Case Wallet Review
3 stars - "Case Wallet Review" Case Wallet Review
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Case Wallet Review

Written on: March 1th, 2016 | Author: David M
Important info
  • Wallet Type:  Hardware
  • Verification:  SPV
  • Security:  Multisig
  • Founded :  Melanie Shapiro
  • Open source:  Yes
  • Privacy :  HD
  • Crypto supported:  bitcoin
  • Vulnerability to malware:  Very Secure
  • Private key stored:  both client and server side
  • Integrated exchange:  GoCelery
Pros and cons
  • Aesthetically-pleasing hardware design
  • Extremely convenient and secure sending mechanism
  • Can buy bitcoin from within wallet
  • Not really cold storage
  • Frustrating set up
  • Sort of expensive

box

Summary

Case is a dedicated hardware wallet offering 2 of 3 multisig functionality in a pretty easy to use format. Case holds one of the keys on it's server, one is hardwired into the device, and the third is held by Third Key Solutions, though the user can override this to hold the third key themselves. Case wallet connects to the internet via gsm, and bitcoin is sent through the device, authenticated by a finger swipe.  And all that can be yours for the low low price of $199!

Case is a really nifty idea and it has tons of potential. V1 has been a bit flawed, but not to the extent that the product is not worth buying. There are a few nagging UI shortcomings and the product seems a bit poorly put together for the price. However, what makes choosecase unique is that it is literally a hardware wallet. You needn't connect to a computer, utilize an online interface, or sync with a third-party web or mobile wallet. CaseWallet is entirely self contained, and thus touchpoints which might be exploited by bad actors are eliminated. It offers an optimized all-in-one interface to make sending, receiving and for US users even buying and selling bitcoins, basically seamless. It will be interesting to see how the product is developed into the future.

Setting up

After unwrapping your new Case Wallet, you will need to enroll it through the website. Enrollment requires a username and password, a phone number and three recovery questions and answers to be used should your device be lost. In the event that you do indeed lose the device, there is a reversible account freezing process that can be instigated from the case website.

You will then need to determine where your third key is held - the recommended option, vault storage through a contracted third party, or self storage.

Next, press and hold the Bitcoin sign to activate the device and scan the QR code displayed. You will need to swipe your fingerprint successfully 10 times - which judging by the feedback, is not as smooth as you would think. Depending on who you ask, it is best to use either your thumb or index finger.

Once this has been successfully completed you are done!

Using the Case Wallet

After loading up the screen, you will see five different options - send, receive, buy, sell and authenticate. To send bitcoin, simply scan a QR code with the device and swipe your finger. In a few moments you will see a screen stating that the transaction has been successful. 

three-steps

 

The receive screen populates with a QR code as well. Receiving bitcoin is a bit of a pain to be honest. You cannot send the QR code through the device, so it is probably best to find out your public address, write it down in your mobile phone, and then you can send it out via email or SMS.

Buying and selling

Case has partnered with Celery exchange, to offer the buying and selling of bitcoin directly from the wallet. To set up the account, users will need to open an account with gocelery and verify their US bank account. Go Celery is a New York-based bitcoin brokerage, meaning you'll pay a 1% fee to Celery and another ~1.3% built into the spread in exchange for exceptional convenience.

What happens if Case goes out of business?

There are a few points of concern in the nuclear scenario in which Case ceases to function. First, the GSM service provided is on an annual contract between Case and providers, and is free to customers for the lifespan of the product. So what happens to those provider relationships once Case disappears? I'm sure some solution will be found by users, but sounds like a massive pain in the arse.

Additionally, by design you cannot extract the private key from the device. According to Case, to allow extraction would fundamentally change the architectural logic, and the level of security offered. The downside is that If there is a device malfunction or you lose the device AND Case no longer exists, you are stuck with one out of three keys. No soup for you.

Additional Bits and Bobs

Case Wallet runs on its batteries for something like 50-75 transactions before needing to be recharged. Recharging is meant to be done using a charging pad included in the purchase price, and it takes about three hours to be fully charged. There has been some winging on the interweb about the quality of this charging pad and its tendency to get extremely hot - you can use alternative charging pads if needed to the same effect.

Bottom Line

Case is a really cool product, if a bit rough around the edges. It offers quite an innovative mechanism for the extremely secure transfer of bitcoin, whilst maintaining a simple user experience that can easily be picked up by any bitcoin novice.

There are a few drawbacks. The inability to export the private key, though essential for the security architecture, does represent a possible point of failure should Case disappear and the wallet malfunction. Ditto the GSM packages, whose annual fees are paid by Case on the customer's behalf.  The simplicity of the wallet also gets in the way of additional conveniences, like an easy way for requesting payments, putting together an address book, or setting up multiple accounts meant to be used for different purposes.

Case sold out of their first batch of wallets, and so there is a demand for the product. Whether one prefers Case to Trezor, which has its own share of issues but comes at half the price, is a matter of taste.

We are excited to see how Case will enhance its products.

Get a Case Wallet Today!

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Bitcoin Price (USD): 853.48