The Blockstream Jade is a hardware wallet from Blockstream, a leading blockchain development company. It’s an affordable hardware wallet that relies on open source code and a remote secure element to protect your Bitcoin (BTC) and Liquid Network assets.
But is the Blockstream Jade the best option for storing your private keys?
In this Blockstream Jade review, I’m going to discuss the ins and outs of this hardware wallet. I’ll go through its various features and compare it to other leading wallets to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your needs.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Affordable price point (about £35/€40/$45).
- Compact wallet with a relatively large screen size.
- Fully open source software.
- Supports both Singlesig and Multisig.
- Blockstream Green wallet interface offers built-in Tor support.
- Needs to connect to the internet to access remote secure element.
- Only supports Bitcoin (BTC) and Liquid Network assets.
- Blockstream Green mobile wallet interface can be buggy.
- Bluetooth connection only works with iOS devices.
Blockstream Jade Price
The Blockstream Jade currently costs US$45.99 (£35/€40) on the Blockstream online shop.
Keep in mind that the wallet ships from North America and shipping to the UK costs about US$12.99 (£10/€12) when you buy directly from Blockstream. You can pay for your Blockstream Jade using a credit or debit card as well as Bitcoin (BTC), Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC), Liquid Tether (USDt), and Liquid Canadian Dollar (L-CAD).
When you compare it to other popular hardware wallets, the Blockstream Jade is one of the most affordable options.
Here’s how it stacks up to other top wallets:
|Ledger Nano S||£54.50||€59||$59|
|Ledger Nano X||£136||€149||$149|
|Trezor Model T||£191||€230||$260|
The Blockstream Jade only supports Bitcoin (BTC).
However, the wallet is also compatible with the Liquid Network, which is a Bitcoin network sidechain. The Blockstream Jade can also store the private keys to any Liquid assets, which includes Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) and Liquid-based Tether (USDt).
What’s in the Box?
When you order a Blockstream Jade, you’ll receive it in a small box that’s wrapped in clear plastic and boasts an anti-tamper seal.
The box contains:
- Blockstream Jade hardware wallet
- Recovery seed card
- USB-C to USB-A charging cable
There’s a brief quick start guide to setting up the Blockstream Jade in the box, but you can find a complete setup guide for the wallet in Blockstream’s online help pages.
But one notable omission from the items in the Blockstream Jade’s box is a USB-C to USB-C cable. The USB-C to USB-A cable that comes with the wallet is only designed to connect your wallet to your computer and to charge the device.
If you want to use an Android phone with your Blockstream Jade, you’ll need to supply your own USB-C to USB-C cable. Anyone using an iOS device can use the wallet’s built-in Bluetooth connection, though this connection doesn’t currently work with Android devices.
The Blockstream Jade is a compact wallet that’s 60 mm long, 24 mm wide, and 17 mm thick. Give or take a few millimetres, it’s about the same size as the Ledger Nano S (60 mm long, 18 mm wide and 9 mm thick), but the Blockstream Jade is noticeably thicker.
Design-wise, the Blockstream Jade is relatively simple. It features a matte black body with a 29 mm IPS LCD display.
The screen on the Blockstream Jade is larger than what you get on a similarly sized wallet like the Nano S (240 x 135px compared to 250 x 30px with the Nano S) and it’s easy enough to read. This screen is actually big enough to display QR codes and its larger size makes verifying addresses as convenient as can be.
To interact with the Blockstream Jade, you’ll use the included click-wheel to scroll through menus and the large button to make a selection. This is a bit different from the designs of other popular hardware wallets, but it’s still intuitive.
As is the case with most hardware wallets, the Blockstream Jade simply stores and manages the private keys to your crypto. To send and receive crypto from your wallet, you need to use Blockstream Jade’s digital interface.
The wallet interface for the Blockstream Jade is called Blockstream Green.
Blockstream Green is available for mobile devices (iOS and Android) and for desktop (Mac, Windows, and Linux). Both versions of Blockstream Green have clean and simple user interfaces that are easy to navigate. However, the wallet’s mobile apps are relatively new and Blockstream is still working out the kinks in some of its features.
You can connect your Blockstream Jade to Blockstream Green on your computer or Android device through a USB cable. For iOS devices, you can connect your Blockstream Jade using the wallet’s Bluetooth connection.
Once you connect your wallet to your device, you can access key features on both the mobile and desktop versions of Blockstream Green, including:
- Singlesig & Multisig Support: Blockstream Green lets you secure your wallet using either Singlesig or Multisig.
- Fee Control: With Blockstream Green, you can customise your transaction fees to either lower your costs or prioritise urgent transactions.
