Meet Trezor, A Bitcoin Safe That Fits Into Your Pocket
Bitcoin is often marketed as allowing people to ‘be your own bank’. The caveat, however, is that you have to take the responsibility worthy of a banker. It may sound simple; all it requires is to keep the private key safe, but the simplicity can be deceiving.
A Bitcoin private key is a long string of alphanumeric. They are all unique but look sort of like one another. While the entropy makes it hard to crack by random guessing, it is quite impractical to memorize for most.
Many people use paper wallets, which is the written or printed form of private keys. While this is a relatively secure way of storing the bitcoins, it is rather troublesome for those who need to spend their funds often. Many of them would rather use a third party online wallet service such as Blockchain.info, at the cost of increased risks.
The quest for paper wallet-grade security without compromising the convenience of online wallets led to what is known as hardware wallet.
Though nobody claims to be inventor of the Bitcoin hardware wallet, one of the pioneers who posited the concept is Clement Cap, a professor at University of Rostock in Prague.
In a 2011 speech, Prof. Gap described the requirements of a Bitcoin hardware wallet as:
This post was published at Forbes on 10/15/2014.