Status launches crypto hardware wallet with contactless payments capability

The Ethereum messaging app and mobile browser start-up has relaunched its Keycard cryptocurrency hardware wallet

Ethereum-based messaging app and browser start-up Status has announced the relaunch of Keycard, the company’s open source crypto hardware wallet.

Keycard will be the same size and shape as a standard credit card and signs transactions with a contactless tap-to-pay feature.

Status project lead Guy-Louis Grau said: “It’s going to work with your mobile crypto wallet. You’ll just need to tap your Keycard on a mobile device to sign transactions. Functionally speaking, it’s really a hardware wallet but it works with a mobile.”

The wallet is currently capable of holding Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, XRP, Ether, and all Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens, including Status’ own native token (SNT). Initially, Keycard will be distributed for free to blockchain developers in early March. The company plan to sell the device for $29 from Status’ website later in the year.

Current focus on developers 

Project lead Grau went on to say that Keycard’s current focus is on developers rather than retail customers.

“We’re not announcing a full end customer product with Keycard,” he explained.

“We’re releasing a tool actually. That’s the way it should be seen. At this stage, it’s a tool for third-party blockchain projects that want to secure their application with a cost-effective hardware wallet.”

The Keycard API (the codebase that works with the hardware to facilitate private key storage, tap-to-pay, and transaction signing) has been built on Java Card, a smart card hardware technology that was originally developed in 1996.

Keeping it open source

Status also reiterated that its software is open source and that any third-party project can build its own Keycard. Grau believes that the choice to develop Keycard as an open source product is actually an important part of the device’s security.

He said: “Security should be able to be assessed by anyone. That’s why software and hardware need to be [open source]. That’s the first and most important thing. And then as much as possible, use widely used hardware platforms.”

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