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Author Topic: Mobile hardware wallets - are they really worth the attention ?  (Read 238 times)
Linkkoin
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December 04, 2019, 04:58:17 PM
 #1

As many of you already know, for tomorrow there is scheduled a release of HTC EXODUS 1, which has a built-in cryptocurrency wallet, with specially built-in "secure enclave" system for the protection of that wallet.
Other variants of this model are as well cryptocurrency-friendly - one of them is capable of running a full BTC node.

Do you think such devices, like this HTC (or Samsung with its Note10 wallet), have a real potential for widening adoption and promoting BTC and other cryptos? Or maybe this is one of the many great ideas which will be quickly abandoned by the smartphone producers?

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December 04, 2019, 08:25:08 PM
 #2

Do you think such devices, like this HTC (or Samsung with its Note10 wallet), have a real potential for widening adoption and promoting BTC and other cryptos?
I don't think so.

I don't think one of the main stumbling blocks to newbies entering crypto for the first time is setting up a wallet. Although I hate them (for good reason), web wallets are widely used and exceptionally easy to set up, and mobile wallets are as simple as downloading an app. Hardware wallets are cheap, and if someone is considering spending hundreds of dollars to buy a new phone, then they can afford to spend 50 dollars to buy a Ledger which is compatible with mobile devices anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a cool innovation, particularly being able to run a full node from your phone, but I don't think it's going to do much to bring new people in to crypto. It is far more likely to appeal to people who are already well involved.

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December 04, 2019, 09:57:39 PM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (1), hugeblack (1)
 #3

If their wallet is built on Exodus wallet I don't think if I can trust their wallet since I heard lots of complaints here on the forum related to Exodus wallet but it looks like they don't have this wallet and they just use the Exodus as a name of the phone.

They also have a zion wallet it seems that they develop this new wallet to manage all crypto wallets from the HTC phone?
Well, I don't know if they have potential to widely adopt and promote crypto but they can help people to aware about crypto but it doesn't mean that using this phone will protect all of your assets.

Hardware wallet still the best option as the suggestion above since the phone still needs the internet to make a transaction and sync over network I don't think it will work as a hardware wallet.

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December 04, 2019, 10:31:29 PM
Merited by hugeblack (1)
 #4

I'm a firm believer in the fact that hardware wallets should be like a cold wallet; keeping it in a safe place and not bringing it everywhere.

When your wallet is brought everywhere, it opens itself up to a lot of attack vectors (mainly physical attacks). It would be way easier to target you as your wallet is easily accessible. My take is that those wallets should just be taken as a normal wallet but with the additional security features. A hardware wallet should be a dedicated device used solely for that purpose.

It does promote Bitcoin to some extent but I suspect that most would just overlook that feature because they have no need nor incentives to use it. Its more of a way to entice those using crypto to buy the phone.

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December 04, 2019, 11:22:45 PM
 #5

Guys, I see everyone bashing mobile wallets here... But hey, do you go to your bank agencies personally to make a transaction? Do you even go to ATM to pay for invoices or make transactions?

Personally, I do EVERYTHING related to fiat currency in my smartphone (one thing or other in a computer, any computer).

If cryptocurrency is to become anyhow relevant and adopted we must use mobile wallets.
I must be able to pay invoices with my mobile wallet in my phone, scanning QR codes. This is already possible, and it is not risky.

Ofc you shouldn't put all your life savings in your mobile wallet. But hey, the money you are spending in one week you should.

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December 05, 2019, 02:29:52 AM
 #6

-snip-
I doubt most of them are criticising the security of the wallet but they're talking more about the use of the phones as a secure hardware wallet. It is perfectly alright to use your bank accounts on your phone because the nature of bank transactions allows users to reverse transactions easily. The extra feature isn't necessary since you can use a wallet from any android phones.

Its a good thing to have the additional security features but the portability of a mobile phone doesn't make it ideal to serve as a hardware wallet.

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December 05, 2019, 10:37:00 AM
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I'm a firm believer in the fact that hardware wallets should be like a cold wallet; keeping it in a safe place and not bringing it everywhere.
The beauty of hardware wallets is that they can be both cold storage and a mobile wallet (assuming we are talking about independent hardware wallets and not the wallet that is bundled in with this phone).

You can use a hardware wallet in the way you have suggested, treating it like an airgapped laptop, keeping it in a secure location, and using it for a large number of coins. You can also carry a hardware wallet with you at all times and use it with your phone as a mobile wallet. Obviously you shouldn't use the same wallet on both devices, but it's a perfectly acceptable use for people who want more security than a standard mobile wallet app.

-snip-
Exactly. I carry a couple of hundred dollars worth of bitcoin on my phone at all times, and after I spend it I top it up again from my cold storage next time I'm home. Sure, it's not as safe as an airgapped wallet, but having fiat in your wallet isn't as safe as having it in a safe at home either.

