MIRkey is a Bitcoin hardware wallet designed and introduced to the crypto world by Ellipticsecure, a crypto-security company that specializes in the manufacture of Hardware Security Modules (HSM). According to its developers, MIRkey is a security-focused hardware wallet that embraces a host of security features, including a FIDO2 certification. But unlike most other hardware wallets that have their focus set on ease of use, especially with a large OLED display, MIRkey doesn’t have a display screen.
In this MIRkey hardware wallet review, we will be vetting the wallet by looking at such factors as its key features, ease of use, pros and cons, and a step-by-step guide on how to interact with MIRkey, and compare it with other Bitcoin only wallets.
MIRkey wallet key features:
Sleek design: MIRkey hardware wallet embraces a sleek USB-like design. This implies that the wallet is both ultra-light and highly portable. The wallet also features a single button that is used to authorize outbound crypto transfers.
Integrates software wallets: You get to control the MIRkey hardware wallet via the MIRkey software wallet. This software is versatile and compatible with virtually all computer operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Integrates Electrum wallet: MIRkey hardware wallet will also integrate software crypto wallets like the Electrum Bitcoin wallet that plays a key role in making the hardware wallet easy to use and interact with.
Password: Like any other software or hardware crypto wallet, MIRkey is secured with a password that you set when activating the wallet and creating a user account. This prevents unauthorized access to the wallet and the private keys and serves as the hardware wallet’s encryption tool.
Two-factor authentication: All outbound crypto transfers from your MIRkey hardware wallet must be subjected to two-factor authentication. On the hardware wallet device is a button that you have to press to authorize the transfer implying that even if a hacker were to gain access to your passwords, they must have physical access to the device to initiate the transfer.
FIDO2-certified: MIRkey hardware wallet received FIDO2 certification in September 2019. This implies that the wallet meets the international standards in security and safety and can, therefore, be used to store the security phrases and passcodes for registries, systems, and such web services like Google, Facebook, Netflix, GitHub, Amazon, etc.
VPN access: Another unique security measure that sets the MIRkey hardware wallet apart from most other hardware wallets is that it is accessible via a VPN.
Cold storage: MIRkey is a noncustodial wallet implying that your private keys and all other personal data stored in the wallet are stored therein is highly encrypted and stored in hardware devices offline. None of your information is stored on the Ellipticsecure company servers, plus all communications between the wallet, the company, and other third party systems are subjected to end-to-end encryption.
Hierarchical deterministic: Sensitive information like wallet addresses and the recovery seed are generated by the hardware device offline. The wallet address generation process is also hierarchically deterministic in a process meant to throw off crypto trackers.
Recovery seed: When activating the hardware wallet and creating a user password, you will also be presented with a 24-word backup and recovery seed. It comes in handy should you want to recover lost private keys.
How to set and activate the MIRkey wallet
Step 1: Start by ordering your copy of a MIRkey hardware wallet on the Ellipticsecure.com website.
Step 2: Download the MIRkey desktop app that is compatible with your computer.
Step 3: Install and upon launching the app, click the ‘Create a new wallet’ tab
Step 4: Create a password for the wallet
Step 5: Insert the MIRkey hardware wallet device.
Step 6: Choose a username and create a passcode for the wallet.
Step 7: The wallet will now present you with a 24-word recovery seed. Write it down on a piece of paper and keep it safe offline.
Step 8: The wallet is now active and ready for use
How to add/receive crypto into your MIRkey wallet
Step 1: Log in to the MIRkey desktop wallet app and click on the “Receive” tab on the user dashboard.
Step 2: On the wallet address and forward it to the person sending you Bitcoins
Step 3: Alternatively, have them scan the wallet’s QR code
Step 4: Wait for your funds to reflect in your account.
How to send crypto from your MIRkey wallet
Step 1: Log in to the MIRkey desktop wallet app, and on the user dashboard, click “Send.”
Step 2: Select the account from which you want to send Bitcoins
Step 3: On the transfer window that pops up, enter the recipient’s wallet address and the number of Bitcoins you want to send
Step 4: Insert the MIRkey hardware wallet device into the computer
Step 5: Confirm that the transaction details are correct and press the on-device button on the MIRkey wallet to authorize the transfer.
MIRkey wallet ease of use
The MIRkey hardware wallet is relatively easy to use. The onboarding process is quite easy and straightforward. And while one might find fault that they don’t include the wallet activation guide in the wallet’s package, you don’t need expert help to activate the wallet.
The processes of sending and receiving Bitcoins in and out of the MIRkey wallet is also quite straightforward. We must, however, observe that the lack of an on-device screen complicates the transaction verification process.
MIRkey wallet supported currencies
MIRkey is a bitcoin-only wallet, but you can always integrate it with such software wallets as the Electrum that help increase the number of supported crypto coins.
MIRkey wallet cost and fees
The MIRkey hardware wallet costs $49 on the Ellipticsecure.com website. But you can buy a double pack hardware wallet for $79 with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The desktop wallet app is nevertheless free. And so is storing your digital assets here. However, you will have to part with the Bitcoin blockchain network fee every time you want to send coins to another wallet or exchange. How much you pay is largely dependent on the number of coins you want to send.
MIRkey wallet customer support
EllipticSecure, the MIRkey hardware wallet developers, has one of the most responsive aftersales service and customer support team. You can contact them via the phone number on their website, send them an email, or raise a support ticket on their ‘Contact Us’ page.
You can also consult their blog, documentation, and how-to guides on the website’s ‘Resources’ page.
What are the pros and cons of using the MIRkey Wallet?
- It embraces some of the most innovative security features
- MIRkey is relatively inexpensive when compared to most other hardware wallets
- The wallet is highly intuitive and beginner-friendly
- It has a highly responsive customer support team that is also available on the phone
- It is compatible with the electrum software wallet
- It will only support Bitcoins
- It doesn’t have an on-device screen, and this complicates transaction verification
Comparing MIRkey wallet with other hardware wallets
MIRkey wallet vs. Ledger Nano S wallet
MIRkey and Ledger Nano S are both security-focused hardware wallets. They also rank highly among the most affordable hardware wallets. Other similarities between the two include storing your coins in cold storage, their sleek and ultra-lightweight design, and ease of use.
However, while MIRkey will only support Bitcoins. Ledger Nano S, however, is a multicurrency hardware wallet that supports 1000+ cryptocurrencies and tokens. Similarly, Ledger features both the on-device button and OLED screen. Further, unlike MIRkey that is only compatible with the Electrum software wallet, Ledger Nano S integrates numerous software and mobile app crypto wallets.
Verdict: Is MIRkey wallet safe?
Yes, the hardware cryptocurrency wallet has put in place several highly advanced security and privacy measures. These have seen the wallet earn the coveted FIDO2 certification, and they include the fact that your wallets are stored in cold storage. The process of generating wallet addresses is also hierarchically deterministic, you can boost wallet security with two-factor authentication, and it also provides you with a backup and recovery seed. You only have to part with $49 and deal with the fact that it is a Bitcoin-only wallet.