KeepKey Review (2023)
The KeepKey is an affordable hardware wallet that supports 40+ major coins, including Bitcoin (BTC), as well as all ERC-20 tokens. It offers a large screen and a reasonably user-friendly wallet interface.
But the KeepKey has some notable drawbacks, including its bulky size. Its wallet interface doesn’t have a mobile app and it isn’t as advanced as what you can find elsewhere. This wallet also supports only a fraction of the coins that you get with both Ledger and Trezor devices. However, if you want a simple, low-cost hardware wallet, the KeepKey is worth considering.
The KeepKey is a multi-currency crypto hardware wallet produced by ShapeShift. When compared to other major hardware wallets, KeepKey’s biggest advantage is its affordable price point and its large, easy-to-read screen.
But is the KeepKey really all that it’s cracked up to be? Is a budget-friendly hardware wallet like the KeepKey safe for storing your private keys?
In this KeepKey review, I’m going to show you how the device compares to other popular hardware wallets. I’ll explain its various features, pros, and cons so you can figure out if it’s the right option for your crypto.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Affordable when compared to other top crypto hardware wallets.
- Completely open-source software.
- Has a large screen that makes it easy to read wallet addresses.
- Made with durable anodized aluminium and polycarbonate-coated glass.
- Wallet interface offers direct integration with the ShapeShift DEX.
- Supports relatively few cryptocurrencies (40+ coins).
- Wallet interface doesn’t have a mobile app.
- ShapeShift wallet interface doesn’t work well on non-Chromium browsers.
- Heavier and bulkier than many other popular wallets.
- Simple design with relatively few features when compared to Ledger and Trezor devices.
The KeepKey is currently available from the official ShapeShift website for US$49 (£39/€44).
When compared to other popular hardware wallets, KeepKey is very competitively priced. Here’s how it compares to its main competition:
|Ledger Nano S Plus||£69||€79||$79|
|Ledger Nano X||£136||€149||$149|
|Trezor Model T||£195||€219||$219|
If you order a KeepKey from the official ShapeShift online store, keep in mind that your wallet will ship from the US.
For international orders, ShapeShift’s shipping fees aren’t cheap. Last time I checked, ShapeShift offered a “discounted” US$18 shipping that could take up to 21 business days. You could also opt for DHL Express (2–3 business days), but shipping to the UK costs about US$40 (£30). Yikes!
Also note that you’ll be charged for your KeepKey in US dollars. ShapeShift lets you pay via credit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay, or Coinbase Commerce. If you use Coinbase Commerce, you can pay for your wallet in most major cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
KeepKey Supported Cryptocurrencies
The KeepKey currently supports more than 40 cryptocurrencies.
This includes most popular coins, such as:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
KeepKey also technically supports all ERC-20 tokens.
However, only a few dozen ERC-20 tokens are supported by KeepKey’s wallet interface, ShapeShift.
If you want to manage the private keys to ERC-20 tokens that aren’t supported by ShapeShift, you can integrate your KeepKey with MyEtherWallet for full ERC-20 token support. Most alternative hardware wallets work the same way.
Check out the list of all KeepKey’s supported cryptocurrencies at the ShapeShift web platform to learn more.
ShapeShift designed the KeepKey to be decidedly sleek and portable. Here’s what you need to know about the design of the KeepKey wallet.
What’s in the Box?
Each KeepKey wallet comes neatly packed into a compact box. The box itself is wrapped in clear plastic and it has a tamper-proof seal.
Inside the box, you’ll find:
- KeepKey crypto wallet
- Micro USB charging cable
- Recovery seed cards
KeepKey wallets don’t come with paper manuals, but you can check out ShapeShift’s getting started guide if you need help setting up your wallet.
The KeepKey is approximately 93 mm long, 38 mm wide, and 12 mm thick. It’s certainly not as tiny as the Ledger Nano S (57 x 17.4 x 9.1 mm), but the KeepKey is technically small enough to fit in your pocket.
When compared to many other popular wallets from both Trezor and Ledger, the KeepKey is fairly heavy. It weighs 54 g, which is substantially more than the Ledger Nano S (15 g) and the Trezor Model T (22 g).
Much of this weight comes from the fact that the KeepKey is made with anodized aluminium, rather than plastic. So the added weight of the KeepKey is reasonable if you prioritise durability over portability.
One of the biggest advantages of the KeepKey over other popular crypto hardware wallets is its large screen size.
The KeepKey sports a 256 x 64 pixel screen that takes up pretty much one entire side of the wallet. This makes it super easy to read and confirm addresses before sending crypto. In fact, the screen on the KeepKey is so large that you don’t have to scroll back and forth to read an entire wallet address like you do with the Ledger Nano X.
ShapeShift didn’t necessarily design the KeepKey for everyday carry, but it is small and rugged enough to walk around with in your pocket.
Durability-wise, the KeepKey’s main advantage is its anodized aluminium construction, which is an improvement from the plastic that you find on a lot of other hardware wallets. The screen on the KeepKey is also enclosed in polycarbonate, which reduces the risk of scratches.
KeepKey’s wallet interface is the ShapeShift web platform. ShapeShift is currently only available on the web, and it works best with Chromium-based browsers like Chrome or Brave.
