CoolWallet is a credit card sized second screen keeping keys offline, and authenticating transactions using near-field communications
- Bitcoin Cash
- Cold Storage
- Trusted Node
- Keys generated and held within CoolWallet
- Can send bitcoin using near-field communication
- Can fit in wallet like a credit card
- Who wants to carry savings account key in wallet?
- Automatic fee might be problematic if fee market develops
So Cool Wallet is the exact dimensions of a credit card and is meant to fit into your wallet. It is paired to their iOS or Android mobile companion apps by way of NFC (near field communication) or bluetooth. The cool wallet displays and holds the private key seed, which never actually makes its way to the mobile device. It also is required to authenticate transactions, which is done by tapping the card to the phone.
Cool Wallet is super cool actually, and presents an extremely usable method of sending bitcoins from your mobile device on the go, without fear of viruses or malware infecting your device and stealing your keys. Howeva – one is generally not inclined to walk around town with their bank vault in their pocket. A hardware wallet, in my opinion in any event, is meant to behave as a digital safe, stashed safely somewhere in your house. It is for the secure hoarding of the bitcoin meant as your children and grandchildren’s birthright, so they can live the life of your dreams – private jets to their own islands, yachts with a full-year staff of ten, trophy wives or husbands, etc.
Bitcoin kept in your mobile wallet, on the other hand, might be considered spending cash. Sucks if you lose it, but it won’t cost your grandchildren the yacht. So then Cool Wallet is sort of a fancy gadget for securing your spending cash.
And not sure it really does that really well. When out and about on your phone, perhaps robbery is more of an issue than malware. If that is the case, more likely than not your wallet – and your cool wallet within – will also be stolen. If the thief is wily enough to notice your bitcoin wallet and try to take out the bitcoin, he is also most likely wily enough to find the cool wallet card as well.
So yes, Cool Wallet offers excellent usability – but perhaps this isn’t the most important thing when picking a vault.
Getting set up
Ok, so you’ve just received your brand new cool wallet. How do you get started?
You’ll first need to pair the wallet to the iOS or Android companion app. After downloading the app, fire up your CoolWallet and wait until the serial number appears on the app. Make sure your bluetooth is on!
Once the serial appears, tap on connect and enter the one time password (OTP) that appears on the Cool wallet Display. Hit “pair with this device”. You can do this on up to three different devices, if for some reason you dabble with multiple smart phones.
You’ll next want to back up your wallet. The seed may be generated in the CoolWallet itself or in the app. We strongly advise generating the seed on the CoolWallet to ensure the seed never touches an online environment.
Great, so first, select “create new wallet” on your app (this is also where you have the option to import a different seed – Cool Wallet is BIP32 compatible). You can then pick whether you’d like the seed expressed in number of word sets and the seed length, which is between eight to 24. Twenty four provides the most security, but 12 offers compatibility with most wallets. The seed will then generate on the card after a few minutes, which will display the numbers or words one at a time to allow for recording the seed on the enclosed recovery card.
Assuming you choose the number seed, at the end of the recording you will be asked to add all the numbers together and stick the answer in the app to check that transcription was properly done.
If you lose the seed, you lose the ability to restore the wallet.
The wallet is nicely put together, and allows for easy creation of up to 5 accounts, each with the ability to generate unlimited amounts of addresses – which are of course rotated after each incoming or outbound transaction. Setting up additional accounts can be done by hitting the “+” button on the app homescreen.
The wallet uses a down arrow to signify “receive payment”, and an up arrow to signify “send payment. Tapping on “create new address” opens a new inbound address, which can be labeled for convenience. Clicking on a generated address opens the associated QR code, which may be scanned by the sender. Users may also request payment and send the QR code or long address to a counterparty.
Tp send payments, hit the up arrow and either paste the recipient address or tap the camera icon. The amount to send may be expressed in bitcoin or your chosen fiat, which can be setup in “options”. Users have the option of setting their sending security level to either require the inputting of a one-time password generated on the CoolWallet Card, or simply require the pressing of the button on the card to authenticate payment.
Please note that the transaction fee is automatically set to .0001 BTC, which will be a problem as/if a fee market develops.
Bits and Bobs
The dimensions match exactly a standard credit card, so the device fits snugly into standard wallets. The battery is at top performance for two years – which apparently means the device can be used for two weeks without recharging. Speaking of recharging, the product comes with a NFC charger, meaning you must only place the device atop it to charge. Charging is completed in three hours. Make sure to turn off the device when not in use, as there is no power-saving mode.
This is a very cool product – which is lucky because if it wasn’t its name would be horribly ironic. The usability is great, both the card and the companion app are really nice looking, and the $99 price tag is reasonable.