Creating a new wallet on Wasabi is pretty straightforward, but what are the steps to connect your hardware wallet to Wasabi?

If you already have a hardware wallet that you want to connect to Wasabi Wallet, you need an updated tutorial showing you how to complete that process without taking too much time; you’ve found it.

This article will first explain wallet recovery interoperability and how to check if your existing wallet is interoperable in case you lose your wallet and need to recover from the backup file. Then, we will go through the steps to use Wasabi for your Coldcard (or other hardware wallets) through a USB cable connection and in the air-gapped method.

What is Bitcoin Wallet Recovery Interoperability?

Bitcoin is a decentralized network, so there’s no one else responsible for your funds besides you. For this reason, when setting up a Bitcoin wallet, you must create a backup. There are many backup formats, ranging from rare methods like .dat files for Bitcoin Core to the popular BIP39 mnemonic seed phrases.

If you ever lose your hardware wallet, you want to ensure you can recover your funds on a new wallet. Bitcoin Wallet recovery interoperability is the ability to recover a wallet from your backup phrase into another wallet. Remember that you should avoid recovering the backup of a hardware wallet in another wallet unless it’s strictly necessary. When backing up your hardware wallet, you will notice that they all use the most common backup standard, a BIP39 mnemonic seed phrase. However, this isn’t sufficient enough data because there’s a follow-up concept called the wallet derivation path.

Modern Bitcoin wallets are Hierarchical Deterministic (BIP32), meaning they have many addresses that can be derived from the master key by specifying a path. A wallet derivation path is a sequence of fields used to organize a wallet in a multi-currency, multi-account, and multi-address system.

m / purpose’ / coin_type’ / account’ / change / address_index

Wasabi Wallet uses BIP39 mnemonic seed phrases as a backup method and the derivation path can be either m/84’/0’/0′ or m/86’/0’/0′ (since version 2.0.3).

How to Check if My Existing Wallet Backup is Interoperable?

In the past, the process of checking wallet backup interoperability was very complex: you had to check the documentation or sometimes the codebase of each wallet to find the wallet derivation path. Thankfully, this data is all documented nowadays on Wallets Recovery maintained by Rodolfo Novak (NVK), CEO at Coinkite, Coldcard’s manufacturer.

Most Bitcoin wallets and their respective information on the supported derivation paths, bip39 passphrase support, and links to their documentation are on the website. For example, we can observe that Blue Wallet and Green Wallet’s recovery is interoperable with Wasabi’s. On the other hand, Electrum isn’t because it doesn’t use BIP 39 mnemonic seed phrase as its backup method.

Now that we’ve defined wallet recovery interoperability and how to check for it, we want to accentuate the importance of backing up correctly your bitcoin wallet. We can proceed to the tutorial on connecting your hardware wallet to Wasabi Wallet.

How to Connect Your Hardware Wallet to Wasabi Wallet

For this section, we will show two methods of integrating your hardware wallet into Wasabi Wallet, in this case, Coldcard. The first one is with the hardware wallet connected to the computer, basically the same for other hardware wallets such as Trezor or Ledger. The second one is with the Coldcard air-gapped.

Method 1: How to Connect your Coldcard (or other Hardware Wallets) to Wasabi Wallet

We assume you have downloaded and installed Wasabi which you can do by following the steps listed here for Windows, Linux, and MacOS. There’s no need to check for recovery interoperability; you only need to ensure Wasabi Wallet supports your hardware wallet (list here). Here are all the steps to accomplish this:

  1. Open Wasabi Wallet by clicking on its Application Icon, which looks like this.

2. When the Application opens, click ‘Add Wallet’ on the sidebar.

3. Click on ‘connect to hardware wallet‘ when the new smaller window opens.

4. Give a name of your choosing to your new wallet. Click on ‘Continue’ when done.

5. Connect your Coldcard (or another hardware wallet) to your computer and unlock it with the PIN. Click on Rescan when your device is ready.

6. Wasabi will detect your hardware wallet. Click on Yes if it’s correct.

7. A success confirmation message will appear. Click on Done.

You have successfully integrated Wasabi Wallet with your Coldcard (or another hardware wallet). You simply have to wait for syncing to complete. Let’s proceed to the Coldcard air-gapped tutorial.

Method 2: How to air-gap your Coldcard transactions with Wasabi Wallet

To complete this method, first, export a wallet file from Coldcard onto a MicroSD. Then, you need to import this file into Wasabi Wallet. Exporting it this way ensures that there’s never a physical connection between your Coldcard hardware wallet and your computer.

Steps to reproduce on Coldcard

  1. Insert a microSD into your Coldcard’s slot.
  2. Power the Coldcard and unlock it with the PIN.
  3. On the main menu, select Advanced.
  4. Select MicroSD card.
  5. Select Export Wallet.
  6. Select Wasabi Wallet.
  7. Follow the instructions shown on the screen to complete the file export.
  8. Safely remove the microSD from your Coldcard.

Steps to reproduce on Wasabi Wallet

  1. Insert the microSD into your computer’s slot.
  2. Open Wasabi Wallet by clicking on its Application Icon, which looks like this.

3. When the Application opens, clickAdd Walleton the sidebar.

4. When the new smaller window opens, click onImport a Wallet‘.

5. You will be prompted to select the wallet file from your microSD.

6. A success confirmation message will appear. Click on Done.

You’ve successfully integrated Wasabi Wallet with your Coldcard air-gapped. You simply have to wait for syncing to complete.


This article explains that Bitcoin wallet recovery interoperability applies not only on the wallet backup level but also on the wallet derivation path. Wallets Recovery is a tool to check if your existing wallet backup is interoperable with Wasabi Wallet.

This article presents all the steps to the two methods that exist to connect your Coldcard (or other hardware wallets), through a USB cable connection or the air-gapped method, to Wasabi Wallet.