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Turn Your Old Phone Into A Crypto Cold Wallet

by Pragati Shrivastava
, Turn Your Old Phone Into A Crypto Cold Wallet

Hardware ‘cold’ wallets are the most prevailing choice among long-term HODLers and security experts as it affords physical security by decoupling the encrypted USB devices from the Internet. Malicious entities would need to have physical access to the device and subsequently bypass numerous protections like passphrases, PINs, and tampering authenticity signatures on the device. This mitigates the need for third-party ownership of funds and provides a form of sovereignty that is not readily available with fiat currencies. Additionally, cold wallets are improvements over similar non-custodial wallets like software wallets.

Despite numerous competitors in cold and hardware wallets, Ledger is a leader that provides the most popular hardware devices including the Ledger Nano X and the Ledger Nano S. Due to its pricing, it is not the most affordable option for all traders. Depending on their storage, interface, and cost preferences, turning your phone into a cold wallet is a viable option.

A leading tech firm, Parity Technologies, released a new version of Parity Signer, a mobile application that turns old smartphones into offline wallets. The application is currently in V3 beta and it enables users to store assets, vote for governance proposals and sign transactions offline, with integrations for both the Polkadot and Ethereum blockchains.

The reason for using old phones is that they can be kept on airplane mode. This way, the application that stores the private keys would be offline or ‘air-gapped’ at all times and this provides the simplest form of protection from hackers and malware attacks. The device that is running the application should never be connected to the internet or even be connected to a device that is connected to the internet (such as a computer).

It is recommended that users wipe all data, biometric and identifying information in a factory reset before downloading the app. All new accounts will receive a recovery phrase and choose a “pin” to sign transactions. Transfers do not involve private keys, but instead, utilize the industry-standard QR code for two-way communication between hot wallets and cold signers. What makes the app unique is that the co-founders are former Ethereum Foundation security chief Jutta Steiner and Gavin Wood. The company has received a $5 Million grant from the Ethereum Foundation and they develop tools for the decentralized web, including Substrate, a service that lets users create customized blockchains for decentralized applications.

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