In this review I will introduce the Ellipal – Cold Wallet 2.0 to you.
The hardware is therefore completely isolated from the Internet and forms a real “offline storage” solution.
How well this works is explained in my article.
Why a hardware wallet?
One of the most common problems Bitcoin faces today is security. Meanwhile, crypto exchanges and hot wallets are hacked almost daily, robbing their owners of their digital assets.
For private users like you and me, only hardware wallets can currently help here. These usually store your private key on a special security chip and allow you to manage it completely offline.
Ellipal, the manufacturer of the hardware wallet of the same name, is an unknown company in the cryptosector compared to Trezor and Ledger. The company was founded in 2017 and is based in Hong Kong. Since then, the startup has been developing and distributing software for payment solutions in addition to crypto wallets.
Due to the young history it is difficult to estimate how Ellipal will develop further. The same applies to the long-term support for the wallet. After all, the successor “Ellipal Titan” was launched in October 2019.
How secure is the Ellipal Wallet?
Due to the low level of awareness I could not find any information about the security of the hardware itself during my research.
The most important security feature and at the same time the biggest difference to the devices that have been available for a long time is the absence of any physical interfaces. This means that the communication between hardware wallet and app on your mobile phone is not done via USB, Bluetooth or WLAN, but via QR codes.
Of course, an attack on the mobile phone cannot be excluded. But all wallet manufacturers have the same problem.
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Ellipal has taken precautions and implemented mechanisms to prevent manipulation. For example, the public keys are shown on the wallet’s display for comparison.
As always: Keep your eyes open when buying and selling Bitcoin. Always check all steps carefully and use your common sense for maximum security.
The hardware wallet can currently only be ordered via the manufacturer’s website. The shipment is directly from Hong Kong. Therefore, in addition to the approximately 130 € for the wallet, there are additional costs for shipping and customs.
Payment is convenient, either via Paypal or crypto currencies.
Package contents – unboxing
The Ellipal is delivered in a stylish black cardboard box and contains:
- Ellipal Hardware Wallet
- Quick guide
- Memos for backup words
- USB cables
It can happen that your device is delivered with an already opened package. The reason for this is the customs authorities who sometimes take a closer look at packages. Ellipal has made special provisions for this case. On the hardware itself there are seals attached which should clearly indicate manipulation.
Ellipal Wallet – Double Seal
Even before I have held the device, the first time in my hand, doubts about safety arise. Especially because the wallet is still so unknown, the manufacturer has to improve its reputation and brand awareness.
Build quality of the device
The Ellipal Wallet looks like a cheap smartphone and has a 4″ touchscreen. The dimensions of 119 mm x 64 mm x 10 mm are suitable for mobile use, but do not come close to the comfort size of a Ledger Nano X or Coolwallet S.
Overall, the build quality is okay, but there is room for improvement. If you compare the price with a smartphone, you probably can’t expect more.
The special feature of the Ellipal Hardware Wallet
As already mentioned above, the manufacturer advertises that its wallet enables “Secure Air-Gapped” transactions.
The device has no interfaces such as USB or Bluetooth to communicate with the mobile app. Every data exchange and every transaction or verification is done by scanning QR codes on the mobile phone and the hardware wallet itself.
The whole thing works very easy and intuitive in practice. I myself had no problems whatsoever with scanning the QR codes during my test phase.
Ellipal Wallet – How it works
With the large touch screen display, setup and operation is a breeze. Unlike other hardware wallets with small displays and 2 or more buttons for operation, the Ellipal displays all information clearly. The wallet is used like a mobile phone app and does not require any adjustment time.
The mobile app worked perfectly in my review. In the respective Apple and Google Appstores you can find very good four and a half star ratings.
Besides the usual basic functions like an account manager and the possibility to manage the individual coins and tokens, there are more functions.
Ellipal wants to establish its app as a “one stop” crypto app and therefore provides some special features. Currently the following features are already available:
- Decentralized exchange for exchanging coins and tokens
- Management of multiple accounts
- Real-time market prices
- Blockchain News
Setting up the app is a breeze. But since the app can also be used as a soft wallet, you should first make sure that you set up the hardware wallet.
Otherwise, the 12 mnemonic words will be created by the mobile app and will no longer be offline. More about this later in the step-by-step instructions.
The Ellipal Wallet currently supports 30 cryptocurrencies and all ERC20, TRC20, TRC10, BEP2 and EOS tokens.
The goal of the manufacturer is to add new coins every month. You can find a current list of all supported coins on the Ellipal Homepage.
The Setup – Step by Step Guide
- First, it is best to fully charge the Ellipal Hardware Wallet.
- After switching it on, the button on the right side of the screen shows a selection of the language.
- Next, scan the displayed QR Code with your phone and install the iOS or Android Ellipal app. To set up the wallet, the smartphone app is not mandatory. But if you want to manage your coins more easily later on or want to use the additional functions, you will need the software.
- To set up a new wallet we click on “Create Account”.
- In the next window, enter any name for your account and set a password that is as secure as possible. This password is used to manage your account and to verify transactions.
- After creating the new account, you will see 12 backup words. Write down and save these words carefully to be able to restore your wallet in case of emergency.
- To make sure that you have written down the words correctly, you will need to sort all 12 phrases in the correct order in the next step. Simply press the words one by one in the correct order. Once all the words are written down, you can continue by clicking on “Verify mnemonic”. Your wallet backup is now successfully completed.
- From the list that is now displayed you can select your preferred coins and tokens.
- Don’t worry, if you want to add a coin or token later, you can always do so in the settings.
- Your Ellipal Wallet is now set up and you only need to connect it to your mobile phone app in the last step. Press “Connect to App” for this
- Afterwards, a total of 14 QR codes must be scanned with the Ellipal App.
- Have fun, your Ellipal Wallet is synchronized with the mobile app and ready to use.
Ellipal Review – The Conclusion
I personally find the approach that Ellipal takes with its hardware wallet very interesting. By eliminating interfaces such as Bluetooth and USB, the most common attack vectors are eliminated by default.
With the large 4″ touch display, setup and operation is quick and easy. The scanning of the QR codes works in both directions without problems.
Unfortunately, the build quality as well as the unknown security concept could not convince me to use the Ellipal Wallet for long-term holding of Bitcoin and Co. As you can see in my large hardware wallet comparison, there are better and more trustworthy alternatives for less money.
Overall the Ellipal Wallet is not a bad device, but there are better alternatives.
If you still want to give the wallet a try, there is now a successor, the Ellipal Titan, which is supposed to be much better made.
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