- Tor integration: Both the mobile and desktop versions of Blockstream Green provide native Tor support, which lets you hide your IP address from your transactions.
- Multi Wallet Support: In addition to Blockstream Jade, Blockstream Green is compatible with other top hardware wallets from Ledger and Trezor. This can be helpful if you want to use different hardware wallets to set up Multisig on your Blockstream Jade. However, you can only manage Bitcoin (BTC) and Liquid assets on Blockstream Green, regardless of which wallet you use.
When it comes to software-based security features, Blockstream doesn’t provide much information about the systems that they use to protect the Blockstream Jade.
The code used to design the Blockstream Jade is open-source, as is the case with some other wallets like Trezor devices. But one of the biggest differences between the Blockstream Jade and other popular hardware wallets is that Blockstream uses a remote secure element.
In most hardware wallets, the secure element is built into the physical wallet and is soldered on in a way that should prevent someone from tampering with it. Blockstream Jade removed the physical secure element altogether and placed it on their server.
The catch is that your Blockstream Jade can’t connect to the secure element on their server unless you input the correct PIN.
If you input the incorrect PIN 3 times, you’ll wipe the data from your physical device. This doesn’t cause your crypto to disappear (you can recover your wallet with your seed phrase) but it makes it more difficult for someone to brute force their way into your wallet.
That said, even though the encryption used to protect Blockstream’s remote secure elements is high-end, the fact that the Blockstream Jade can’t work without connecting to the internet means that the device itself can’t be fully air-gapped. It also means that the security of your private keys depends, at least in part, on the security of Blockstream’s servers.
If you want a hardware wallet that is truly air-gapped and that never needs to connect to the internet, consider using a device like the ColdCard MK3 instead.
If you purchase a Blockstream Jade wallet, you’ll notice that it comes with a built-in camera. This camera doesn’t currently do anything, but it’s one of the many security features that Blockstream hopes to activate in the near future.
According to Blockstream, once this camera is activated, you’ll be able to use it to complete all of your Bitcoin (BTC) transactions through QR codes. This would theoretically mean that you don’t need to connect your Blockstream Jade to your computer or phone using a cable.
Blockstream also states that this new camera feature will help the Jade become fully air-gapped. However, so long as the wallet needs to connect to the internet to access its remote secure element, the Jade won’t truly be air-gapped like some other wallets such as the Coldcard MK3 or the Ellipal Titan.
Blockstream Jade Alternatives
If you’re looking for a super-secure hardware wallet for your Bitcoin (BTC), consider the Coldcard MK3.
The Coldcard MK3 is my favourite hardware wallet because it boasts a fully air-gapped design that lets you send and receive crypto without ever connecting your device to a computer. It also comes with a specialised secure element and a slew of duress features that can help prevent someone from gaining access to your private keys, even if they have your hardware wallet.
But the Coldcard MK3 can’t support any cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin (BTC) and it’s not particularly beginner-friendly.
For a more user-friendly hardware wallet that supports thousands of coins and tokens, check out the Ledger Nano S.
The Nano S is one of the most popular hardware wallets on the market. It’s slightly smaller than the Blockstream Jade and it’s only a bit more expensive. The advantage of the Nano S is that it supports more than 1,500 cryptoassets and its wallet interface (Ledger Live) is super easy to use.
For more Blockstream Jade alternatives, check out my list of the best hardware wallets.
Is the Blockstream Jade a Good Hardware Wallet?
The Blockstream Jade isn’t as well-known as wallets from industry leaders like Trezor and Ledger, but it has some sweet features that set it apart from the competition.
Here’s what I like about this wallet:
- Portability: The Blockstream Jade is one of the most compact hardware wallets on the market.
- Affordability: With an MSRP of around £35, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more affordable hardware wallet than the Blockstream Jade.
- Functionality: Blockstream Green, the Jade’s wallet interface, offers some nifty features like built-in Tor compatibility, Multisig support, and the ability to control the cost of your transaction fees.
But there are aspects of the Blockstream Jade that I’m not super jazzed about. These include:
- Security: The biggest issue with the Blockstream Jade is its remote secure element. Since the wallet’s secure element isn’t located in the device itself, you need to trust that Blockstream’s servers are protected enough to thwart hackers before they can access your private keys.
- User Experience: The mobile apps for Blockstream Green are still in the early stages of their development and they can be a bit buggy.
- Supported Cryptocurrencies: The Blockstream Jade only supports Bitcoin (BTC) and Liquid assets, so it’s not a great choice if you’re looking to store the keys to your altcoins.
Head over to their website to learn more, or check out my list of alternative hardware wallets.
Thanks for checking out this review of the Blockstream Jade!
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