Rochester NY Startup Debuts Thin Hardware Wallet With Fingerprint Scanner, 3 Keys

Rochester-based Case has launched its hardware bitcoin wallet at TechCrunch Disrupt NY.

The credit card-sized stand-alone device comes with an embedded biometric fingerprint scanner and is secured with three private keys.

Case CEO Melanie Shapiro commented:

Case represents an evolution for bitcoin users who buy, sell and use bitcoin. Since bitcoin is used just like cash, it is imperative to incorporate multi-signature security with greater simplicity and ease-of-use to ensure widespread consumer adoption. We’ve achieved both of these with our bitcoin wallet. Bitcoin users no longer need to choose between the security of their bitcoin and ease-of-use.

Utilizing multi-signature, multi-factor architecture, Case includes three private keys with two of them required to complete a transaction. One key, which is generated and embedded in the device itself, requires the user to have possession of the device. The second is stored on Case’s servers, which can only be accessed via a biometric fingerprint scanner in the device. A user’s fingerprint scan is not stored on the Case device itself.

Case Chief Technology Officer Stephen Schultz added:

As online blockchain technologies evolve as a means for buying and selling bitcoin, they will require devices like Case to ensure security and maintain privacy. We’ve taken these needs into account to help drive market adoption.

Case partnered with key generation and storage specialist firm Third Key Solutions (TKS) to complete its multi-signature solution. While TKS does not have control of funds, it holds the third signing key in an offline vault so it may be used in the event that a Case user loses their device. By holding one key offline, TKS also helps to mitigate the risks of key loss, natural disaster, internal compromise, or theft. Case also works with Celery to allow its users to exchange U.S. currency for bitcoin or bitcoin to U.S. currency.

Case reports that its wallet was developed in 2014 according to the CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS),

Ease of Use
Using a keypad and screen, Case wallet users can send bitcoin in three steps. To send bitcoin, a user can push the ฿ button on the keypad, scan a QR code, and swipe their finger on the embedded fingerprint scanner. According to the company, with a dedicated GSM chip and a multi-IMSI embedded SIM card, the Case wallet can jump from carrier to carrier without roaming fees to enable unlimited transactions across the globe with no monthly fees.

Limited Availability
Case says it is producing a limited number of its bitcoin wallets available on a pre-order basis starting today through the company’s web site for an initial price of $199. Each of the initial 1,000 Case bitcoin wallets will be numbered.

Journalist, policy analyst, and evangelist of new, disruptive technologies including big data analytics, Internet of Things, and cryptocurrencies. Internet industry veteran with regional c-suite experience, and journalist credentials earned at, Internet World magazine, and Mecklermedia Corporation.
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