With the market still recovering from the contagion crisis that engulfed all earlier this year, following the collapse of Terra, investors are understandably apprehensive.
Perhaps more than anything else, the year thus far has highlighted the importance of taking care of your Bitcoin. We saw many users lose their coins when they chased yield with third parties who turned out to be practicing improper risk management.
Celsius were the most high profile of these actors, and what is likely to be long bankruptcy proceedings commenced recently as users hope blindly that they will at least get some of their funds back after the insolvency. Voyager Digital, BlockFi and a host of other companies also ran into problems.
Therefore, it feels like a good time to reassess the state of hardware wallets in the market. This piece will look at the Ellipal Titan.
The first thing which struck me was the look of the wallet. Boasting a big screen, it looks like a 2009-era iPhone – sitting neatly in my hand, making me pine for the days gone by when I could reach all four corners of my phone screen without recruiting my second hand.
It carries a bit of weight and is reasonably thick – making it feel secure. I sometimes worry with hardware wallets that one drop will break them, but this is clunky and sturdy. Those two adjectives might not be want you want for a smartphone, but for a hardware wallet they are welcome attributes.
The large screen also means it is very easy to use. The instructions packed are light, and the set-up is also relatively straightforward. The whole thing took me about five minutes.
I scanned a QR code to pull up the app which I download and register an account with. Obviously, take care with your seedphrase here, for obvious reasons. From then, I powered on the hardware wallet and clicked the link, which pulls up another QR code that allows me to link the app to the cold wallet.
This is also the first cold wallet I have used which does not require a USB or Bluetooth connection. Instead, it uses QR code technology to achieve air-gapped status, which is pretty cool.
But it’s really the app which sets it apart here. While remaining air-gapped, you can trade, exchange, stake, buy NFTs and do much more. That’s incredibly powerful and versatile, in addition to the security is obviously paramount for a cold wallet. There is no other way to put it, the app is mightily impressive and really sets the wallet apart from others I have used.
And that’s pretty much it. There are other security features like the option for 2FA, further bolstering the safety of the device. I send a small transaction to try it out and it works smoothly – I pull up the QR code and send my funds to the address and the Bitcoin appears in my wallet shortly after.
Touch screen means it is extremely easy to set up
QR-code driven set-up is intuitive and set-up is very quick
No USB or Bluetooth connection – the QR-code technology means it is an air-gapped cold wallet
Sturdy and secure, bigger than most hardware wallets so less likely to get lost
Does all the basics well – the important stuff
Handy slips of paper to record your seedphrase – a small touch but one that definitely helps with the prep
Excellent app is the best I have used – lots of features available while remaining air-gapped
It looks like a smartphone (albeit an old one) meaning it is a little more conspicuous and therefore potentially would get stolen by somebody if they came across it, thinking it was a phone. Not a big con here obviously, just worth taking extra care in storing the device
Bigger size means the wallet is slightly harder to hide, depending on how you choose to store it
Both above cons, as you can see, are pretty minor and can be solved by taking good care of where you store the device, which you should be doing regardless.
In reality, there is not much to say here because the device does the job. Retailing in the UK for £125 and coming in black and grey colours, it is a reasonable price point for the security it offers. I think its biggest strength is the screen, meaning it is a bit easier to get set up compared to other hardware wallets I have used, and it’s tremendous app which makes it so easy to use and offers more features than you likely need.
There are no real cons here. It does exactly what it is meant to and for a reasonable price, especially if you plan on storing bigger amounts of crypto on it. It also stores a wide selection of coins if you want to venture further afield than Bitcoin.
In today’s climate, cold storage is vital. The Ellipal Titan is a great solution for this – and easier than most to set up, if you are new to cold storage and a bit intimidated at the concept.