As more and more people start taking notice of Bitcoin and other digital currencies, it is important to educate these novice users on how to store their digital wealth in a safe and secure manner. Software clients are a good way to get acquainted with the Bitcoin protocol and technology, but to properly secure funds, you need to move funds into a cold storage solution. HardwareWallet is one of those potential solutions.
HardwareWallet : The Team
HardwareWallet is a company trying to make a name for themselves in the world of hardware Bitcoin wallets. Founded in 2014 by Ledger and BTChip, this young but experienced team is bringing secure USB smart card based wallets to cryptocurrencies. After all, we all want the option of taking our cold storage solution with us whenever we need, and making the Bitcoin wallet pocketable is a good start.
By creating the HW-1, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets can be kept safe at all times. Private keys, which contain information proving you are the owner of that Bitcoin address, are stored on the built-in smart card, Furthermore, this smart card serves a second purpose, as it will also sign all transactions after the user has confirmed them.
Not only is the HW-1 incredibly cheap for the services it offers, but it’s also fun and easy to use for both experienced and novice Bitcoin users alike. Developers are not left in the cold either, as the HW-1 offers a rich API, which opens up a wide array of software opportunities. For example, server operators could use the HW-1 as a secure signature token for hot wallets payments, automatically signing transactions up to a certain amount.
To make matters even more interesting, installing the HW-1 could not be easier. Absolutely no additional drivers are required for Windows and Mac OS X users. Linux users might need to install a new udev rule to support the device. For full instructions on how to do this properly, head on over to this page.
HW-1 : Security & Customization
When it comes to using a hardware wallet for your cryptocurrency, the element of security is a top priority. HardwareWallet’s HW-1 is bringing a lot of security to the table, both on side of physical and application security. As we are slowly evolving towards trustless systems, the HW-1 requires low trust from its users as well, making it a great choice to store your digital cash safely and securely.
The HW-1’s smartcard is protected by design against passive and active attacks targeting typical microcontrollers. Side channel attacks will also be taken care of thanks to the implementation of a cryptographic accelerator. Do keep in mind that HardwareWallet is not claiming to be unbreakable, but they are not trivially hackable either.
Keeping transactions safe against device theft and host computer malware is one of the main aspects of the HW-1. Starting a transaction requires entering a password, and private keys never leave the device itself. Physical user confirmation is required in order to wipe the devices, whether it is through the setup process or a firmware update.
Whereas other physical cryptocurrency wallets usually come with a display, the HW-1 is more of a keyboard. As a result, details of your transaction (once initiated) will appear whenever you plug in the HW-1 into another other device supporting USB keyboard input. Afterwards, a short code will be displayed which needs to be entered into the HW-1 to sign the transaction. This procedure also confirms no malware changed the transactions details while it was sent to the HW-1.
Low Trust Requirement
All messages and data exchanges between the host computer and the HW-1 are fully documented. Every generated random value is mixed with user entropy. Furthermore, Deterministic ECSDA signatures can be optionally used to make sure no private data is being leaked due to hardware or software issues.
Is The HW-1 Compatible With Existing Software Wallets?
The main goal of BTChip and HW-1 is to provide users with a full-fledged hardware wallet, and not the full software client experience. The HardwareWallet team is working hard to be compatible with all major software clients. As things stand right now, the HW-1 is compatible with GreenAddress, Electrum and KryptoKit. More information can be found here.
HW-1 : Not Just for Bitcoin
Most, if not all current hardware cryptocurrency wallets are useful only to Bitcoin users. That is not the case with HardwareWallet’s HW-1 however, as any Bitcoin-based cryptocurrency is supported by default. All users have to do is specify the target mainnet or testnet version , and addresses will be automatically generated and checked against that domain.
Hardware customization is available on request as well. Users preferring a different form factor, or perhaps even a graphical personalization can choose the HW-1 version which suits them best. For more information regarding this type of customization, make sure to check out the HardwareWallet website.
As mentioned before, the HW-1 is a very inexpensive device, as it costs just 15 EUR. Shipping of the device will occur through either standard or registered mail, depending on the customer’ s location. More details about ordering your very own HW-1, as well as the ordering page itself, can be accessed by clicking here.
Source : https://www.hardwarewallet.com/