

Operations include an on-screen confirmation for sending out all trades, and you need to press both buttons at the same time to confirm. So, make sure you get the address of the recipient correct. Remember, the device requires you to press the buttons, without them pressed a virtual attack will not work, so you cannot lose assets via a virtual attack.

 

Photo Credit: Coincentral.com

Conclusions

The Trezor is an exceptional Bitcoin wallet but is not an on -the-go-device, as such, it performs perfectly well as a standard wall safe, in that you can store your assets securely, but will need to go to the safe every time you need to get BTC from it.

This is a perfect platform for storing your main assets while maintaining small amounts in your online wallets for daily activities.

Trezor is a perfect device for BTC hoarders and small businesses, as well as BTC enthusiasts that either have a need for such a device, or just want one to look cool.

Price

The cost of one unit is $99 for one, and there are deals that sell them in packs of three for $276.

Never buy a Trezor from e-bay, ever! Only buy it directly from the Trezor website, or if you are an Amazon freak, then buy it from them, but also at your own risk.

Bonus

Using TREZOR with Mycelium

While there are other options, I just wanted to take the time to show you how to use Trezor with another exchange, and I decided to use Mycelium for this exercise.

Your first step is to have the lasts version of Mycelium. If you don’t have this, download it on to your Android device. If you have Mycelium installed than skip this section on “new account” activation.

Creating a new Mycelium Account

  • Swipe right and move to the “Accounts” tab.
  • Click on Create New

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  • Click on the Key to add the new account

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  • In the next screen, select the “Advanced”button.

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  • In this screen choose the “Import a Trezor-HD account” option, and press the“Trezor” button.

  • Now it’s time to plug the Trezor onto the OTG cable and then plug them into your smartphone.

  • In this step you must use the Trezor buttons to input your PIN

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  • In this step, you either enter your TREZOR passphrase or if you don’t have one, just press OK. If you do have one, or more, then make sure you enter the right one, or you will end up with a zero balance. Don’t fear, just reenter the prhrase correctly.

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  • No Mycelium scans for accounts on the TREZOR device.

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  • Once the account has been found you will be asked to confirm the import, press on the account to import.

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  • Now Mycelium asks you to name your TREZOR account. This is the name of the account as Mycelium will present it to you every time you make access.

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  • You are all set. Now you can send and receive BTC from Mycelium.

Since this is an online account, you don’t need Trezor attached to it to view its details, however, you won’t see any other data than the name and address of your account when viewed without the Trezor device connected.

 

Restoring a Walter via Mycelium

If your TREZOR was compromised in any way, and you had to buy a new one. It’s time to restore your account using your 24-word seed. This is a simple process, and Mycelium supports this, however, you will need to create a fresh Mycelium installation. If you have a Mycelium account, just make sure you have the 24-word backup before you initiate a reinstallation.

Mycelium provides you with two restoration options, these are Restore backup, and Create New.

We are restoring from a backup, so let’s get started.

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  • Select the 24 word seed option.

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  • Enter the 24 words from your Trezor seed code one at a time and in the correct order.

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  • If you had a passphrase, enter it here.

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  • That’s it, you’re done, simple and fast.

Take note that once you use the 24-word seed to restore an account, it becomes compromised. So request a new seed code.