Ngrave has built its Zero hardware wallet — the most secure military-grade cryptocurrency wallet yet seen. With EAL7 certification it has one of the highest security gradings in the world and it has recently become available for purchase.
In the present turbulent financial times, investors are beginning to see the sense in putting at least some of their funds into a bitcoin ‘hedge’ against a highly probable devaluation of fiat currencies. The on-chain data and market intelligence site ‘Glassnode’ published a tweet in early May stating that bitcoin wallet ownership had risen significantly since the third halving:
Here Glassnode states that since the halving, wallets containing one bitcoin or more have increased by 63.2%. A veritable torrent of interest in Bitcoin is being seen and therefore one would imagine there would be a subsequent uptick of interest in security.
And why wouldn’t there be? Exchanges and wallets have been plagued with hacks over the entire history of the cryptocurrency space.
Why you need a secure wallet
When you deposit money in a bank you would imagine that your money is still yours right? That is technically not true. As soon as it receives it, your bank will send your money straight out the back door to be loaned out or any other financial transaction your bank sees fit. It’s basically free money for the bank. So in actual fact, the bank owns that money. If the bank goes down, depending on what government guarantees exist, you could lose it all!
In the same way, when you deposit cryptocurrency on an exchange it’s actually no longer your cryptocurrency as the exchange owns the keys to the wallets where it is kept. All you actually have is a promise from the exchange that it will allow you to withdraw your assets when you want to. If the exchange gets hacked, then once again, depending on its level of insurance, you could lose everything — and this has happened many times in recent years!
So what about wallets?
The advantage of having your own wallet is that you own the cryptographic keys that control that wallet and not an exchange. There is no one else that can access that wallet and take the cryptocurrency — unless of course, you get hacked!!
There are generally 2 types of wallets available to the average investor — hot wallets, or cold wallets. There are some extremely good hot wallets out there, but there is a problem — they are online! If a wallet is online it has a connection with the internet and that means that a bad actor could feasibly hack into your wallet if they had the know-how and the resources to do it.
In fact, there is an even easier way. Phishing is extremely widespread across the internet and you could be enticed to click on what might appear to be a harmless looking link which could enable a nefarious player to gain access to your wallet keys and ultimately all your crypto funds.
In 2019 a whopping $4.3 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from user wallets.
Cold wallets, on the other hand, are apart from the internet and ostensibly they would appear to then be unhackable…
However, just about all retail cold wallets still have entry points that could be exploited. I mentioned that a cold wallet is completely apart from the internet, but is it? In order to connect with your computer, the typical cold wallet would employ a USB or Bluetooth connection — a connection is exactly that — it is a connection with a network and is, therefore, a possible attack vector into your wallet.
The unhackable wallet
The Ngrave Zero wallet is completely ‘air-gapped’. This means that it is 100% offline at all times and doesn’t require USB or Bluetooth for connection. Instead, communication between a mobile phone app and the wallet is by QR Codes which do not store any information about the user's private keys.
A single-piece metal casing seals the wallet, making it impenetrable to frequencies. Also, it is tamper-responsive, meaning that if anyone were to try to open the wallet or meddle with it in any way then the wallet would detect this and would then self-wipe all information.
The wallet itself is a thing of beauty. A 4-inch screen size and easy to understand interface supplies a good user experience. For once, operating a cold wallet is easy — if you’ve fiddled around with a Ledger Nano S before then you will certainly appreciate handling the Zero.
“when i first saw them, i wondered how can you be colder and more secure than ledger, and it turns out you can.” (Boxmining)
It’s a fact — EAL-7 certification makes the Ngrave Zero wallet the most secure in the whole of the blockchain/cryptocurrency industry. Competitors such as the latest Ledger Nano X achieved EAL-5+ certification and the Trezor Model T has not achieved EAL certification. As mentioned, both have vulnerabilities in using either USB or Bluetooth for communication.
Even traditional banking does not have such a high level of security!
EAL (Evaluation Assurance Level) is graded from EAL-1 through to EAL-7 being the highest possible level. At the EAL-7 level, the device is put through the most complete and exhaustive battery of testing on all areas of security.
Teaming up with the world’s leading experts
Ngrave wanted to have the absolute best on board with this project so when they were developing their wallet they did it in association with Imec, “the world-leading R&D and innovation hub for nano electronics”, who provided expertise on ‘nano-scale’ chip manufacturing.
Also, Ngrave teamed up with COSIC, a “world-leading applied cryptography research group” who created the AES256 which is the worldwide standard for data encryption and who are also responsible for many cryptographic algorithms.
Both of these entities were heavily involved with helping to develop the Ngrave cold wallet from inception to completion of the project. Imec has continued to play a major role in design, development, and manufacturing.
All crypto projects have advisors and Ngrave has pulled off the coup of having Jean-Jaques Quisquater (pioneer in cryptography and quoted by Satoshi Nakamoto in the original Bitcoin whitepaper) advise the team on cryptographic security, algorithms, and protocols.
Just prior to rolling out their wallet, Ngrave decided to do one last funding raise in order to secure the last leg of their runway to revenue and profitability. They launched their offering on the renowned Indiegogo crowdfunding platform on the 26th May and with less than 2 weeks to go they have raised 733% of their original goal.
Backers will be able to buy their Ngrave wallets at an up to 42% reduction of the retail price at launch, whilst also obtaining limited edition colours. Shipping is expected in October 2020. Being one of the first recipients of the coolest and most secure wallet on the planet would certainly appeal to some.
The time for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has arrived. With fiat currencies failing fast and traditional financial instruments going down with them there is a need for hedges outside of the banking system. Bitcoin and other solid cryptocurrencies will be that hedge.
The dark world of hackers and fraudsters are moving their gaze onto the easy prey of retail investors, new to the fast and furious world of crypto. Most investors wouldn’t totally get that their security is their own responsibility and therefore many of them could suffer hacks before they fully understand the need for the best security measures.
In order to sleep well at night in the knowledge that your crypto assets are completely safe, ownership of the Ngrave Zero wallet would give you this peace of mind. Scrimping on security is not recommended given the losses that could be accrued.
Food for thought…