Hardware Wallets Galore: Two New Wallets Join the Ranks
More hardware wallets are entering the industry: cryptocurrency web wallet provider Blockchain teamed up with hardware wallet producer Ledger to deploy a new hardware wallet called the Blockchain Lockbox. They’re not the only ones, either: Sony Computer Science Laboratories (Sony CSL) have announced that they have developed a contactless IC card-type cryptocurrency hardware wallet technology.
The Blockchain Lockbox was unveiled on Thursday and according to the official announcement, it is a “first-of-its-kind hardware and software” solution. It will provide Blockchain users with a way to move a portion of their funds offline, further securing them from hacks, while also having the option to leave funds in the firm’s non-custodial web wallet, which can be accessed apart from the hardware device.
Preordering the device will run you USD 99.99, while deliveries should start mid-November, Ledger says. The announcement also said that existing Ledger customers will have the option to pair their Nano S hardware wallets, another Ledger product, to the Blockchain wallet.
However, the news were not received as warmly as might have been expected. Blockchain has still not implemented Segregated Witness (SegWit) technology, although Peter Smith, CEO and co-founder of the company, claimed back in January 2017 that they were ready for it. SegWit is the process by which the block size limit on a blockchain is increased by removing signature data from Bitcoin transactions. It was implemented as one of the solutions to Bitcoin’s scalability problem.
Meanwhile, Sony CSL announced that they have developed a contactless IC card type hardware wallet which includes mutual authentication/encrypted communication technology. An IC card is a rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system for public transport used in some places in Japan. According to the official announcement, “the IC card type hardware wallet is small, portable and useful, unlike typical existing hardware wallets that connect to PCs via USB.”
Sony CSL did not give a date for the release of their hardware wallet, however. They said that they would “continue advancing initiatives towards the commercialization of their cryptocurrency hardware wallet technology.” While the Blockchain Lockbox will be available very soon, the Sony CSL wallet might still be a long time in coming.