In 2020 I bought the Cobo Vault Pro bitcoin and altcoin hardware wallet and was excited to use it. My excitement quickly deflated when I had trouble figuring out how to upgrade the firmware. To get it done I needed a micro-SD card and a reader. Since I didn’t have either, the Cobo Vault sat on my desk for about a year. I’m just now getting around to learning how to use it and writing about the experience.
You may be wondering why I’m talking about the Cobo Vault Pro in an article about the Keystone Pro bitcoin and altcoin hardware wallet. To my dismay, I just learned that the Cobo Vault Pro doesn’t exist anymore! Apparently the company sold it to some of their former employees who rebranded it to the Keystone Pro hardware wallet. So now what? I don’t remember exactly what I paid for it, and I can’t find the receipt. If I could find the receipt I would go to the Keystone website and get a coupon for a discount on their Keystone Pro hardware wallet. It’s currently $169. I may eventually get the Keystone Pro hardware wallet. The Cobo Vault company doesn’t support the hardware wallet anymore. They now focus on the Cobo Wallet mobile wallet.
Since the Cobo Vault Pro hardware wallet device I currently have is identical to the Keystone Pro hardware (except for the firmware maybe) I decided to use my Cobo Vault Pro and write about it in this article. I have all the components and the device works great. This allows me to get more comfortable with this type of hardware device and I think you’ll appreciate this article’s insights too. However, I will NOT use my Cobo Vault to store significant amounts of crypto. I don’t trust a wallet that doesn’t have current support. I recommend you buy the newer Keystone Pro Hardware Wallet.
Bitcoin Hardware Wallet -The Basics
The Keystone – Cobo Vault Pro bitcoin and altcoin hardware wallet is a nice looking device and feels more substantial than the Ledger Nano hardware wallets I use.
Here’s what comes in the box:
- Keystone – Cobo Vault Pro Bitcoin and Altcoin Hardware Wallet (4 inch touchscreen)
- A Removable 1540 mAH Battery
- Charging Dock
- USB-C Cable (For Charging)
- Small Screwdriver
- Instruction Booklet
Features and Benefits
The features of this device are impressive.
- Air-gapped with no wifi, bluetooth NFC, or USB capabilities
- Encryption chip with tailored firmware that meets BIP 32, 39, and 44
- Supports BTC, ETH, BCH, DASH, LTC, ETC, TRX, and EOS plus ETH, TRX and EOS tokens
- Military grade outer casing
- Built-in self-destruct mechanism to protect private keys
- Multi-signature capability
- Multi-coin and tokens with no storage or memory limit for coins
- No physical points of attack
- Water-resistant aerospace metal body
- Magnetically detachable battery to avoid corrosion
Updating the Firmware
Anyone who says crypto is easy must be from Mars. I’ve been a crypto investor since 2015 and I’ve done well, however, I will be the first to tell you crypto is NOT easy in its current form. Someday I hope it will be simpler and easier to use, but for now, it’s imperative to study, learn, and get help when needed.
My first stumbling block with the Keystone – Cobo Vault Bitcoin and Altcoin Hardware Wallet was updating the firmware. The instructions didn’t help me. I found them confusing because all these crypto geeks write as if everyone else thinks like they do. Maybe the Keystone Pro group does this better. I can tell you that I own about 5 Ledger Nano hardware wallets and it was much easier to start using. First of all, I didn’t have to upgrade the firmware. And by the time I needed to upgrade the firmware the Ledger Nano developers created a seamless way to get it done. I didn’t need a micro-SD card.
To get started I downloaded the latest Cobo Vault firmware V2.7.0 from Keystone’s website. The Cobo Vault device needs this firmware version in order for the device to work with the companion app, Cobo Vault Companion App, created by Keystone specifically for the Cobo Vault device.
After downloading the Cobo Vault V2.7.0 firmware, I copied the unzipped folder onto the micro-SD card and inserted the card into the Cobo Vault device. You would do they same with the Keystone Pro hardware wallet, but be sure to download the latest Keystone hardware wallet firmware.
Select Which Coins to Use in Your Hardware Wallet
To my surprise after installing the MicroSD card with the latest firmware into my Cobo Vault Pro device, it worked, and the device turned on. The firmware version I used is for multi-coin support, so once the device booted, I selected the cryptocoins I wanted to use on the device. If you install the firmware that is just for bitcoin you can never go back to the multicoin firmware. Choose wisely.
Mobile Phone Companion App
The next step is to install the mobile phone app. The actual sending and receiving of crypto is done with the software app. The job of the device is to store your private keys offline. I downloaded the original Cobo Vault companion app so I’m using that.
If you have a Cobo Vault Pro you can also use the slightly upgraded Cobo Vault app created by Keystone called the QR Watch-Only Wallet.
If you bought the newer Keystone Pro bitcoin and altcoin hardware wallet, you should download the Keystone companion app.
Once the app is installed it should reflect the cryptocoins you chose on the hardware wallet device.
Sending and Receiving Bitcoin or Altcoins
The process for sending and receiving bitcoin or other cryptocoins is the same as it is for any other wallet. You’ll need the sending or receiving address to get started.
If you’d like to see all these steps in action here’s a great video by CryptoDAD.
More Hardware Wallets
To learn more about hardware wallets try these pages on our website.
To get even more comfortable with wallets try our course on wallets.
Thank you for reading. I wish you great success with your crypto holdings!