Key Facts.

  • The Blocks hardware wallet can be used mainly through a mobile application.
  • It will use a rechargeable battery, require no screen and be accessible via fingerprint.

Blocks, the Jack Dorsey company that owns the Square, CashApp, SpiralBTC, TIDAL and TBD platforms, has revealed more details about the hardware wallet they are building.

The company announced that customers will be able to manage their money primarily by interacting with the mobile app they are building. They will only need to interact with the hardware wallet in conjunction with the app to authorize rare and large transactions in excess of the number chosen by the user.

For those transactions that require the use of hardware, they want their customers to be able to unlock their wallets easily. "We found PIN codes, cryptocurrencies and mnemonics confusing," the company said. So, instead, they plan to incorporate fingerprint sensor access.

They said in Blocks, "We're excited about the security of the fingerprint sensor because it prevents theft or misuse by eliminating the need to remember another PIN and the ease of putting your finger on the sensor instead of fiddling with small, glitch-prone buttons on a hard-to-read screen."

The statement raised eyebrows because of the fact that the security of Bitcoin in the Blocks hardware wallet could be compromised if users simply enter their fingerprints to access it.

Block Blocks reveals some of the features its hardware wallet will have. Source: Pexels Anyone can copy your fingerprint to access your hardware wallet

In Blocks, they admit that they realize they will have to create alternatives for users who want to use their wallets without revealing their fingerprints. To be precise, one of the principles of Bitcoin is to be able to own and manipulate money while keeping your identity private. If fingerprints were registered, this would be lost, thus compromising its security.

In fact, Gigi, the author of the book "21 Lessons Learned" about Bitcoin, reviewed almost a year ago, in June 2021, that fingerprints are not cryptocurrency. They can be copied and used by others to access the account without your authorization. The same is true for face, eyes, iris and speech patterns. All of these identifiers are called "biometric" data.

On this point, technology lawyer Preston Byrne says, "Protecting a Bitcoin wallet with biometric data is like having your private key tattooed on your forehead." That's because it compromises security and privacy to the point where money stored there could be stolen by thieves or even the government.

The government has a record of residents' fingerprints, which they can use to access their Blocks hardware wallets if that's the only way they have access. This way, they can confiscate your money if they wish. In addition, a thief can copy someone's fingerprint by placing their finger on a special surface and then impersonate them by entering the wallet.

In any case, the company ensures that the data from the fingerprint sensor never leaves the hardware device. To check this, they warn, "But don't take our word for it: listen to the independent community that can examine and verify our source code." A warning that I'm not sure if it gives confidence or the opposite.

Beyond that, they commented that when building the product, they would evaluate alternative access methods available to customers.

The Blocks wallet will work primarily on phones or hardware without screens.

In the statement, Blocks also clarified that they want to use the mobile app as the primary interface, as they believe this will provide a more accessible, secure and intuitive wallet. In line with this approach, they revealed that they plan to build hardware without a screen and they expect they will explain this soon and hope to receive suggestions from the community now.

This decision separates another focus on security. It is crucial that your users take into account that they must verify that what they sign on their device actually corresponds to the address they want to send bitcoins to.

Some viruses can change the target address to another address in order to steal your bitcoins. In this way, the transfer will reach the hacker instead of the right person. For example, this type of hacking can be done with keyloggers, a technology that records every keystroke on the keyboards of cell phones and other devices.

Blocks hardware wallet will be powered by rechargeable batteries

The company says they also chose to power the device with a rechargeable lithium polymer battery and a USB-C port. This allows the wallet to remain plugged in and working when the battery runs out.

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They note, "We think it's better than removing the corroded AAA, scraping off the battery terminals, buying batteries and hoping the corrosion won't damage the wallet." In addition, they estimate that many customers already have plugs and charging cables for other devices, such as phones intended to be linked to a wallet.

In this way, Blocks proves that it goes hand in hand with the Bitcoin industry, except for the right or wrong features of its hardware wallet. CriptoNoticias reviews that this was already proven at the end of 2021, when the company's co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO of Twitter to focus on Block, where he could work directly in the ecosystem and change the name. It refers to the "blockchain".