Part of the attraction of digital currencies is that transactions are usually fast and easy. But, these features can also be negatives. Without properly securing a wallet, its contents can be lost or stolen just as quickly and easily!
Deducting all the coins and tokens from a wallet requires only one piece of information - the wallet's private key.
Anyone (or any app) with access to your wallet's private key, can drain its entire contents from anywhere, at any time - without any notification or your approval. Talk about risky!
There are wallets, and then there are wallets...
'Hosted' or 'custodial' online wallets are convenient and easy to use, but lack security. The host maintains your private keys, and has complete access to your wallet. You must completely trust that host, or risk losing all your coins and tokens!
For better security - it's wise to take care of your own wallets and private keys. There are plenty of desktop and mobile wallet applications available. But remember, the app still has access to your keys, and any malware present on your computer or smartphone may also be able to steal your keys! So storing private keys on a computer or phone is also risky.
There are better alternatives. There a number of hardware wallets currently available that enable offline ('cold') storage of keys; they often look like a USB thumb drive that is plugged into a computer when needed. This is a good solution, but with major flaws. If the device is lost or stolen, all wallets and coins stored on it could be lost!
To prevent complete loss, most devices offer a 'recovery seed phrase' to recreate the key and recover the wallet contents. However, this involves writing down a long list of keywords and storing the list in a safe location. This is the weak link of a fairly secure system. After all, anyone who has your recovery seed phrase also has complete access to your wallet!
"Distrust and caution are the parents of security."
The solution consists of a 'cold' hardware wallet - a small portable card reading device that securely connects to most popular computers and smartphones using USB or Bluetooth - only when needed.
Private keys can be stored on the device itself or individually on credit card sized smartcards that are inserted into the device.
The wallet can interface with a variety of popular software wallets and browser extensions, and is used to sign transactions as needed - while always storing the private key securely on the device or smartcard.
The TAPWallet is small and portable - a little larger than a standard credit card. Typically, it will be connected to computers using a USB cable, and to smartphones using a wireless Bluetooth connection. It is powered via USB or its rechargeable battery.
Unlike thumb-drive type wallets, it uses a relatively large color screen with menu system for clarity and ease-of-use. As a bonus, digital images for NFTs that are connected to the wallet can also be displayed.
Access to the device is protected with a user-selected PIN and poses little risk if lost or stolen!
Smartcards are optional, but can be used for greater security and convenience. The smartcard uses proven secure technology that has been used by financial institutions to protect accounts, and by governments to protect identities.
Each smartcard stores an individual private key, and user-selected PIN. As a result, a TAPWallet can be shared between family members, friends or colleagues each with their own cards!
To protect against loss or theft, each card can be duplicated using the wallet and stored for safekeeping. No risky recovery seed phrases needed - and cards are always protected no matter where they are!
Secure. Convenient. Powerful.
The wallet communicates with secure smartcards that have been well tested and trusted by financial insitutions and governments.
The Wallet can communicate with both 'contact' and 'contactless' smartcards.
The device is typically connected and powered by USB. However, it can be used as a standalone and with standard use, a single battery charge may last several days. The wallet is recharged quickly using a USB cable to a computer, or standard 5V wall charger.
A standard USB connection can be used to connect to computers, and charge the rechargeable battery while doing so. A Bluetooth wireless connection is available for tablets and smartphones.
Both the Wallet and cards can be individually protected using a user-selected PIN.
The wallet can communicate with software on popular computer platforms such as Windows, Mac/iOS and Android.
Using the Wallet, cards can be securely duplicated for backup and safekeeping.
The TAPWallet can interact with a number of blockchains including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Because each card can be assigned a unique PIN, the actual wallet device can be safely shared between family, friends or co-workers.
An unlimited number of cards (accounts) can be used with each TAPWallet.
The TAPWallet is manufactured from durable thermoplastic materials, and a 12-month warranty on all parts is available.
A variety of protective cases and mounting options are available in a range of colors and materials.