If I had this phone, then I would use its in built hardware to hold my daily spending bitcoins, but my cold storage would remain firmly airgapped at home.

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December 05, 2019, 05:38:57 PM
 #8

Has anyone competent performed a security audit of one of these mobile hardware wallets? And to what extent are they open source?

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December 06, 2019, 07:08:13 PM
Merited by o_e_l_e_o (1)
 #9

Without proper security audit, i would assume it's only as secure as other bitcoin wallet and i would say it's not worth if you compare it with more known hardware wallet such as Ledger Nano or Trezor.
Running full node is ridiculous (for now), due to high storage usage & broadcast/receive all transaction and block. Running a full node from your home or VPS and connect to it from your smartphone is more sensible option.

TLDR : No, it's only smartphone with wallet/full node application.

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December 07, 2019, 07:22:58 AM
 #10

I do not think that the main goal of these devices is Bitcoin since the primary promotion is for blockchain technology in addition to the fact that the internal memory limits are about 128 GB.
A lot of companies are interested in blockchain as a payment system, so such phones will be intended to adopt decentralized payment projects and systems.
One of the factors may be the promotion, as cryptos is a hot term and the phone combines the characteristics of hardware and phone in one place.

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December 07, 2019, 11:06:06 AM
 #11

I do not think that the main goal of these devices is Bitcoin since the primary promotion is for blockchain technology in addition to the fact that the internal memory limits are about 128 GB.
The HTC Exodus One has a limited edition Binance edition, and they do specifically advertise that it can accept SD cards large enough to store the full bitcoin blockchain. There is even a section in the instruction manual about how to set up your phone to run as a full node, including suggestions to only do it over WiFi and not destroy your data plan by trying to sync over mobile data. They may well have wider blockchain technology as a longer term target, but for the time being they certainly seem to be targeting the bitcoin community.

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December 07, 2019, 06:17:12 PM
 #12

They may well have wider blockchain technology as a longer term target, but for the time being they certainly seem to be targeting the bitcoin community.

But people who bother run full nodes these days are enthusiasm/company and they smart enough to understand the device isn't worth their money or it's still not suitable to run full node.

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December 07, 2019, 06:54:21 PM
Merited by o_e_l_e_o (1)
 #13

As many of you already know, for tomorrow there is scheduled a release of HTC EXODUS 1, which has a built-in cryptocurrency wallet, with specially built-in "secure enclave" system for the protection of that wallet.
Other variants of this model are as well cryptocurrency-friendly - one of them is capable of running a full BTC node.

Do you think such devices, like this HTC (or Samsung with its Note10 wallet), have a real potential for widening adoption and promoting BTC and other cryptos? Or maybe this is one of the many great ideas which will be quickly abandoned by the smartphone producers?

I actually asked myself the same question before, and then asked around even in my small circle. Tell you what, the only phone that really seemed to garner any interest was Sirin's. But when all our smartphones already can take fairly decent crypto wallet apps, and when Electrum even can run reliably as a lightweight client, why would we choose something we're not sure about? Even if those offerings were open source, would there be enough decent developers for them to issue fixes quickly should something go wrong?

I somehow don't really think they did their customer research properly. The Raspberry Pi people running nodes would stick to that. They wouldn't go out and buy a HTC to run a node.

Remember all those appliances developed to mine crypto? That died promptly. This will likely go down the same route, IMO.

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December 07, 2019, 07:22:23 PM
 #14

they smart enough to understand the device isn't worth their money or it's still not suitable to run full node.
Oh for sure, but they still seem to be HTC's target audience for the time being. I'm sure there will be a handful of people who buy it just for novelty factor of running a full node, but I totally agree it is impractical at best.

why would we choose something we're not sure about?
Most people who would consider spending several hundred dollars on a "bitcoin phone" will already own one or more hardware wallets, most of which are now fully compatible with mobile devices. As you say, spending money to take a risk on an unknown seems pointless when you can just stick your Ledger in your pocket.

They wouldn't go out and buy a HTC to run a node.
Anyone with a little bit of sense is just going to run a full node on a computer or server and connect to it, as ETF has said above. Can you imagine accidentally syncing via mobile data and using your entire month's data limit in the space of an hour? Or wandering about trying to find a public WiFi you can connect to, and then waiting hours because it is slow as death?

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December 08, 2019, 04:20:04 PM
 #15

With the current state where these feature is only limited to certain countries I don't think that this will promote any kind of support for mass adoption since they are limiting their potential to particular countries. Even if they only made this available to let say crypto friendly countries this will just be an option for them and not some kind of first choice. At least if they made this available for several countries then the chances of having a new crypto enthusiast will be there. Other thoughts is about the prices of the phone, I know only HTC has this feature up until their middle variant but in cases like Samsung and LG they only have this crypto wallet feature found on their flagship phones which in any case isn't really for the general population.
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