A Review of CoolBitX’s CoolWallet S: A Hardware Wallet the Size of a Credit Card
The CoolWallet S is CoolBitX’s second generation mobile hardware crypto wallet, launched in March 2018. It follows the CoolWallet, released in 2016. Let’s unwrap it to take a look under the hood.
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A Wallet That Looks Like a Credit Card
The CoolWallet S is the size and shape of a credit card, fitting neatly into your purse or wallet. With a separate charger unit, it requires no wires to use and operate once charged. The battery lasts almost a month. Inside the card is a circuit board, a battery, a display, and a bluetooth antenna, which pairs with the app on your phone. It also has a CC EAL5+ Secure Element, adding an enhanced layer of security.
Because of its design the wallet cannot be opened, reprogrammed, and resealed. Literally the size and shape of a credit card, trying to interfere with it in any way would make it completely obvious to the user.
Setting Up the CoolWallet S
During the setup phase, the S model uses numbers rather than words in your seed phrase. Still BIP39 compatible, this is something users of other wallets will need to adjust to. Setup instructions are fully laid out on the CoolWallet website.
The CoolWallet S supports bitcoin, Ethereum, litecoin, Ripple, bitcoin cash, and any ERC20 token. This is a major advancement on the first generation CoolWallet, which only offered support for bitcoin. The company plans to add support for other major currencies in the future. Once setup and paired with your Android or iOS mobile app, your wallet is good to go.
Security, Security, Security
The CoolWallet S is clearly focused on security. Not only is it fortified by a CC EAL5+ Secure Element inside the wallet, it pairs over an encrypted Bluetooth connection with the app on your phone, meaning that to interfere with it, a hacker would need to have your wallet, your phone, your phone’s patch version, and the knowledge to reprogram the app and solve a difficult mathematical hash function.
To send (or receive) transactions, the wallet needs to sign the transaction the app wants to make. The wallet cannot be paired with a different device if “Allow new pairing” is disabled, meaning a rogue app cannot access your wallet over a Bluetooth connection, because the addresses will be different. Furthermore, CoolBitX has full vertical control over the manufacturing process, producing the wallets at their own factory.
CoolBitX–A Serious Challenger in the Hardware Wallet Market
Based in Taipei, CoolBitX is supported by the Litecoin Foundation, investor SBI Holdings, decentralized ERC20 exchange JOYSO, and MetaCert, an anti-phishing security service. ShapeShift and JOYSO are fully integrated, giving users the ability to trade currencies in a safe cold storage environment.
The wallet is quite hardy, bendable, waterproof, and resistant to extreme heat and cold. It is built to last indefinitely. Household magnets will not affect it. With all these things, though, there is no real reason to test its limits beyond reasonable levels. Just treat it like a credit card and you’ll be fine.
Worldwide sales of the CoolWallet S exceed 100,000 units. It has only just launched in the United States. At $99 USD, the wallet’s unique approach of combining the security of hardware storage with the convenience of mobile wallets should help it win over adopters from its rivals.
Have your say. Do you own a CoolWallet S? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
Images via CoolBitX