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Why would you use the hardware wallet interface as opposed to the software that comes with the hardware wallet, such as ledger live or trezor suite? Is HWI better in some way?

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HWI allows you to connect your hardware wallet to your own Bitcoin Core full node. If you use the software that comes with the hardware wallet exclusively you are relying on a full node that the hardware wallet manufacturer is running and not your own. This may be satisfactory to you depending on your circumstances but it is certainly not as trust minimized as running and relying on your own full node.

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  • Couldn't someone hack the HWI github repo and place malware in it, the same as the proprietary software?
    – Eoin
    Mar 5 at 12:46
  • @EoinMcQuinn: They could hack the maintainer (achow101)'s laptop and push malicious changes and they could in theory hack Microsoft/GitHub so the code you downloaded contained malicious code. We are talking high levels of paranoia and speculation here on next steps. Mar 5 at 16:29
  • I suspect malicious firmware updates on the device would be the thing to worry about over malicious code in HWI repo but again highly speculative. Mar 5 at 16:32
  • Can you do firmware updates via HWI?
    – Eoin
    Mar 5 at 19:37
  • @EoinMcQuinn: No, firmware updates are run on your hardware wallet. HWI is code running on your Bitcoin Core full node server. Firmware updates aren't pushed to your full node or to HWI Mar 5 at 20:21

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