Considering a bitcoin mining hardware purchase? Make a more informed decision with our Bitcoin Mining Dashboard.
TREZOR is a bitcoin hardware wallet, which allows users to store their bitcoins off their personal computers. Today they opened pre-orders for their wallets due to be shipped in October or November, depending on the product chosen. A common vulnerability for bitcoin storage is the need to store wallet files on personal computers that are vulnerable to malware and viruses. The goal of hardware wallets is to store personal keys on a device that is disconnected from the internet, so malicious attackers are unable to obtain the private keys required to use bitcoins stored in a wallet. As Gavin stated on Monday, this issue is one of the leading concerns for bitcoin developers.
TREZOR is one of the leading bitcoin hardware wallet developers, with a compact design and working prototypes. The development team is located in Prague and consists of two developers: Marek Palatinus, the inventor of pooled mining and operator of Slush, one of the largest mining pools; as well as Pavol Rusnak an open source enthusiast and founder of Prague hackerspace .
There are two versions of the hardware wallet available. Both have the same form factor, but differ in case materials. The plastic case TREZOR will be available for 1 BTC, and the metallic cased TREZOR will cost 3 BTC.
The OLED display on TREZOR is used to show relevant transaction information in and effort to prevent both user error, and man-in-the-middle attacks. The display will show the receiving address of the transaction, as well as the amount of bitcoins being transferred. The two buttons on the device will be used to confirm or cancel transactions.
The main competitor to TREZOR appears to be Butterfly Labs, who announced BitSafe at the Bitcoin Conference in San Jose. Few details are currently available on the pricing or release date of their product, however it does appear to have a significantly larger form factor than TREZOR. Given Butterfly Labs’ track record shipping miners, it appears TREZOR will have a significant head start.
Update: Slush provided more information about the device on the bitcointalk.org forum:
Both versions will be open-source (both hardware and software!) and will provide the same functionality, like for example:
* Deterministic BIP 0032 compatible wallet algorithm (=unlimited count of addresses)
* No need for periodic backups, writing down the seed to paper during the device initialization will be enough forever
* Unlimited count of inputs and outputs in transaction (transaction streaming API)
* Plug & Play – no driver installation on a desktop computer required
* Unauthorized physical access to wallet protected by PIN
* Optionally wallet will require one-time-passwords for important actions
Custom hardware version will have these extra features:
* Impossibility to obtain private keys from the device in a case of theft
* Impossibility to re-flash the device with malicious code
* Possibility to do paper-backup of private keys only once during wallet initialization
* iPod Shuffle sized aluminium case for durability and robustness
* Variety of colors to tell the wallets apart by simply looking at them