To use the ShapeShift web platform, you simply need to head to the interface’s website and plug your wallet into your computer. You can then click the ‘Connect a wallet’ button on the web interface and pair it with your hardware device.
The ShapeShift wallet interface gets some mixed reviews from crypto traders. The main advantages of ShapeShift include:
- User-Friendliness: ShapeShift is fairly user-friendly as the wallet interface is easy to navigate. It seamlessly walks you through the entire device set-up and initialization process, too, so it’s a true plug-and-play hardware wallet.
- DEX Integration: The KeepKey’s wallet interface comes with a built-in decentralised exchange (DEX) so you can convert your coins to other digital assets without ever having to leave your wallet.
- Buy & Sell Crypto: In addition to ShapeShift’s decentralised exchange (DEX), you can also buy and sell crypto using fiat currencies with your KeepKey. ShapeShift partners with a number of fiat-crypto platforms like Gem and Banxa so you can purchase more coins using credit and debit cards. However, fees tend to be quite high for these services.
Although it’s a fairly user-friendly wallet interface, there are some aspects of ShapeShift that don’t quite impress, including:
- Software Limitations: The fact that ShapeShift doesn’t work well on non-Chromium browsers is disappointing. Plus, even though ShapeShift technically has a mobile app, this app doesn’t work with KeepKey. This lack of a mobile wallet interface is a major downside to the KeepKey if you want to be able to send and receive crypto on the go.
- Account Creation Requirements: To use ShapeShift as a wallet interface for your KeepKey, you technically don’t need to create an account. But if you want to use ShapeShift’s exchange, you do. This is a huge drawback as there are plenty of hardware wallets that let you trade on built-in DEXes without the need to enter your email address.
- Security Concerns: ShapeShift was hacked in 2016 by a rogue employee (this was before the company acquired KeepKey). While this sort of hack might not impact hardware wallets that are used properly, it certainly raises some security concerns. ShapeShift claims to have made changes to its protocols to prevent this sort of event from happening again, though it’s something to consider before you buy a wallet.
No, you do not need to complete KYC or identity verification to use ShapeShift with your KeepKey.
In fact, you don’t need to do any KYC to access any of ShapeShift’s tools, like its DEX. The only time you’ll need to complete KYC is if you buy crypto using fiat through one of ShapeShift’s partners, such as Banxa.
Note that this is a change from a past policy of requiring KYC of all traders that used the ShapeShift DEX. You still need to enter your email address and create a password to use the DEX, but you don’t need to submit proof of identity or offer any other personal information.
The KeepKey comes with a handful of unique security features to prevent hackers from accessing your digital assets.
Arguably the most innovative of these features is the KeepKey’s unique PIN entry system.
Each time you access your KeepKey, you’ll need to enter your PIN. This process is similar to what you find on other popular hardware wallets, but the KeepKey comes with a PIN shuffling system that’s designed to thwart keylogging viruses.
With this feature, the position of the numbers on the wallet’s on-screen PIN keypad changes every time you type in your PIN (the PIN itself stays the same). This makes it very difficult for a keylogging virus to know what you’re typing in.
Other than this unique PIN entry system, ShapeShift doesn’t really give us any information about the security features of the KeepKey.
However, the wallet’s software is open-source (check out the KeepKey GitHub page). This provides another layer of trust for users over closed-source wallet software, like what you get with Ledger devices.
Don’t think that the KeepKey is right for you? Consider the Ledger Nano S instead.
I think the Ledger Nano S is one of the best KeepKey alternatives on the market because it’s somewhat similarly priced, but it’s both lighter and more versatile. The Ledger Nano S also regularly ranks high as one of my favourite multi-currency hardware wallets because it supports more than 1,500 cryptoassets and because it has a great, user-friendly wallet interface.
Find Out MoreLedger Nano S Review
If you want a hardware wallet with a large, easy-to-read screen, like what you get with the KeepKey, check out the Trezor Model T.
The Trezor Model T is one of the only major hardware wallets available with a full-colour touch screen. It also supports more than 1,200 coins and it’s a bit smaller than the KeepKey. Plus, the Model T has open-source software and its web-based wallet interface, Trezor Suite, has a number of innovative features, including a built-in exchange.
Find Out MoreTrezor Model T Review
Summary: KeepKey Review
The KeepKey is a solid hardware wallet, especially given its competitive price point.
My favourite features of the KeepKey include:
- Affordability: You’ll be hard-pressed to find another multi-currency hardware wallet that’s as budget-friendly as the KeepKey.
- Easy Onboarding. Some hardware wallets can be a bit confusing to set up. But that isn’t the case with the KeepKey, which you can initialise in a matter of minutes.
- Large Screen. The screen on the KeepKey is very large, so you can easily read an entire crypto address without the need to toggle back and forth.
- Built-In DEX Support. KeepKeys have native support for ShapeShift’s multi-chain DEX, so you can buy and sell major cryptocurrencies right from your wallet.
Most of the drawbacks of the KeepKey have to do with its small number of supported coins, its bulky size, and the limitations of its wallet interface. In particular, the ShapeShift web wallet is easy enough to use, but its lack of mobile and desktop app support really drags down its versatility and functionality for many users.
But what do you think? Is the KeepKey a hardware wallet that you’d consider using? Let us know in the comments below!