Cobo Vault – a hardware wallet with 100% air gap that can be checked

Cobo vault is a truly secure hardware wallet designed to manage multiple different cryptocurrencies, in a way that provides the device itself is 100% offline, and air gap at any moment. Which means it can’t connect to other devices or machines via USB or using wireless technologies like WIFI, Bluetooth or NFC at any time.

And instead, that uses his camera as the only connection to the outside world by photographing QR codes to sign cryptographically verified multi-signature transactions.


Introduction

Cobo Vault is part of a family of impressive truly secure hardware tools, with the main device being a 100% hardware wallet with air gap that can be verified, which does not require a connection to any other devices or machines, nor has wireless capabilities for hackers to use, such as which are Bluetooth, NFC or Internet connection in any form.

In this way, users can ensure that all common attacking areas are completely eliminated, but can still spend money holding the device without having to worry about malicious cables from other hacking routes.

Cobo safe

Cobo does this by using his camera as the only connection to the outside world. By scanning QR codes from a smartphone app or electrum desktop wallet to sign cryptographically secure multi-signature transactions.

The Cobo also comes with a separate battery compartment, which can be detached and charged completely separate from the device itself. This ensures that even corrosion of the battery cannot damage the device. And not only that, in order to use and update the device, the firmware must be loaded into a separate SD card, which goes to the back of the device.

Cobo Vault is also self-destructive, so if hackers try to touch the CPU, the device will self-destruct and only a user with a spare seed phrase can recover the wallet itself.

To do this, the Cobo family also has the option of a separate metal Cobo Tablet that ensures your backups are not lost or destroyed like sheets of paper, for example, if it comes in contact with natural forces such as getting wet or burned in a fire.


What’s in the box?

What's in the box?

When you open the package you will immediately notice the luxurious design and fresh smell of the unused product that comes. The entire packaging is also sealed with labels that are resistant to unauthorized use, so you know right away that you have the original product.

After opening the package, you will find two compartments, with a rechargeable battery and a specially packaged device, and below are all the other parts and tools.

The Cobo Vault Pro package includes the following materials:

  • Touch-sensitive hardware device
  • AAA + battery support + rechargeable battery
  • USB battery charging cable
  • Warranty card + quick guide

Keep in mind that this Cobo Wallet Pro, depending on the package you choose the content may vary, the ultimate package also includes a protective case, a docking station for charging the battery and a Cobo tablet for backup and storage against natural forces.

If you want to learn more about how a Cobo tablet can protect your Cobo Vault, read our previous review, because it goes through testing tablets by burning them in a wood-fired oven.


Features

Cobo Vault is designed to protect your keys from all known attacks, which means that by default it does not have a number of features that are usually found in a place with common hardware wallets. However, Cobo does one thing extremely well, and that is security itself and that is why it could almost be considered a Lamborghini hardware wallet.

Therefore, you will not get the pleasure of USB connectivity, such as competitors Ledger Nano, Keepkey and Trezor. And this is the exact point of Cobo Vault, since there is no physical or wireless connection with external forces, the device leaves much less intrusive areas to exploit.

However, that doesn’t mean the Cobo family doesn’t have a number of additional tweaking features. Because, depending on the package you choose, the device will come with a number of additional features, such as a Cobo tablet or a Cobo protective case that is claimed to be indestructible even if a tank passes through it.

And if you opt for the most expensive version (ultimate), the device comes with an IP68 rating, which means it is waterproof and can survive up to 1.5 m underwater for at least 30 minutes.

Cobo Vault also has a number of different built-in security features to protect your coins, including a wallet access phrase, a lock pattern, and a fingerprint sensor.

Cobo Vault also comes with a choice of whether to use it as a multi-coin wallet using the usual Cobo phone app or connect to an Electrum desktop wallet, a Bitcoin-only firmware version that minimizes code base and attack area.

Keep in mind that the Electrum Bitcoin wallet is considered to be the most secure open source Bitcoin wallet to date, and the approach to signing transactions via electrum and Cobo while limiting all risks of attack in the middle of a transaction is actually quite amazing.

