In this episode of The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado, Aaron van Wirdum hosts one more interview without his regular cohost Sjors Provoost. Instead, he is joined by Blockstream’s Lawrence Nahum, one of the developers behind the Jade wallet, and Ben Kaufman, one of the developers of the Spectre wallet, which is specifically designed to work with hardware wallets.
Aaron, Lawrence and Ben talk about what hardware wallets are, and discuss the design tradeoffs that different hardware wallets have taken by focussing on the Trezor, Ledger and ColdCard specifically. In this light, Lawrence and Ben explain what secure elements and secure chips are, and why some hardware wallets choose to rely on using such chips more than others.
Then, Lawrence explains which tradeoffs the Jade wallet makes. He also details how an additional server-based security step is used to further secure the Jade wallet, and briefly outlines some additional differences in hardware wallet designs, for example those focused on usability.
Finally, Aaron, Lawrence and Ben discuss whether the concept of hardware wallets are a good idea in the first place, or if it would perhaps be better to use dedicated smartphones to store your bitcoin.
And don’t worry, Sjors will be back for episode 44!