A hardware wallet is a specialized device designed to securely store cryptocurrency private keys and facilitate secure transactions. It is typically a small physical device, often resembling a USB stick, with built-in security features. Hardware wallets provide an isolated environment for key generation, storage, and transaction signing, reducing the risk of private key exposure to online threats. They offer enhanced security compared to software wallets as the private keys are stored offline, making it extremely difficult for hackers to access them remotely. Hardware wallets are widely regarded as one of the safest options for storing and managing cryptocurrencies.