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Trove Hardwear Wallet Can Be Opened With A Heartbeat

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Have you ever struggled to pick out a hardware wallet that matches your shoes? Ledgers and Trezors have superb security features, but they’re a bit lacking in fashion sense. 

Now there’s finally a way to carry bitcoins that goes with your outfit. Layer, a London-based design firm, has introduced the Trove, an elegant-looking wearable wallet that lets you HODL your coins and look good while doing it. 

“What, this? Oh, it’s just my fashion statement.”

The Trove is a four-part hardware wallet that can only be unlocked with a heartbeat. Although still in prototype stage, Layer calls it a “form  of  unhackable,  unloseable  cryptocurrency  storage.” That’s a pretty bold claim, but we’ll come back to that later. 

The key element of the Trove is the Coin, a bluetooth-capable heart rate monitor which stores cryptocurrency for your daily expenses. “Users  unlock  the  Coin  using  their  ECG  signature,” the company said in the press release, “which  communicates  with  the  user’s  smartphone  and  allows  funds  to  be  accessed.” There are no passwords to remember, and you don’t have to worry about your private keys. Yes, that’s right – your heartbeat stands between you and would-be thieves, meaning you may actually be worth more alive than dead.

The Coin is hidden in a piece of jewelry made of “aerated aluminum.” It’s available in white—which goes well with black—and in black, which goes well with everything. Here’s the fashion aspect—the Coin can be magnetically attached to three different accessories, as a necklace, a wristband or a brooch. Since the Coins are interchangeable, you don’t need to worry too much about losing them.

Black really does go with everything

There’s also a cold storage option, called the Safe. (Boy, these designers really know how to name things).  The Safe, like the Coin, is hidden in plain sight as a wall tile. Safe can only be unlocked via biometric measurement, Layer says, and only goes online after it has measured the owners’ heartbeat. The device is charged via induction by Keep, a “tactile volcanic rock and polycarbonate container” that runs on USB. 

One can imagine a few eyebrows raising at the idea of using your heartbeat as your password, but Layer is quick to soothe those concerns. “ECG signatures are un-hackable,” a spokesperson said over email, pointing to research in the use of heart rate signatures in military and other security applications. She also pointed out that ECG signatures do not change easily from daily activities like exercise.

There are other things to worry about as well. What if someone installs a pacemaker? Does the Safe have a recovery seed in case Grandma has a heart attack? What happens if your Coin gets rained on? These questions don’t necessarily need hard answers in the prototype stage, but we hope the designers are keeping them in mind.

Then there’s also the pricing, which Layer has not yet established. Although we don’t expect this sort of wearable tech to be cheap, other Layer products, like the Plicate Watch, are more affordable than you’d expect. 

If this trend continues, we may look forward to a whole world of crypto-enabled accessories. Even if you don’t like the Trove, a ring or necklace wallet might be more to your taste. Hopefully these things don’t get too fashionable, though. After all, some thieves steal jewelry, too.

Disclaimer: The author is invested in Bitcoin, which is mentioned in this article.

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