CoolWallet Pro Review

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CoolWallet Pro Review

By Dan Ashmore - min read

It’s not so long ago that a wave of contagion was spreading so violently across the cryptocurrency industry that it felt like nowhere was safe.

As Terra, a former top 10 coin, death spiralled, many firms got caught up in the carnage. Prominent among these were so-called crypto lenders, some of whom advertised themselves as banks yet in truth were closer to aggressive hedge funds.

BlockFi ran into big problems. Voyager Digital filed for bankruptcy, its share price plummeting 99.8% so far this year. Celsius were perhaps the most high-profile, shutting withdrawals one evening, before filing for bankruptcy against allegations that the founders had first cashed out.

This all comes back to one piece of advice: if you don’t want to swallow risk that you cannot quantify, chasing yield through these platforms is not the way to go. If there is one thing that is true in crypto, it is that cold storage is the safest place to be. Or, as the over-repeated (yet true) saying goes, “not your keys, not your coins”.

CoolWallet

I tried out the CoolWallet Pro, the latest hardware wallet we have penned a review on.

The first thing which struck me was the rather old-school style. It looks like some sort of credit card from the late 90s. It won’t necessarily win a beauty contest, but it’s portable, light and easy to hide away someplace secure. Compared to a lot of the bulkier wallets with screens on them these days, I kind of like it.

The card comes with a physical button, although it’s quite subtle and you would barely notice it if not looking – it is nearly flat against the card. This is the only button on the card, and once you pair it to your phone via Bluetooth (a very seamless process, I must say), all the instructions and directives are carried out in the app. It’s easy.

The card also features a tiny little screen, about 2 cm across and 1 cm tall, with which it feeds basic numbers to the user on. It’s not the most high-tech in the world; it feels like typing out words on a calculator screen to my friends back in maths class in primary school, but hey –  it does the job.

Set-up

And so, I pair it up and follow the instructions in the app. First things first, of course, is setting up the seed phrase. And like it tends to be, it’s a bit of a painful process. I get fed 12 numbers of 5 digits each, which I record one by one on a paper slip, clicking the button on the card to move on to the next one each time.

This is a bit of a nightmarish process, although that is more a lamenting of the seed phrase process overall than anything to do with this wallet. I feel it’s inevitable that crypto grows and we look back upon this seed phrase carry on as laughable, but right now it is the best security option. Besides, it takes about two minutes here with the CoolWallet, so I’m kind of just having a moan.

Overall, the set-up process is very easy. Sure, the screen is a bit fidgety and can be hard to read, but it’s fine. The only real complaint I have regarding the hardware is the charger. It’s a micro-USB, something I thought was condemned to the past at this point, fit to be thrown in a drawer with DVDs, cassette tapes and wired earphones.

It comes with a cable, which is nice and makes it easy to plug in via USB to a socket. But personally, I don’t like having to keep an extra cable just for this device – all my other devices (laptop, phone, speaker, earphones) are USB-C, as well as the hardware wallets I use currently. So for me, this would be a dealbreaker. Although I know you Apple people out there like to keep your own cables for everything, so maybe I’m being over the top here.

Connectivity and features

Now that I’m set up, the CoolWallet is impressive. The app has a great interface and is intuitive and smooth. The features are great. It’s easy to send and receive crypto, which you know – is kind of all that matters?

There are also staking options which some customers will no doubt enjoy. The range of wallets is nice; it has everything you would really like. ERC-20, BEP-20 and a host of others. The Bluetooth is easy to work. Once you are set up, it is as easy as any hardware wallet to use.

But the connectivity to other platforms is a step above. I can connect to OpenSea if I please, and punt NFTs till the cows come home. I can fire my ETH into Lido too. Metamask is another option, as is connecting to the Binance DEX. There are many more. It feels like the range of features, options and connectivity routes here is as good as it gets, really. It’s impressive – a selection of which you can see from my screenshot below:

The price point is always important. It retails at $149, which is more or less in line with most wallets on the market. Feels reasonable. I guess you are paying for the features and connectivity here rather than the hardware, being that there is no screen and it feels a bit ”old-fashioned”. But are those concerns really relevant for a hardware wallet you will be tucking away?

Conclusion

Everyone is different about what they want in a wallet. Security is obviously paramount, which most wallets have solved – and this one is no exception. The next is providing the range of wallets you desire and the features you want. This is where CoolWallet excels, as the features won’t be beaten.

Then, people want something that is easy to use. This is about as easy as it gets, once you are set up. But for me, portability and inconspicuousness are huge factors. This looks and feels like a credit card, meaning I can whack it in my wallet or hide it away somewhere safe easily. It’s so easy to store. Some other wallets I have used are bulkier, have screens, or look more techy and advanced.

While the latter point may sound like an advantage, I like that the CoolWallet looks so innocuous, feeling like an expired credit card or weird loyalty card for a supermarket or something. If I keep this at home and my house gets robbed, this won’t be stolen unless the burglar knows crypto, put it that way.

In wrapping up, I think this is up there with the best wallets I have used. It’s a shame about the micro USB charger, but I’m an Android boy and I like having one cable for everything. Overall, if you are looking to jump into cold storage, this is a strong option – the CoolWallet Pro is a great hardware wallet with market-leading features.