This technique is the ultimate in private key security

But is it right for you? 

In this article we discuss the pros, cons, and methods of air gapping your private key.

What is air gapping?

Air gapping is the practice of using a wallet that never connects to an online-capable device, whether by USB, Bluetooth, or Wifi. 

Transactions are built on an online device using a watch-only wallet, and then passed to the actual wallet for signing via MicroSD card or QR code, and then passed back to the online device for broadcast to the bitcoin network. 

The advantages are obvious. 

An air-gapped solution makes it physically impossible for hackers to steal your key. No amount of malware, or even compromised wallet firmware, would be enough to steal your private key

The disadvantages are simply the extra effort required to set up and sign transactions in such a setup. You must pass your public key to the online device so it can know and monitor your addresses, and pass the transaction between the device. Add to this that a hardware wallet’s specific purpose is to prevent sharing of the private key, and for many it may feel unnecessary.

But some amount of paranoia is healthy in this space, and once you get it set up, it’s really not hard to use.

In this article we’ll tell you how to get your air-gap on with the two hardware wallets designed for this function, the Blockstream Jade and CoinKite’s ColdCard.

Blockstream Jade

The Blockstream Jade works air-gapped by using QR codes, in tandem with mobile phone wallet Nunchuk. Import Jade’s air-gapped public key to Nunchuk, and use Nunchuk to receive funds. 

When you’re ready to send a transaction, create an unsigned transaction in Nunchuk, scan the unsigned transaction to the Jade via QR, sign it, and scan it back into Nunchuk to be broadcast.


Coldcard words similarly, but in tandem with a desktop interface such as Electrum or Sparrow. In the coldcard, export your public key to SD card, and use it to make a new wallet in Electrum/Sparrow. Use your desktop interface to monitor the wallet and receive funds. 

When you want to send funds, create an unsigned transaction, copy it to MicroSD, sign it in the ColdCard, and then move the SD Card back to the desktop to be broadcast. 

Is air gapping worthwhile?

It’s difficult to measure the amount of risk involved in using a hardware wallet directly on a potentially compromised computer. 

While the chances of losing your private key through a hardware wallet are low, the stakes are high enough to make any uncertainty undesirable. 

If you are confident in the security provided by a hardware wallet, due to their open source code or track record, perhaps there is no need for these extra measures. 

If, however, the unknown factor makes you uneasy to any degree, then an air-gapped solution just might help you sleep at night. 

Still confused?

You want to secure your Bitcoin for the long haul and do it the right way.

But you still feel like you could use a helping hand to get you started on the right path?

Our BitcoinVN Consulting team is ready to assist.

Reach out to work directly with the team with the longest experience in the Bitcoin space in Vietnam.

Where do I get an air-gapped hardware wallet in Vietnam?

Our colleagues at BitcoinVN Shop are official suppliers of Blockstream Jade and Coldcard products in the Vietnamese market.

Why order with us?

All products are directly imported from the manufacturer, so you won’t have to deal with unpredictable Vietnamese customs procedures.

Delivery time is generally within 24 hours in Saigon (HCMC) and up to 2-3 days for shipping within Vietnam.

Additionally, we currently have an ongoing offer for a free 1-hour consultation with our cybersecurity consultants to ensure you start off on the right foot.

Further reading: Multivendor Multisig: Maximum Security Cold Storage