CoolWallet S Review 2020 – Awesome Design but How Secure is This Hardware Wallet?

What is CoolWallet?

CoolWallet is a hardware wallet manufactured by CoolBitX. As you will see In this CoolWallet review, the wallet stands out because of its great design and its somewhat unusual size. This hardware wallet weighs just 5 grams and is very small at 86x54x0.8 mm. Is it worth buying it according to our CoolWallet Review? What type of user does the hardware wallet make the most sense for?

CoolWallet pros & cons

CoolWalletS_front
CoolWallet S Fronside

The disadvantages are clearly in the minority. In contrast, the advantages of the CoolWallet are numerous, most significant are listed below:

Pros

  • Comparatively easy to use
  • Fully mobile – all you need for setup and use is a smartphone
  • Relatively moderate price (99$/88 Euros)
  • 2+1 factor authentication
  • Bluetooth connectivity available
  • Output of the recovery seed in map form
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Not open source
  • Complex verification of the recovery seed

Before we move on, here is our comprehensive guide on best crypto and bitcoin wallets for 2020 – it includes all types of wallets (hot, cold, paper etc).

Who is behind the CoolWallet S ?

Behind the CoolWallet S is the Taiwanese manufacturer CoolBitX. The company was founded in early 2014 as a small family business. Thanks to the already existing experience with smartcards and successful financing via IndieGoGo, the first devices were delivered to customers just one year later.

Driven by this success several investors joined the company in 2017. This meant that at one stroke there was enough capital available to develop a successor to the first CoolWallet.

With the feedback from the First Wallet Generation, an improved version, the CoolWallet S which is tested here, was released in early 2018. According to the manufacturer, over 150,000 units have been sold so far.

Is the CoolWallet S safe?

CoolBitX uses a CC EAL5+ certified security chip in its credit card-sized hardware wallet, which is also used for military purposes.

The complete processing of a transaction takes place within the microchip. Therefore only uncritical data is transmitted via Bluetooth connection.
Your private key never leaves this chip when used properly!

A Bluetooth connection to the CoolWallet S can only be established when the wallet is switched on and is secured with AES 256 encryption.

As an additional security feature, the microchip is sealed, making physical access to it virtually impossible. In other words, any attempt to dismantle it will irreversibly destroy the hardware.

Secure transactions

In order to execute a transaction requested by the app, you have to press the button on the hardware wallet. In addition, all necessary information is also shown again on the E-Ink display for verification.

All in all, the CoolWallet S offers a very high level of security.

CoolWallet S Package contents

The CoolWallet S is delivered in a stylish black cardboard box that folds upwards. Immediately after opening, the hardware wallet shines at you securely packaged in the form of a bank or credit card.

CoolWalletS_package front
CoolWalletS package front
CoolWalletS_package back
CoolWalletS package back

The delivery includes the following items:

  • CoolWallet S with E-Ink display in credit card format approx. 86 x 54 x 0.8 mm
  • Charger with USB cable
  • recovery seed card
  • Sticker
CoolWalletS_box content
CoolWalletS box content

How can I determine if I own an original CoolWallet S?

The packaging of the CoolWallet S is closed with a seal. However, this type of security is not the best. It is easy to reproduce the sticky labels.
Unfortunately, there is no other way to check the authenticity of your CoolWallet S. In this case, a Genuine function like the one on the Ledger Nano S would be nice.

If you want to be on the safe side, order the CoolWallet S directly from the manufacturer.

Set up the CoolWallet S easily in 4 steps

Setting up the hardware wallet is quick and easy. All you need is a mobile phone with the latest Android or iOS version.
During the whole setup process, you should charge the CoolWallet S with the included charger.

Make sure you insert the card the right way round. The arrow of the charger must be on the front of the card. A red LED next to the display indicates the charging process.

  • pair the CoolWallet S with your mobile phone via Bluetooth

To pair the CoolWallet S, first install the CoolBitX app from the Apple or Google Play Store. Simply scan the QR code on the recovery seed card.

  • Press the button of the CoolWallet S once and switch it on. The display will show “Please pair”.
  • Now open the CoolBitX App and press the “Connect” button.
CoolWalletS_Please_Pair
CoolWalletS Please Pair
CoolBitX_Connect
CoolBitX Connect
  • You will see a message to confirm the connection by entering the Bluetooth password. The required password will be shown on the display of the CoolWallet S.
CoolWalletS_Pair_Number
CoolWalletS_Pair_Number for bluetooth connection
  • update the CoolWallet S firmware
  • Immediately after pairing, the app checks for a firmware update for the CoolWallet S and installs it if necessary. For security reasons I recommend that you always use the latest firmware.
CoolBitX_Firmware_Update
CoolBitX_Firmware_Update
CoolBitX_Firmware_Update_warning
CoolBitX_Firmware_Update_warning
CoolWalletS_Update
CoolWalletS_Update
CoolBitX_Firmware_Update
CoolBitX_Firmware_Update

Caution:
If you have already set up your CoolWallet S, you will need your recovery seed to restore it. The wallet will be completely deleted during the firmware update!

