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By Zach — 3 years ago
In this Card Wallet Review, I am going to dive into why this wallet if built for the coldest of cold who like to HODL!
Outside of exchanges, few cryptocurrency markets are as thriving as safekeeping. At this stage in Bitcoin’s life expectancy, trading crypto as well as keeping crypto appear to be the most prominent use situations for crypto –– in that order. Consequently, a flourishing aftermarket for crypto storage services has sprung up, both custodial as well as non-custodial, hot and cold, on the internet as well as offline.
Card Wallet from Coinfinity is the most recent product to go into the fray, offering a protected method for keeping BTC as well as ETH offline.
As the risks of keeping funds on the internet in custodial purses as well as exchanges have been highlighted with a wide variety of hacks as well as departure frauds, the freezer company has grown. From hardware purses looking like elegant thumb drives to gadgets disguised as calculators as well as charge card, the variety of methods to self-custody digital possessions seems unlimited.
So, What Is Card Wallet?
The just named Card Wallet by Coinfinity does precisely what it sounds like. On the surface, this plastic card appears like an incredibly low-tech method to store bitcoin core or ether, however its unprepossessing exterior is misleading. Peer a little closer at the credit scores card-shaped wallet as well as you’ll discover some fascinating details. There are all type of anti-counterfeiting steps at play on the Card Wallet’s service, including microprinting as well as constant color gradient methods, providing it a look much more similar to money.
The banknote-based style makes sense once you discover that Coinfinity –– Austria’s first Bitcoin business — developed this device in conjunction with the Austrian State Printing House. They’re best known for printing passports, a skill they’ve refined over the course of 200 years, and thus know a thing or two about anti-counterfeiting. The notion of forgery sounds strange in a crypto context.
After all, bitcoins are impossible to falsify. The reason why the Austrian State Printing House has gone to town on the anti-forgery techniques they’ve used is to prevent fake cards from entering circulation and to provide guarantees that the private key, which was generated offline, remains offline. The private key for the cryptocurrency address printed on the card is concealed beneath a hologram on the back. It’s accompanied by a warning not to scratch this area –– not even a little, just to test it –– as to do so would be to risk the security of your funds.
The Card Wallet is basically a modern version of the Casascius physical bitcoins that have become collector’s items today. The code printed beneath the Card Wallet’s seal can be thought of as Schrödingers key: until the moment it is observed through scratching off the protective covering, it effectively doesn’t exist. The manufacturer has no record of it.
As a result, you can send funds to the address printed on the front of the card, but you can’t retrieve them until you reveal that seal, and doing so will essentially penalize you to the tune of the $67 the Card Wallet retails for. Think of it as an extremely high BTC network fee, and use it as an incentive not to dip into the funds stored on the card, save for an emergency.
Of course, technically nothing is stored on the card: it simply holds the secret code needed to send the bitcoin from the address in which it is currently locked on the BTC network to a new address on the network. To all intents and purposes, though, Card Wallet might as well physically hold those coins, since without it to hand, you’ll never be able to move those coins again.
How Is Card Wallet Different Than A Normal Hardware Wallet Like Trezor Or Ledger?
Unlike a hardware wallet, there’s nothing to power up or plug in here, but that doesn’t mean that testing the Card Wallet is an entirely analog experience. There is, after all, the QR code printed on the wallet, which, when scanned, reads the BTC address printed along the center. In testing, I scan the code using the Bitcoin.com Wallet and am prompted to select the amount of BTC I wish to send.
When I drag the slider, the funds are released and that’s it: the first satoshis prepare to wing their way to my Card Wallet. When the time comes to move or sell that bitcoin, I will remove the security seal and import the private key that’s revealed underneath into a noncustodial wallet such as Electrum.
In theory, you could continue to use the wallet address securely, even with the seal scratched off, provided you destroyed the exposed private key. There would be little advantage to doing so, however, and it makes sense to view the wallet as compromised once the key has been revealed.
Is The Card Wallet Secure?
On the reverse of the card, there’s another QR code that can be scanned, marked Chainlockcode (CLC). This requires installation of a dedicated mobile app, which will display the balance of the card –– and of any other Card Wallets you wish to integrate into it –– allowing you to manage all your cards within one app without revealing their private keys.
Most people are unlikely to need this, since typing the wallet address into a block explorer achieves the same result, but if you’re a serial Card Wallet collector, it might prove useful While Coinfinity doesn’t support BCH at this time, bitcoin cash holders have the option of generating their own paper wallets, which can be printed at home.
Card Wallet: Final Verdict
This theoretically provides the same security guarantees, and with the wallet folded and sealed correctly, it is effectively tamper-proof, albeit without the same allure as Card Wallet’s impressive shiny hologram. Cold storing cryptocurrency isn’t about showing off, however, and the winning wallet is the one that keeps your funds the safest. Some bitcoiners will balk at paying $67, in the Card Wallet, for a cold storage solution they could roughly replicate at home for the cost of a sheet of printer paper.
Others will appreciate the imperviousness of the Coinfinity card, its convenient credit card shape, and its superior tamper-proof seal. As such, its value is really in the eyes of the beholder. For the same price you could pick up a basic hardware wallet, which will allow you to send, receive, and store a range of cryptocurrencies.
That said, there’s something magical about the seal on the Coinfinity that challenges you not to sully it, but rather to sporadically send funds to it, building up your nest egg over time.
What are your thoughts on Coinfinity’s Card Wallet– would you use it? Let us know in the comments section below.
The Crypto Renegade