The hardware wallet market is getting a new contender. Bitcoin infrastructure firm Blockstream is joining the game with its open-source hardware wallet Jade, according to a press release shared with the BTC Times on Sunday.
The hardware wallet allows for the offline storage of bitcoin as well as all Liquid assets, tokens issued on Bitcoin sidechain Liquid. Liquid assets, which include Liquid Bitcoin and Liquid Tether, can already by stored on Ledger devices using Blockstream Green, a wallet interface maintained by Blockstream. Jade functions in a similar fashion, although at launch time, only Green users with Android devices can use the hardware wallet.
Blockstream states, however, that Jade support for Green's desktop version is next in line, with iOS compatibility to follow soon after.
Jade comes in a compact format and with a 240x135 screen, as well as a built-in but not yet functional camera. "Once activated, the camera combined with the full-color screen will enable you to complete transactions entirely through QR codes," shared Blockstream's Chief Architect Lawrence Nahum. This will allow users to complete transactions without connecting their hardware wallet to a computer via cable or Bluetooth.
Since Jade is open-source, users can, if preferred, also use the firmware with third-party hardware, which "enables anyone to build their own hardware wallet to minimize supply chain risks," said the firm's Chief Strategy Officer Samson Mow.
Hardware wallets are often considered a preferred long-term storage option for Bitcoin as they allow their owners to store their private keys offline, significantly reducing the risk for hacks. Hardware wallet users should not think themselves perfectly safe, however, as they are frequently targeted by attackers seeking to obtain seed phrases via phishing attacks in order to steal user funds.
With Jade, Blockstream is not without competition, as the hardware wallet market has seen an increase in options in recent years.
While hardware wallet firms Ledger and Trezor are still among the leading providers, Bitcoin users can choose from a growing variety of options, based on their preferences and needs. Advanced users can opt for products like Coinkite's COLDCARD wallet, which offers features such as air-gapping for added security. Other options include Swiss-produced BitBox or China-based Cobo Vault.
Increased selection on the hardware wallet market might be welcomed by the Bitcoin space as around a million customer emails and 250,000 physical addresses were leaked on the internet following a breach of Ledger's marketing database in 2020. The incident made waves among Bitcoin users, many of whom expressed their desire to switch providers, with some even considering legal actions.