DEX aggregator and crypto wallet company 1inch announced it will be selling its own hardware wallet later this year.
During the last bull run, 1inch rose to prominence as a top DEX aggregator–a tool for swapping crypto that routes traders' tokens through multiple DEXs' liquidity to achieve the lowest gas fees and slippage. 1inch operates on Ethereum, Optimism, Arbitrum, Polygon, Avalanche, BNB Chain, Fantom, and other blockchains, but the vast majority of 1inch’s traffic appears to be on Ethereum and BNB Chain.
1inch is a pretty big player, and I'm not surprised to see them enter the hardware space. In late 2021, 1inch raised a $175M Series B round at a $2.25B valuation. 1inch’s token, 1INCH, has fared well through the crypto winter, with a market cap around $400M.
1inch also makes a fairly popular DeFi software wallet that offers certain swaps with no gas fees. So they're using their funding to make cool DeFi tools and they know a lot about crypto wallets.
The 1inch Hardware Wallet
The 1inch hardware wallet has cool hardware. It's the size of a credit card, 4mm thick, and has no ports or buttons–just a touchscreen. You charge it wirelessly and perform transactions using QR codes or NFC.
The screen is a 2.7-inch e-ink display with a Gorilla glass cover, and 1inch claims the battery will last for 2 weeks.
Is the 1inch Hardware Wallet Better than the Ledger Stax?
I think it's natural to compare 1inch’s unreleased hardware wallet to this year’s most anticipated unreleased hardware wallet: the Ledger Stax.
Ledger’s Stax is also a small, thin hardware wallet with an e-ink touchscreen. The Ledger Stax has a charging port and a button, so it's not fully air gapped. If that matters to you, then the 1inch is probably a better choice.
I think the Ledger Stax looks nicer. The 1inch hardware wallet has a really big bezel at the top and quite a bit on the sides. The Ledger Stax's screen runs edge-to-edge on the front and wraps around the side so you can display text, like a spine on a book.
Right now, I'd probably buy the Ledger Stax over the 1inch hardware wallet, but I’m waiting to see what kind of software 1inch will offer. They have significant experience with software wallets, and I like their main DEX aggregator product. I think the 1inch hardware wallet user experience could end up being a lot better than using a Ledger–especially if you don't use Ledger Live.