Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets, The Future of Wearables

Since January, Bitcoin and Ethereum has more than doubled in value. This week as Cryptocurrency and Blockchain industry professionals have been gathering for a series of conferences in New York, a powerful new vehicle has been gaining public attention. Japan declared Bitcoin a legal currency and less than a week ago, Peach became the first airline to accept Bitcoin.

Spending time with this community this past week in New York, the fashion designer in me, couldn’t help but notice one detail: hardware wallets. They look like USB sticks, but people aren’t tossing them in the bottom of the backpack or sticking them in their wallets. Instead, they’re wearing them, often on a necklace. These devices hold the encrypted keys to what is becoming a lot of money. Why hold it that way? Even if your computer becomes compromised with Malware, these hardware wallets protect the data that gives you access to your coins.

Security is first and foremost the most valued and important detail in the block-chain community. These hardware wallets take extreme measures to password protect and encrypt your data so that even if someone does get a hold of them, it’s unlikely if not impossible for them to unlock the device.

Right now there are two players in the market: Ledger Wallet and Trezor. One looks like a USB, the other looks like a car key. From an aesthetic perspective, neither is a really desirable physical product.

Why are there only two? It requires a high level of security expertise in hardware and software to make it happen. Product people must be wary. If we haven’t learned our lessons from the Mirai botnets of IoT devices that took out a massive chunk of the internet in October of last year, we should think twice before dipping our toes in the cryptography space. The opportunities are those for those who can learn quickly and collaborate.

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