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Turn Your Old Smartphone into Ethereum Hardware Wallet

Turn Your Old Smartphone into Ethereum Hardware Wallet 101
Source: iStock/mikkelwilliam

Rejoice crypto owners with old smartphones you haven’t thrown out or sold yet – there is a new solution to turn them into hardware wallets for Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. For those to whom this is old news and you’ve installed Parity Signer app by now – rejoice you too – as the app’s 3.0 Beta version is here.

Parity Signer is an offline mobile application that generates and stores your private keys, meaning that you can use it to convert the smartphone you have pointlessly lying around into a hardware wallet. It was created by Parity Technologies, a blockchain infrastructure company. They are the developers behind the advanced Ethereum client Parity Ethereum, and the interoperable blockchain network Polkadot, among a number of other technologies.

Available for iOS and Android, the v.3.0 Beta of the app brings new features, the announcement says, and now includes:

  • Support for Kusama CC2 (Chain Candidate 2) network; ability to use Parity Signer with Polkadot-js apps and Polkadot-js extension, as well as bond funds to validate or nominate, transfer funds, or vote for governance proposals by signing with the offline device;
  • Support for Universal Offline Signatures, the standard created for efficient data transmission through QR codes;
  • Better visualization of addresses on small mobile screens, faster account identicon generation, unified fonts, improved button colors, etc.
Turn Your Old Smartphone into Ethereum Hardware Wallet 102
A screenshot of the app. Source: Parity

The creators explain that all you have to do is take your old smartphone, restore it to factory settings, and then go into airplane mode forever in order to turn off all Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and any other connection. Then, you create your accounts. They warn, however, never to connect this phone to the internet or to a device that is connected to the internet, such as your computer.

To update it, make a backup of all your phone's accounts, reset your phone to delete the accounts, install the new version, go offline and recover your accounts backed up on Parity Signer.

The device will allow you to generate and store multiple private keys, and in addition to the mentioned Kusama CC2 network, it supports Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Kovan and Ropsten networks.

You use it by entering the amount and recipient into your device that is network-connected, then verifying and signing with Parity Signer. You can also use the app to scan the QR Code.

Back in July, Polkadot Network has announced Kusama, an experimental version of Polkadot, with real economic conditions, for developers to experiment in and test out a Polkadot-like environment.

Also, check out our list of six alternative hardware wallets.

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