Here are three hardware wallets that can be used for the long term storage of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. These devices are separated from your computer — and thus virtually hacker proof. I recommend storing these wallets in a fireproof safe.
Trezor Bitcoin Wallet
Trezor is a hardware wallet for storing bitcoins. This USB device creates an isolated environment for offline Bitcoin transaction signing. It is Windows, OS X and Linux compatible. You can backup your bitcoins by copying down a secret passphrase (on paper). You can use this passphrase to regain access to all your bitcoins in case of disaster, loss or theft. Trezor code is open-source and technical decisions are discussed with the wider developer community. Everything can be audited by an independent third party. It can also store Ethereum, if a third-party interface is used.
I’ve tested this device — the operating instructions were clearly written and I was able to secure my bitcoins without too much hassle. I found it somewhat difficult to get my computer to recognize the device — I had to plug it a couple of time to get it to work.
Update May 18: Trezor now supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, ZCash, Litecoin, Namecoin, Dogecoin, Dash and Testnet.
KeepKey Bitcoin Wallet
Update May 18: The device now supports DASH, Bitcoin Testnet and Namecoin.
To test the Keepkey safe, I deposited some Ethereum on it. I discovered that this safe is only accessible via a Google Chrome extension (although Chromium did work for me). Apparently, the company is working on other interfaces. The process of depositing the currency on the Keepkey was straightforward.
KeepKey is available on Amazon for about $100.
Ledger Nano S
Update: I’ve had trouble using the Ledger Nano Manager — and the company was not helpful when I asked for support. I’ll have to wait a minimum of 48 before they even reply to my email request.
Ledger Nano S is a new hardware wallet that supports these digital currencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, DASH, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Stratis. However, can only have four different currencies installed on the device at one time.
You can send and receive payments, check your accounts and manage multiple addresses for each currency from the same device. Nano S also supports the FIDO Universal Second Factor standard used by online services such as GMail, Dashlane, Dropbox or GitHub.
I purchased Ledger Nano S for testing, but I have not received it yet. I will post an update when I test it.