Cryptocurrencies have only been around for a short while. For a lot of people, this futuristic way of thinking about money can be confusing, and many have been left quite vulnerable to hacking, ransomware and other malicious attacks, not knowing how to protect their assets best.
Since the beginning of 2017 alone, over USD 1.2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies have been stolen, according to the recent report by the Anti-Phishing Working Group. Experts have estimated that only about 20% of that amount has been successfully restored, and the rest was irrevocably lost primarily due to the way cryptocurrency was stored.
Crypto — offline?
The fact is that cryptocurrency stored on a device with access to the internet is always vulnerable to malicious attacks by hackers. The only way to truly ensure your assets are safe is to store them offline. Although the notion of digital currency being kept offline may seem a bit counterintuitive, it is actually quite simple.
Hardware wallets — also referred to as cold wallets as they are not in some way accessible via the internet unlike hot wallets are — do not really store cryptocurrency, but they do hold the public and private keys associated with a particular account.
Cryptocurrency and all information regarding it — like transfer and payment instructions — are always stored on the blockchain network, while public and private keys provide a secure way for wallet holders to tell the network what to do with their assets. If a hacker, or anyone else for that matter, gains access to your private key, they can do whatever they please with the assets in your possession, and irreversibly so for the most part.
The keys to security
The most you can therefore do to protect your crypto assets is careful handling of your wallet keys.
Public and private keys are used to encrypt and decrypt transactions of cryptocurrencies:
- A public key can be thought of as a sort of wallet location, instructing the network where to transfer a certain amount of money.
- A private key allows individuals to access the funds and is used to confirm transactions. It is generated only once, and if lost it cannot be recovered.
As connectivity of the keys to the internet could seriously threaten their security, the safest way to store them is, therefore, offline. It can be done by simply printing out the keys. However, paper can be easily lost or destroyed and measures taken to ensure its safety, like storing it in a safe or safety deposit box, can be quite a hassle and are themselves prone to being tampered with.
Hardware wallets — devices for storing cryptocurrencies offline — make cold storage convenient and are much safer than paper or online wallets could ever be. Even if the device itself is damaged or lost, the owner can still recover their private key by providing specific information to the manufacturer, which guarantees a much stronger sense of trusted ownership to the asset holder.
With Sugi NFC Wallet Card, you can restore the access to your funds by providing us with one of the two keys that you get with Sugi the first time. So even in the case of loss, theft or damage of the Sugi Wallet Card, your crypto assets will remain safe and yours only until you restore them back into a new Sugi card.
What about usability?
Sofitto’s Sugi NFC Wallet Card is an easy to use customizable device that helps anyone — regardless of their tech knowledge — provide safe storage for their assets.
It looks just like any other payment card, and, in fact, it will double as one. When creating Sugi, we reused bank-grade security tools and adapted them to the modern blockchain networks. Using Sugi, your crypto assets can be completely protected from malicious attacks and hackers, while you can enjoy a full-mobile experience that you are used to.
What sets Sugi apart from other hardware wallets on the market today is the fact that it has been wholly streamlined for an average bank card user who may know very little about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Sugi looks and operates like any other payment card, validating the transactions with a PIN code.
While currently focusing on cryptocurrency transactions, we are also developing solutions that will enable the card and contained assets to be used for purchases at any POS anywhere in the world or for withdrawing money at any ATM.
Keep your keys safe
Sugi NFC Wallet Card operates in conjunction with the Sugi mobile app — interconnected through initial pairing — which functions as a user interface for the Sugi Wallet. This way, unlike other wallets, the Sugi wallet does not need to be plugged in anywhere, and it stays completely offline at all times — as it should.
We have taken the necessary measures to help protect your assets and paired them with the utility convenience of a payment card. What is left for you to do is to leverage the outcome and the functions of the end product.