- The D'CENT is the only hardware wallet with biometric security.
- Built-in Bluetooth connectivity makes the wallet super portable.
- The wallet supports a limited range of cryptocurrencies.
In the more than six years since the first cryptocurrency hardware wallet was released, the hardware wallet industry has exploded with innovation as an increasing number of companies launch their own cryptocurrency storage solutions.
Among these is IoTrust, a firm that released the world's first biometrically secured hardware wallet—the D'CENT biometric wallet. With an RRP of $159, but currently available for $79 because of a 50% spring discount, the D'CENT wallet undercuts some of the similar competition—but how does it measure up overall? Let's find out.
D'CENT Biometric Wallet review: Design and build
The D'CENT (middle) is larger than the Trezor (left) and Ledger Nano X (right). (Image: Decrypt)
For anybody familiar with cryptocurrency hardware wallets, it will become immediately apparent that the D'CENT features a somewhat unique design. Rather than adopting the thumb-drive like shape seen by the Ledger Nano X and BitBox02, the D'CENT Biometric Wallet has a form factor that is reminiscent of a portable media displayer.
The device is manufactured in Korea and appears to be constructed almost entirely out of plastic, textured to resemble brushed metal and emblazoned with the words "premium security". The D'CENT also features a 1.1 inch OLED display (128 x 128px resolution), with a built-in 585mAH battery and microUSB port. To interact with the device, there's a circular control bar with four buttons, in addition to a central fingerprint sensor and power button.
At 78.2mm x 43.2mm x 10.8mm and a weight of 36g, the D'CENT wallet is one of the larger wallets on the market, but it's by no means unwieldy. It may not be the prettiest of wallets, but its plain design won't draw any unwanted attention.
D'CENT Biometric Wallet review: What's in the box?
The D'CENT wallet comes supplied in a high quality box. (Image: Decrypt)
The D'CENT wallet comes in a shrink-wrapped box. The sturdy box opens into two halves and contains the D'CENT wallet device in addition to a short microUSB cable.
Within the box, you'll also find a D'CENT user guide, a 'Get Started' card and a recovery card used for recording your 24-word recovery seed.
D'CENT Biometric Wallet review: Ease of use
It sometimes takes multiple attempts to correctly scan your fingerprint. (Image: Decrypt)
The D'CENT wallet has clearly been designed with usability in mind, since the device features more buttons and connectivity options than most other hardware wallets.
Unlike many rival hardware wallets, the D'CENT appears to have been designed with mobile users in mind from the outset; you have to pair the wallet with a smartphone or tablet running the D'CENT mobile app in order to manage your funds. Users can connect to their mobile device using either the supplied USB cable or via Bluetooth.
D'CENT owners will need to download the D'CENT wallet app for their mobile device before the wallet can be used to send payments. The app is currently available on both iOS and Android. The mobile app is simple to set up and use, making portfolio management a painless task. However, it's somewhat bare as far as features go.
The D'CENT wallet's relatively large screen and built-in fingerprint sensor make interacting with the device a simple task, allowing owners to check their balances without needing to connect to a computer or mobile device first.
Overall, the D'CENT is among the simplest hardware wallets we have tested so far, making it ideal for those with limited patience.
D'CENT Biometric Wallet review: Getting Started
Setting up the D'CENT wallet takes just a few minutes and doesn't require the use of a mobile device.
To begin using the D'CENT wallet, turn it on by holding the power button for two seconds. Select your designed language from the list of four available languages (English, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese) and confirm your selection with the OK button.
Next, select the 'Create Wallet' option and choose a four-digit pin. You will then be asked to scan your finger several times before it is saved by the device.
You will then be provided your recovery seed, this is a 24-word phrase that you need to record to a safe place (such as the supplied recovery card). This will be needed to recover your wallet should you ever lose or break your D'CENT wallet device.
Lastly, you will be asked to enter two words from your recovery seed to confirm you have recorded it correctly, after which your device will be ready to use. In order to begin managing your cryptocurrencies and transacting using the D'CENT wallet, you will need to download and install the mobile app from the Google Play store (for Android devices) or App Store (for iOS devices).
