Keycard is a new credit-card sized hardware wallet featuring near-field communication (NFC) to authorize cryptocurrency transactions. At launch, it features integration with combined private messenger/wallet/DeFi browser, Status App, although further integrations are planned.
The Keycard team has also released an open application programming interface (API) and software development kits (SDK) for Android, iOS and Go, so that developers can build Keycard functionality into any app requiring authorization or other user authentication.
Secure storage and communication of private keys
Security is key. In fact, when it comes to cryptocurrency security, it is literally all down to the private key used to access your account. One of the most secure options for storing private keys is using a hardware wallet, and there are certainly an increasing number to choose from.
However, the method for sharing keys and/or authorizing transactions between the hardware wallet and mobile or desktop front-end differs greatly between devices. From early USB connected wallets, through wireless versions featuring Bluetooth, and even the recently announced NGRAVE which communicates only through visual QR codes.
The Keycard uses NFC to allow transaction authorization by simply tapping the credit-card sized wallet against your mobile device. The keys meanwhile, remain safely stored on the device itself.
What’s the status?
The Keycard is produced by the Status Network, who also develop the Status App which it integrates with at launch. The Status App combines private messaging functionality, an Ethereum wallet supporting ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens, and a decentralized Web3 browser.
However, the launch of the API and SDKs allow the technology to be readily implemented in a host of wallets and other applications. Whether it is to store private keys and authorize transactions, or as part of a two-factor authentication system.
Keycard project manager Guy-Louis Grau believes that the use of such technology should become the industry standard:
“As a project with an open source API, we believe the Keycard model will be an industry standard for all sorts of products that expect normal people to interact directly with their cryptocurrency. Tapping a Keycard against your phone as an added layer of authorization and ownership of your private keys should be the norm anytime someone wants to login, send money, store value and more.”
Another benefit over the ever more complex technologies employed by other wallet manufacturers to secure private keys is the price, as an NFC-enabled Keycard costs just $32.