When it comes to making cryptocurrency portable, there are a few different solutions you can use. Several coins offer a light/Electrum wallet, which doesn’t need to synchronize to the blockchain like a regular desktop client. There are also mobile applications for Android users, and iOS support is coming soon for most wallets as well. But what if we could take a full-fledged computer in the form of a USB stick with us?
Inverse Path’s USB armory
Inverse Path has created the USB armory, scaling the size of a computer down to the format of a flash drive. Not only is the USB armory incredibly compact, lightweight and portable; but it also provides users with a platform for developing and running a wide range of applications, wherever you go. This form factor is most interesting, considering a lot of TV’s or monitors have USB input ports, giving your access to a computer wherever a screen is available.
Perhaps the best part about Inverse Path’s USB Armory is the fact that this hardware design is fully open sourced. Developers will be rejoice when reading this bit, as they are now empowered with a fully customizable USB trusted device for open and innovative personal security applications.
Security plays an important role when computers are involved, and even more so when they are scaled down to the size of a USB stick. Inverse Path’s USB armory comes with advanced security features, such as the option for a secure boot, as well as ARM® TrustZone®.
The USB armory is supported by standard software environments and as far as customization goes, there is very little effort involved. Things even get better, as vanilla Linux kernels and standard distros run on this device without any issues. Do keep in mind this is not the most powerful computer in the world, but it does the job nicely for most basic tasks.
Freescale i.MX53 ARM® Cortex™-A8 800Mhz, 512MB DDR3 RAMUSB host powered (<500 mA) device with compact form factor (65 x 19 x 6 mm)
ARM® TrustZone®, secure boot + storage + RAM
microSD card slot
5-pin breakout header with GPIOs and UART
customizable LED, including secure mode detection
excellent native support (Android, Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD)
USB device emulation (CDC Ethernet, mass storage, HID, etc.)
Open Hardware & Software
Cryptocurrency Use Cases
The hardware found in the USB armory is more than powerful for most cryptocurrency applications, such as running a digital currency wallet. In fact, this device is powerful enough to run a masternode on if the coin of your choosing supports it.
Running Tor on this USB armory computer is not a problem either, adding an extra layer of anonymity and user privacy when using your cryptocurrency wallet. Furthermore, this device can be used for the development of additional applications and services for any cryptocurrency in existence.
Can you think of other use cases for such a lightweight portable computer? Let us know in the comments down below!
Pricing & Availability
Inverse Path is holding a crowdfunding in order to secure enough funds for the development and production of the USB armory. As of this writing, nearly US$50,000 of the required US$65,000 has been raised, and the campaign runs for another 34 days.
One USB armory computer costs US$130, and comes with free shipping to backers in the United States. When making a pledge to this project, you can add a microSD card (including Debian installation) and up to three USB host adapters to your pre-order. Furthermore, you can order an additional microSD card (also including Debian installation) and an extra USB Host Adapter if needed.