D'CENT Biometric Wallet review: Features
A large screen and multiple buttons make the device simple to use. (Image: Decrypt)
As one of the more expensive hardware wallets on the market, customers might expect the D'CENT wallet to provide a range of features that justify its price tag. Depending on your perspective, you might be either pleasantly surprised, or disappointed.
The built-in fingerprint reader is the D'CENT wallet's stand-out feature, allowing users to quickly log in to their wallet and authorize transactions. As it stands, the D'CENT is the only hardware wallet on the market with biometric authentication, which could appeal to those that don't trust a simple password to protect their funds.
The D'CENT joins an increasing number of hardware wallets with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing owners to wirelessly manage their portfolio without compromising on security. This also has the added benefit of improving the portability of the wallet—allowing owners to manage their cryptocurrency portfolio on the go without needing to carry around any wires.
Although the D'CENT features biometric security and Bluetooth connectivity, it lacks some of the capabilities offered by other wallets, such as cryptocurrency exchange functionality and U2F two-factor functionality. Likewise, though the app is simple to use, it doesn't offer much outside of simply managing accounts and making transactions.
All in all, the D'CENT wallet as a healthy range of unique features, but they're almost entirely restricted to managing crypto assets—don't expect to do anything else with the wallet.
D'CENT Biometric Wallet review: Supported crypto assets
The D'CENT supports a limited range of popular cryptocurrencies. (Image: Decrypt)
Although practically every hardware wallet under the sun supports Bitcoin, the number and variety of altcoins being added to these wallets is rapidly increasing. The D'CENT is no exception to this trend.
Although the D'CENT doesn't support a huge range of cryptocurrencies, it does support some of the most popular ones, including:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- RSK Smart Bitcoin (RBTC)
- ERC20 tokens
The D'CENT wallet features support for around a dozen popular cryptocurrencies, as well as all ERC20 tokens. Though currently limited, the D'CENT team plans to expand this selection over time and is currently taking requests.
D'CENT Biometric Wallet review: Security
Five failed fingerprint scans will pull up the PIN entry screen. (Image: Decrypt)
Like all cryptocurrency hardware wallets, the D'CENT is designed to keep private keys safe from external threats. It has a variety of security safeguards in place to prevent the private keys from being extracted by an attacker, while blocking unauthorized entry attempts to the wallet.
First and foremost, the D'CENT wallet is the only hardware wallet on the market to feature biometric security, requiring a fingerprint scan in order to unlock the wallet. Comparatively, most other hardware wallets require PIN entry to unlock the device.
The D'CENT wallet is also protected by a secure element, which has been certified as EAL5+ (the highest level of security against penetration tests). This is the same security chip used to secure several other hardware wallets, such as the Ledger Nano X, and is also used for securing debit and credit cards.
The wallet uses a state-of-the-art Multi-IC architecture, which combines the aforementioned secure element with a secure custom-designed operating system to defend against practically every conceivable attack, including spyware, keyloggers, backdoors and more.
Although the Bluetooth connectivity technically increases the attack surface for hackers, no private keys are ever transmitted over Bluetooth, so it is unlikely hackers could siphon any useful data from these Bluetooth signals.
D'CENT Biometric Wallet review: Verdict
While discounted, the D'CENT competes with even the best Bluetooth wallets. (Image: Decrypt)
As a cryptocurrency hardware wallet, the D'CENT does everything it says on the tin. It can keep a variety of cryptocurrencies safe against practically any attack, giving owners peace of mind when storing event large portfolios on the device.
The fingerprint scanner makes the D'CENT wallet arguably one of the simplest wallets to unlock and use, forgoing the need to enter a password every time the user enters the device. Likewise, the D'CENT is one of just a handful of Bluetooth-enabled wallets, making it more portable and easier to use than many competing products.
Although the D'CENT is both secure and easy to use, consumers have now begun to expect more than simple security from cryptocurrency hardware wallets. With rivals offering NFC, touchscreen displays and support for practically every cryptocurrency, the D'CENT is clearly lagging behind in some respects.
Nevertheless, for those who don't need extra features, value simplicity and hold a limited selection of cryptocurrencies, the D'CENT is a strong contender in an increasingly populated market.