Cryptocurrencies are stored in wallets, which can take a number of different forms. The most commonly used type of wallet is a hosted wallet, which is provided by exchanges and other convenience wallets. These wallets offer extremely simple functionality, but are far more susceptible to hacking attacks as they are controlled by a centralized third party.
It’s possible to use locally-hosted wallet software to store cryptocurrency in a “cold wallet”, which is a far more secure method. This method, when used in combination with a device that is not connected to the internet, is essentially immune to hacking attacks.
Recently, hardware wallets have become a popular solution for individuals seeking complete security in their cryptocurrency storage methods. Devices such as the Ledger Nano S are purpose-built devices that add an additional layer of security, requiring that users press a button on the device itself to authorize transactions.
A new solution, however, aims to increase the inclusivity of blockchain services by providing visually impaired cryptocurrency investors with a highly accessible and tactile hardware wallet. The IcyWallet intends to provide users with a 100% free open source hardware wallet that is specifically designed for visually impaired individuals.
What is the IcyWallet?
The IcyWallet is touted as a “hardware wallet for the blind”, and is the brainchild of Kentucky-based developer Adam Newbold. The IcyWallet is the first cryptocurrency hardware wallet that doesn’t require sight, and is aiming to become the most secure Bitcoin cold storage solution available.
The IcyWallet is specifically designed for the storage of Bitcoin, which is currently the most valuable and popular cryptocurrency in the market. The team behind the IcyWallet has already achieved a significant amount of success in expanding the inclusivity of the blockchain by raising over $1,9000 in order to translate Satoshi Nakomoto’s whitepaper into braille.
Newbold spoke on the creation of the IcyWallet in an interview with the International Business Times recently:
“I just feel like the inclusive spirit of bitcoin… is maximum inclusion and access for everyone, so I think it’s especially important in bitcoin for people to be going out of their way to help people who face obstacles to getting there… No one should be forced to be reliant on other people to do things for them.”
Newbold is currently gathering together a team of developers and supporters that will combine their efforts in order to make the IcyWallet a reality. The first few prototypes of the IcyWallet will be created by Newbold himself, backed up by a software suite that is expected to be fully operational by 2018.
Importantly, the IcyWallet will be 100% free and open source, and will generate hierarchical deterministic wallets with mnemonic seeds for safe backup. Using the IcyWallet will be extremely simple- users need only connect a pair of headphones and a keyboard or a refreshable braille display in order to get started.
To date, the IcyWallet team has concluded the development of the wallet generation architecture of the project, and is currently wrapping up the development of the mnemonic seed backup process. If you’re interested in observing the development of the IcyWallet website, the team provide regular updates via the IcyWallet website.