What is air-gapped cold wallet?
- What is Cold Wallet
The majority of cryptocurrencies are kept inside wallets. When a user wants to create a wallet, they will first generate a pair of unique numbers and letters called private keys and public keys.
The private key is like the identity of the wallet. It allows access to the wallet and allows transactions away from the wallet. Whoever holds the private key is the owner of the wallet.
On the other hand, the public key generates the wallet's address that you can give to other people to send you cryptocurrency.
Wallets help you create private keys, and public keys, keep track of your cryptocurrency, allow transactions, and keep your private keys secure.
There are three types of wallets: Hot wallets, Hardware wallets, and Cold wallets.
1.1 Hot Wallets: these are wallets based on a mobile/PC App. They are readily accessible for free on the App store etc. When you create a wallet on these Apps, the mobile phone or the PC will store the private keys and try to keep them safe. Nonetheless, mobile phones or PCs are not secure because they always connect to the internet or other networks. The internet is full of hackers and malware that can target private keys at any time.
1.2 Hardware Wallets: these are specially made devices just for keeping cryptocurrency. These devices are isolated from networks most of the time, reducing the risk of getting hacked or touched by malware. However, to make a transaction, it must be directly connected to another online device. Therefore, the hardware wallet will not stay isolated when it needs to complete a transaction, which poses risks to remote hacking or having malware installed through the connection.
1.3 Cold Wallets: Cold wallets are similar devices to hardware wallets. The main difference is that cold wallets can complete transactions without needing any direct connection to online devices. This means a cold wallet does not require any hardware or software that lets it connect to the internet or another device. Therefore, the cold wallet can be isolated at all times and protect the private key inside from every type of online attack (Air-gapped).
- What is "Air-Gapped"?
Air-gapped is a technical term for a device (usually a computer) that does not have any connection to a network or another device. It is a device that is 100% isolated from the outside world.
Nowadays, where everything is interconnected through the internet and with the widespread of hackers and malware, the concept of "Air-Gapped" is ever more significant in terms of security. This is why cold wallets accept air-gapped technology to stay isolated at all times and keep your cryptocurrency secure.
- Newest Generation of Air-gapped Cold Wallets: ELLIPAL Titan
As explained above, cold wallets are the most secure place to store your private keys because it is air-gapped. And by keeping the keys secure, your cryptocurrency will be safe.
Nonetheless, cold wallets may still have one weakness. Although it can protect the keys from all online threats, physical threats like theft and physically altering the hardware/software still exist. It might be less common to see someone break into your house to steal your cold wallet than to meet an online hacker, but it is still dangerous.
Cold Wallet makers like ELLIPAL understand this issue well and added safety features to prevent such attacks on its ELLIPAL Titan Cold Wallet.
3.1 Anti-Tamper Security: The best way to secure private keys is to delete them when the (physical) hacker gets their hand on the device. Without any private keys to salvage, the stealing attempt is futile. The ELLIPAL Titan does this by having a sensor that detects any physical hacking on the hardware. Once the sensor detects that someone is trying to crack open the device, the wallet will self-destruct. Every data on the device will be deleted. If the wallet owner has the recovery key, their assets can be recovered easily on a new wallet.
3.2 Anti-Disassembly Security: Another threat is that some hackers may install malware into the device before giving it to you. They intercept the delivery of your device, install malware, and ship it to you as if nothing happens. What you'll get is an infected device that is ready to cause you many troubles. (This is called a supply-chain attack). As scary as it sounds, ELLIPAL has a simple way to counter it. The ELLIPAL Titan is made from a very strong metal frame, and the screen is sealed tightly onto the metal. It is not possible to open up the ELLIPAL Titan without leaving serious marks on it. Do not use an ELLIPAL with marks on it because it shows that it has been tampered with.
The ELLIPAL Titan cold wallet is one of the most secure wallets you can ever store your cryptocurrency in. Not only does it protects you from all kinds of online attacks by being air-gapped, but it also protects you from offline attacks. The ELLIPAL Titan will keep your crypto secure for a very long time.
- How Does ELLIPAL Work?
As mentioned, cold wallets are air-gapped, so by themselves, they cannot connect to the blockchain and complete transactions. Without USB ports or Bluetooth connections, how does information transfer between a cold wallet and the blockchain? The answer is a QR code.
QR codes are visual information, they travel through light and cannot be hacked. Every cold wallet has a camera to scan the QR codes for receiving and sending information.
The ELLIPAL Titan cold wallet is to be used alongside the ELLIPAL Mobile APP. The APP acts as a proxy for the cold wallet to connect to the blockchain. By using the APP to scan the wallet QR codes from the cold wallet, the APP can synchronize and show you all the information about the wallet. For example: how much crypto is stored, and what is the wallet's address.
To send coins, create a transaction request on the ELLIPAL APP. The APP will create a QR code. Use the ELLIPAL Titan to scan this QR code. Once scanned, the ELLIPAL Titan knows that you want to make a transaction and approve it using the private keys stored inside. What you get is another QR code saying that this transaction has been confirmed by the private key; which will be scanned by the APP again to complete the process.
And of course, before the ELLIPAL Titan can approve this transaction for you, you must correctly input the gesture password and the account password. As you can see, the transaction process is also very secure.