The broader cryptocurrency community has touted hardware wallets as being the safest place for one to store their digital assets reserve. However, there are some who have sought to poke holes in that notion.
They have relentlessly pointed out how the integration of wireless technologies like Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Connection) could be a potential avenue for hackers to pinch user’s crypto. Suggesting that air gapping is the best solution.
SafePal, a Binance backed new kid on the hardware wallets block, is on a mission to tackle that very issue head-on. Further, the Chinese start-up’s first offering – the SafePal S1- is also aimed at addressing the issues of user friendliness and affordability as well.
In terms of the latter two of SafePal’s objectives, so far so good.
The S1’s design is very similar to that of the modern mobile phone, giving it the advantage of familiarity.
It features an LCD screen that is large (1.3 inches is large by hardware wallet standards) enough for clear viewing and small enough for more than decent levels of concealability. In terms of the retail price, the S1 can be acquierd for $ 39. This, in the face of competitors who’s products can range from $59 to $79, serve as another game changing advantage for SafePal.
“Being firm believers of blockchain technology, we don’t want our users to compromise between security, easiness and mobility.” read a SafePal tweet from before the official market launch.
The Product Itself
The SafePal S1 is delivered to the end user as a box of useful goodies that is very similar to what is given by the closest competitors. It comes with the standard USB cable, mnemonic cards for the safe keeping the precious phrases that guard your private keys, a manual, and brand stickers.
Due to the S1’s unique smartphone inspired design, the SafePal team have also included a microfiber cloth to keep the display clean. This is the only real difference with what comes in the box.
Security & Other Features
Securing the everyday user’s digital assets against the threats associated with wireless networks is part of SafePal’s trio of objectives. To achieve this goal, the S1 utilises a QR code generator to execute transactions via the SafePal smartphone application.
This feature is there as a means of removing the need for the user to directly connect the wallet to wireless networks. This way completely sidesteps the risk of your assets being compromised by an attack via a wireless network.
The S1 also has a six to twelve digit pin function. To add to this extra layer of security the device scrambles the keypad to prevent malicious actors from keystroke logging your S1.
Getting Started With The S1
Setting up your brand new S1 is a relatively simple process, even for someone who has never interacted with any kind of hardware wallet.
This first step is to tether your S1 to your home work computer via the USB cable. What will follow is a prompt for you to set up, and activate a new wallet. Alternatively, you are also able to restore an already existing wallet.
Should you opt for the former, you will be given the option to choose the level of security you want by choosing between a 12 word, 18 word and a 24 mnemonic phrase. Upon successful verification of your security phrase, the device will configure itself for use. And it’s that simple.
For the average retail investor, the SafePal S1 does everything you need it to do. It provides a safe place to store your cryptocurrency. In doing so, the S1 seems just as capable as its closest competitors like the Trezor One.
Making the choice between the S1 and the competition boils down being a matter of taste and affordability. It offers the user good security at a relatively low price in this segment of the cryptocurrency market. As for the style, its sleek and familiar design also serves to make the S1 an attractive option for crypto holders. To add to that, getting used to using QR codes shouldn’t be too difficult for a person who has used a smartphone before.