A concept for a new hot and cold wallet was unveiled earlier this week. The concept aims to allow everyday users to be their own bank.
While there are a myriad of hardware wallets in the pipeline of various companies such as Butterfly Labs’ Bitsafe, the hot & cold wallet is designed to be both a real product for the average consumer and an open-source project that will make the device serve as the basis for anybody wishing to further develop its features and ecosystem.
The concept was submitted by Ivan Raszl on Bitcoinowl, and even though other companies have been working on a credit-card type Bitcoin wallet for over 2 years, the hot and cold wallet differs in that it gives the user the yin as well as the yang method of Bitcoin storage in the form of two ID-sized cards; one orange (hot) and one blue (cold).
The designer of the Cold and Hot Wallet concepts is aiming for a below $50 -100 price range upon release for the cold and hot wallet, respectively. Ivan also hopes for a more affordable option in the future with a hot wallet price point of $20 for a simplified hot wallet that will retain functionality but will exclude such features as GSM, GPS, backlit screen, and 2GB micro SD card. The idea behind this is to make the technology to be more accessible for people in less developed countries.
Hot & cold
The ideology driving the concept is based on the way people currently manage their money. Most people obviously prefer the bank over storing their life savings at home.
In the crypto world, this is typically referred to as cold storage, which is probably one of the safest ways of storing your bitcoins. The storage is offline, which almost eliminates the risk of potential attacks.
The blue cold wallet card design is simpler than its counterpart as it only has a physical input and out hardware to limit the facets for potential attacks. It is recommended that the blue wallet is stored in a safe location and be turned on only when there are “no untrusted people or equipment around.”
The orange hot wallet card has a more sophisticated design with multiple interfaces that allow the user to receive and spend bitcoins. Since the orange card is intended for the everyday, it is encrypted and password protected in case it is ever stolen or lost. This card also has a hardware switch that cuts off all OTA chips when they are not in use: think of it as an “airplane mode” for your credit card.
The card will have a metallic case in a series of colors: white, black, silver, gold, blue, purple, pink green, orange and red. According to the developer, the device is designed to last for over five years with heavy usage.