  • create a new wallet
  • After you confirm the successful firmware update, the CoolWallet S will restart. To reconnect, press the “Connect” button in the app and the button on the hardware wallet.
  • Now you can continue with the creation of a new wallet account. Press the “Create” button to continue.
CoolBitX_Connect
CoolBitX_Connect
CoolBitX_Wallet_create
CoolBitX_Wallet_create
  • create CoolWallet S recovery seed
  • The CoolWallet S gives you several ways to select the length and location of your recovery seed. I recommend you to select 24 words or more precisely number sequences that will be displayed on the wallet’s e-ink display.
CoolBitX_Recovery_Seed
Generate Wallet Seed
CoolBitX_Recovery_Seed
CoolBitX_Recovery_Seed
  • Once you have made your selection, you can press the button on the CoolWallet S to display the next number combination in the row.
  • Write all 24 number sequences on a piece of paper or better on a stainless steel, non-destructible notepad, such as a Cryptosteel.
CoolWalletS_Seed 1
CoolWalletS_Seed 1
CoolBitX_Recovery_Seed
Verify by entering the sum of all numbers
  • Once you have written down all the number sequences, you must verify your wallet backup to complete the setup.

Important:
To verify the recovery seed, you must sum up all the numbers in sequence. The result is then entered into the input mask of the app.

Example:

Recovery-Phrase Sum up numbers Result for
Verification

11111; 22222; …
= 1+1+1+1+1+2+2+2+2+2
= 15
I personally had my problems with this verification method and had to add up all the numbers several times to get the correct result. After all, you have to enter 120 characters in a row correctly into the calculator!

I would definitely prefer a query of individual phrases with direct confirmation!


Here is an overview of best cryptocurrency wallets.


Recovery-Seed with numbers?

CoolBitX has decided to use a sequence of numbers instead of words for its wallet to make it easier for non-English speaking users.

The technique behind it is the same. If you prefer to work with the known words, you can use a table to convert the sequence of numbers back.

CoolBitX App for iOS and Android

“Mobile First” is the name of the game here. The CoolWallet S is completely set up and managed via an Android or iOS app.

The structure of the app is similar to other mobile wallets and gives an overview of your entire portfolio. You can exchange coins directly within the wallet quickly and easily with the built-in Changelly function.

CoolBitX_Portfolio
CoolBitX_Changelly
CoolBitX_settings

The application is clean and straightforward.
During my test I found no crashes or errors with the iOS.

You can adjust the various settings in the options. For example, you can change the displayed currency to Euro or activate the support of additional coins.

Unfortunately, as so often in the crypto world, the software is currently only available in English.

Which coins are supported by the CoolWallet S ?

Unfortunately, the CoolWallet S does not support as many currencies and tokens as for example the ledger Nano S. But it is still possible to manage the most important coins in my opinion:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Binance Coin (NBB)
  • Zencash (ZEN)
  • ERC20 token (1000+)
  • MakerDAO (DAI)
  • Metal (MTL)
  • TrueUSD (TUSD)
  • ZeroX (ZRX)
  • New feature TokenSwap
  • Other crypto assets will be added over time by CoolBitX.

TokenSwap – easy, decentralized way to swap tokens through CoolWallet

As of recently, the CoolWallet S offers its users a new feature called TokenSwap.

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TokenSwap allows you to exchange Ethereum-based ERC20 tokens directly, securely and conveniently with other CoolWallet S users via the 0x backend protocol. By using this function, you can avoid risky intermediaries such as crypto exchanges and hot wallets when exchanging tokens.

You can define all the necessary conditions for the exchange yourself in the CoolBitX app. Simply select the token you want to sell from and define the quantity, fee, price, exchange pair and time period.

Once you have created an offer, you can share it with your personal contacts or social media via QR code.

Anyone interested can then simply scan the QR code to view your order details and accept them if they like them. Both you and your trading partner can enjoy the security that a hardware wallet offers.

Fees and charges

You set the limit for transaction fees (gas) yourself with your TokenSwap offer.

Once you have created the offer, no further fees are charged during the closing process. The order taker will only be charged if the token the provider is trading with has never been activated. In this case, a service fee will be charged.

CoolWallet S review – conclusion

The CoolWallet S with its credit card format and mobile interface can be described as a revolution in the hardware wallet market. The built-in battery is large enough to use the CoolWallet S for several weeks without having to recharge it.

The app looks clean and is well programmed. The integration of Changelly makes it possible to switch between assets quickly and easily, anywhere in the world – as long as an Internet connection is available.

The setup process is very easy. What I personally did not like so much is the verification of the recovery seed. The Wallet, offers the possibility to work with fewer number sequences or to use the app for creation, but this is at the expense of security.

Unfortunately CoolBitX does not have an operating system, so that new features can only be added by a firmware update. There is always the danger that you have to restore your wallet with a recovery seed after a firmware update.

The CoolWallet S combines the advantages of a hardware wallet with the benefits of a mobile wallet while eliminating the weaknesses of both.

Unfortunately, however, one also encounters a general problem very quickly: There are still too few crypto acceptance points to really use the CoolWallet S.

All in all, it’s a very cool feeling to have your Bitcoins available at all times and to have them stored really safely.

With its CoolWallet S, the manufacturer CoolBitX is certainly making a contribution to the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. The first step has been taken, and with a more simplified backup of the wallet and more points of acceptance, I see a lot of potential for the future.

And if Coolwallet S adds support for Bitcoin’s Lightning-Network to the mix … A dream would come true.
You can find more hardware wallet tests in my big hardware wallet comparison.

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CaptainAltcoin's writers and guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the mentioned projects and businesses. None of the content on CaptainAltcoin is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CaptainAltcoin.com

Torsten Hartmann has been an editor in the CaptainAltcoin team since August 2017. He holds a degree in politics and economics. He gained professional experience as a PR for a local political party before moving to journalism. Since 2017, he has pivoted his career towards blockchain technology, with principal interest in applications of blockchain technology in politics, business and society.

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