[Bitcoin-development] Hardware BitCoin wallet as part of Google Summer of Code

Peter Todd pete at petertodd.org
Mon Apr 29 16:28:39 UTC 2013

On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 10:30:47PM +0800, Crypto Stick wrote:
> Crypto Stick is an open source USB key for encryption and secure
> authentication.
> We have been accepted as a mentor organization for Google
> Summer of Code (GSOC) 2013. One of our project ideas is to develop a
> physical BitCoin wallet according to
> https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Smart_card_wallet

A word of caution: hardware Bitcoin wallets really do need some type of
display so the wallet itself can tell you where the coins it is signing
are being sent, and that in turn implies support for the upcoming
payment protocol so the wallet can also verify that the address is
actually the address of the recipient the user is intending to send
funds too. The current Crypto Stick hardware doesn't even have a button
for user interaction. (press n times to approve an n-BTC spend)

Having said that PGP smart cards and USB keys already have that problem,
but the consequences of signing the wrong document are usually less than
the consequences of sending some or even all of the users funds to a
thief. You can usually revoke a bad signature after the fact with a
follow-up message.

Not to say hardware security for private keys isn't a bad thing, but the
protections are a lot more limited than users typically realize.

I will say though I am excited that this implies that the Crypto Stick
could have ECC key support in the future.

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