by Liam Kelly
After earlier attempts to integrate with Trezor and Ledger Nano, Monero may finally find a hardware home. The privacy-centric crypto team set in motion the development back in August 2017 after raising 996 XMR and have finally released more information at the 34c3 Congress, which commenced December 27-30, 2017.
Prototype Hardware in Spring 2018
Though the wallet announced will only function as a pilot product, the team is confident that the firmware and software will soon follow. /u/pebx, posted an update on Reddit on December 31, 2017, as well as a link with which interested parties can track the the pace of development.
More importantly, the hardware wallet team revealed the technology will be available for under $20, a fraction of the price of current market leaders Trezor and Ledger Nano S. The price point should be enough to attract other wallet holders simply for the sake of diversification.
If not the competitive price, it will also be the first truly open-source hardware wallet. The capacity for developers and members of the community to finally get their hands on an open-source product of this nature is untraditional and potentially disruptive to the crypto sector.
False Starts and Principled Integration
For newcomers to the Monero community, the impatience to be accepted by Trezor and Ledger is to be expected. However, upon further investigation, the reluctance is easy to understand when a currency is primarily focused on both open-access and perfect privacy.
While, the market leaders in the hardware industry enjoy a massive community for their products, they suffer from both being closed source operations.
Another difficulty in incorporating Monero comes from the fact that it is build on a different protocol compared with frontrunners Bitcoin and Ethereum. CryptoNote provides similar features of Double-Spending proof, Proof of work mechanisms, but also includes untraceable payments and unlinkable transactions. While not widely accepted, the technology hopes to combat mass surveillance and stimulate decentralization.
While the prototype is not scheduled to release until either May or April 2018, there are still alternative wallets to securely store users Monero. One of the best options for Android-users is Monerujo. The mobile app can be found on the Google Play Store or F-droid and provides an easy-to-use solution for the time being. The wallet service recently integrated XMR.to functionality into its fifth release ‘Satoshi’s Dream,’ (currently in beta) allowing users to send payments to bitcoin addresses too.
The increasing certainty of a secure alternative, exclusive to Monero, comes as great news to the community.