What is Air-Gapped Wallet?

An air-gapped wallet is a special kind of cryptocurrency wallet that is created to stay offline and not connected to the Internet or any wireless technology. Air-gapped wallets are not linked to Bluetooth, wifi, NFC (near-field communication), and sometimes even USB drives.

The term “air gap” is derived from the idea of having a physical space between the wallet device and any online networks or wireless communication. This adds an additional layer of security to protect against hacks and exploits.

How It Work?

Air-gapped wallets use QR codes or micro-SD cards for transactions without needing an Internet connection. Transaction data is stored on these small memory cards.

Air-gapped wallets often use computer software that helps with Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions (PSBTs) for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Explain the process of conducting a Bitcoin transaction using an air-gapped wallet.

  • Step 1: Creating a Partially Signed Bitcoin Transaction (PSBT)
  • Step 2: Signing the transaction
  • Step 3: Broadcasting the transaction

Types of Air-Gapped Wallets

Air-gapped wallets can be found in various forms, but the ones listed below are the most popular types of air-gapped wallets.

  • Air-gapped hardware wallets
  • Air-gapped computers
  • Air-gapped smartphones 

Variances in Air-Gapped Wallets and Hardware Wallets.

Air-gapped wallets and hardware wallets are similar, but they have distinct variations.

An air-gapped wallet is always disconnected from the Internet. As stated earlier, air-gapped wallets carry out transactions by keeping the private keys offline constantly. A hardware wallet keeps keys offline and usually links to an Internet-connected device for transaction signing. The private keys are meant to stay within the hardware wallet, but during the signing process, hardware wallets do connect to an online device.

Air-gapped wallets may involve additional steps to complete a transaction, whereas hardware wallets typically provide a simpler process for signing transactions since they are designed to directly connect with an online device. Hardware wallets typically provide strong security if used properly, since they are made to keep private keys separate even when connected to a device. Air-gapped wallets and hardware wallets provide strong security by storing private keys offline. Air-gapped wallets go even further by ensuring a complete separation from devices connected to the Internet.

Is It More Secure?

The crypto community typically regards air-gapped wallets as safer than other wallet types. The extra security is due to the creation and use of an air-gapped wallet on a device that is never connected to the Internet, protecting it from online dangers like hacking, phishing, and malware. Air-gapped wallets keep the private keys on devices that are completely disconnected from the internet, making it more difficult for hackers to steal the private keys unless they have physical access to the device.

Risks and Limitations

Air-gapped wallets provide a high level of security, but they are not completely immune to vulnerabilities. Despite their strong security measures, there are still potential risks. For instance, if a user accidentally connects an air-gapped device to the Internet or introduces malicious software through a USB stick or any other means, the device’s security can be compromised.

Users must protect air-gapped wallets from theft, damage, or loss. They should follow best practices, keep secure backups of their keys, and have technical knowledge for proper usage.


Air-gapped wallets provide strong security for cryptocurrency users, particularly those with significant assets for the future. They offer a reliable protection against online dangers by storing private keys on a device that is never connected to the Internet or any wireless communication.

Air-gapped wallets have benefits, but they are not completely secure and need users to be very careful. Security relies on keeping the air gap intact and protecting the device physically.

Not all users need air-gapped wallets. Those who transact often or have a small amount of cryptocurrency may prefer other types of wallets. The decision on which wallet to use depends on the user’s needs, risk tolerance, and ability to handle security.