Here is a short introductory video on how signing transactions happens with Cobo Vault:

Taking all this into account, when it comes to multi-coin support, Cobo is still missing in terms of which cryptocurrencies and assets it supports. With a total of only 12 coins, the number is significantly lower than some competitors in the market.

Here is a list of current coins included in the Cobo Vault system:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • BitcoinCash (BCH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • dash (CRTA)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Decred (DCR)
  • zcoin (XZC)
  • IiosToken (IOST)

However, Cobo has support for more than 686 Ethereum tokens, 22 Tron tokens and 70 EOS tokens, making a total of over 790 funds.

With constant firmware updates, such as the recent Bitcoin-only update, we expect the number of cryptocurrencies included in Cobo Vault to only increase over time.

And there are a number of other roadmap updates worth mentioning.

Some of these updates include:

  • Compatible with Wasabi wallet and blue wallet
  • Using dice to generate keys for additional physical entropy
  • Multisig on the accompanying Cobo Vault app and Bitcoin-only firmware.
  • Rechargeable battery available for purchase as an accessory
  • Cryptocurrency on the ramp + support for new coins
  • Staking + Defi support
  • Taproot / Schnorr support
  • U2F (2FA) support.
  • In the open source hardware operating system layer
  • Cypherpunk version that allows people to load their own firmware

And much more.


Pricing

Cobo Family has several different feature packs (Essential, Pro and Ultimate) with each package including different features and tools. However, each package includes the most important part of the family, and that is the Cobo Vault device itself.

And as of today (July), the most expensive feature-rich package that costs just under $ 500.

Cobo Vault prices

It is important to notice the differences with each product package, such as the ultimate cover of everything from military protective cases and Cobo tablets, but then, due to the waterproof case, it omits the fingerprint sensor, which is still available in the pro version.

However, you can also order some of these tools separately, such as Cobo tablets, which cost only $ 39 on their own and are almost necessary to protect your backup code.

Cobo tablet

With that in mind, we wouldn’t actually recommend anyone get just the Essential package, as it only comes with support for AAA batteries, which could get very annoying over time as it has to replace the batteries. And not only does it lack fingerprint sensors and self-destruct mechanisms, which are some of the key security features.

On the other hand, if you’re fine without the wallet being waterproof and not having an extra protective case, the Cobo Vault Pro combined with the Cobo tablet purchased separately is actually a good deal because you save almost $ 300, but then you still get all the key features and some extras.


Pro and con

Avg

  • 100% air distance, the device itself never comes into contact with the outside world.
  • It can be extremely useful if you are an institutional user, managing multiple coins.
  • Protection against hackers who physically try to touch the device.
  • Fully open source firmware.

Against

  • It is not necessarily useful for ordinary users, unless you are a person who is very aware of safety.
  • The premium package comes with one of the most expensive prices.
  • Sending funds back and forth requires little learning time.
  • Supports only a limited selection of cryptocurrencies.

Conclusion

At BitShills we don’t actually use hardware wallets at all and that’s why there aren’t that many reviews about them, because we prefer to do it the old-fashioned way using only offline laptops and Electrum wallets. However, Cobo may have changed our perspective only slightly, as it allows us to manage and sign our Bitcoin transactions via Electrum wallets just by scanning QR codes which makes it much easier to manage multiple signatures.

We felt that additional security comes at a great price, and this is something that many users need to seriously consider. But of course, if you’re a security person like us, then it doesn’t matter to you in the long run. As in the end, those with assets still in their hands continue to smile.

With that in mind, we have indeed found that the Cobo vault is a desirable product, but for average users of everyday use, the Cobo is probably not as useful as it is somewhat unsuitable for this purpose.

This does not mean that it is a bad product, but that it is intended for safe storage and management of larger quantities of long-term offline refrigerated warehouses. Which means it’s best to use it as the safest option for transactions and storing coins that don’t move often.

Buy Cobo Vault now!

To learn more about Cobo, here is a short introductory video that you can also watch:

Full disclosure: The Cobo vault was provided by Cobo for inspection purposes.


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