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Knowledge Base / Hardware Wallet Account / What is a Hardware Wallet Account?
Hardware Wallet Account

What is a Hardware Wallet Account?

Overview

The River Hardware Wallet account is an extension of your Trezor Hardware Wallet or Ledger Hardware Wallet and is currently a beta feature. Please contact support@river.com for access.

By connecting your hardware wallet to River, you will be able to view your hardware wallet balance on River, track your investments with our performance tools, and generate deposit addresses.

We currently support registering Ledger and Trezor hardware wallet devices.

Features

Accounts

The following wallet accounts will be associated with your Hardware Wallet Account:

  • Ledger: Native Segwit Wallet at Account #1
  • Trezor: Segwit Wallet at Account #1

We cannot view other accounts associated with the wallet device.

There is a plan to support account selection in the future allowing clients to register other SegWit enabled accounts on their wallet device.

The rest of this section includes technical details for the advanced user.

Hardware wallets use an ecosystem standard for wallet accounts defined by BIP32. When registering a hardware wallet device with River, a specific account in the BIP32 tree is exported. This means that we ask Ledger wallets for M/84’/0’/0’ and Trezor wallets for M/49’/0’/0’ derivation paths. A Ledger device connected with River will generate native segwit bech32 P2WPKH addresses. A Trezor device connected with River will generate nested segwit P2SH addresses.

This is no plan to support legacy wallets that use the Pay-to-Public-Key-Hash script type. This is an engineering decision that is rationalized by reducing on-chain transaction fees and eliminating risks created by transaction malleability.

Deposits

After registration, you will be able to start generating Bitcoin addresses. Any addresses displayed in your account will be owned by the wallet device. Bitcoin sent to a Hardware Wallet Account address will always be in your custody.

Transfers

You can transfer bitcoin in a Brokerage account to your Hardware Wallet. After successful registration, you can visit the Transfer Page to seamlessly move Bitcoin from River to your own self-custody.

Transaction History

During registration, River will rescan your wallet and find any historical transactions. You will be able to view past and future transactions as you interact with your wallet device. Any time you use River, you can track your total Bitcoin holdings in self-custody.

Performance Tracking

The Hardware Wallet Account includes Performance Tracking tools. Any tax lots for past and future bitcoin can be assigned.

Transfers from the Brokerage account to your Hardware Wallet Account will transfer tax lot information too. This allows you to track your performance while self-custodying bitcoin.

Privacy

During registration, we request an Extended Public Key (xpub) for the accounts listed above. The xpub is a standard defined by BIP32 that allows River to generate deposit addresses on your behalf as well as track transaction history.

When registering the device, it is important to understand the privacy trade-offs.

River can do the following with an xpub:

  • Generate Bitcoin addresses
  • Track historical and future transactions

River cannot do the following with an xpub:

  • View other wallet accounts associated with your hardware wallet device
  • Spend bitcoin

Best Practices

The responsibility of custodying bitcoin is a serious, yet rewarding endeavor. It is important to follow best practices when using a hardware wallet device in order to prevent loss of funds.

Ownership of bitcoin ultimately rests on the secure possession of the wallet device. Follow the checklist as a starting point for best practices:

  1. Purchase the device directly from the vendor.
  2. Never accept a previously-used wallet.
  3. Always use recovery words generated on the device.
  4. Always verify actions on the device. Be sceptical of user interfaces on the web.
  5. Test recovery words immediately after creating a new wallet.
  6. Never share your recovery phrase with anyone.
  7. Never store the recovery phrases on a computer device.
  8. Physically secure the recovery words.