Tapsigner: Bitcoin Security Meets Convenience? – Bitcoin Magazine

Bitcoin company Coinkite has launched its newest hardware wallet, Tapsigner, in an attempt to facilitate cold-storage bitcoin self-custody.

The product, which resembles a credit card more than traditional hardware wallets, comes at $40 and aims to serve as a more intuitive Bitcoin-signing device to onboard a wider range of people around the world onto more secure bitcoin self-custody setups.

Challenges In Bitcoin Self-Custody

Bitcoin self-custody isn’t easy. It has come a long way over the years but it’s arguably still far from being intuitive.

Hot wallets, the ones in which the private keys remain “hot” online in a phone or computer, are perhaps the most popular bitcoin wallets given their convenience. The user just needs to download an app into their phone, create the wallet, jot down the recovery words — and voilà, it’s ready to be used. The tradeoff is of course security: – being connected to the internet makes this setup more vulnerable to hacking, theft and other attacks.

The alternative, cold wallets, keep the private keys “cold” offline, increasing the security but at the expense of usability. Cold-storage solutions typically require the user to undergo many more steps to move their bitcoin. Even though that might be a feature rather than a bug for larger holdings, a less fluid transacting experience can be a pain for smaller stacks of bitcoin.

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