Austria's Official Passport Maker Launches a Crypto Hardware Wallet

YOUNIQX Identity AG, a subsidiary of Austria's official passport manufacturer announced on Monday that it has launched a crypto hardware wallet solution known as the Chainlock Card.

The company cites research into exchange fraud or hot wallet vulnerabilities as one of the key reasons for developing the product.

YOUNIQX claims it has developed a “forgery-proof” solution for storing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offline.

Parent company OeSD (Oesterreichische Staatsdruckerei) is a high-security firm that specializes in government-issued documents like personal ID's and the Austrian passport.

It consequently uses similar features in the manufacture of this card. For example, color gradients, UV prints, security kiss cuts, and holograms are all featured in this implementation. The Chainlock Card is reportedly even water-proof and heat-resistant.

Austrian Crypto Hardware Wallet to Compete with Ledger

Austrians are not that fond of debit/credit cards, to begin with. Fortunately, there are many other users in Europe and worldwide who do. The move will allow YOUNIQX to take advantage of consumers more familiar with card-based systems.

Its French cousin, Ledger, already has a sizeable lead in wallet adoption thanks to its USB-style hardware wallets. Chainlock's private key, however, is sealed on the back of the card and is only revealed to the user, the press release states.

Chainlock card production. Austria crypto hardware wallet.
A look into the card wallet production process. Source: Card Wallet

The key creation process is still awaiting a patent application so it's unclear yet how the company prevents employees or fraudsters from gaining access to user funds. The company furthermore claims that the product is a 100% offline solution and cannot be hacked via the internet, NFC, WiFi, private key scammers or malware.

Getting Your Hands on the Chainlock Card

The Chainlock card is currently available worldwide via Coinfinity or in Singapore through the Tokenize Exchange. Cards are only available in Bitcoin or Ethereum flavors for now and will set you back €59.99 (around $66).

The Chainlock card. Austria crypto hardware wallet
The Chainlock Card uses a number of security features also seen in passport manufacturing. Source: Chainlock

Like other hardware wallets, Chainlock punts itself as a solution for HODL'ers and not necessarily short-term traders. Users can make transactions by removing the seal and revealing the private key. You'll also need to pair this with the official app to authorize outgoing transactions with a QR code.

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About the author

Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith

Ryan is a web designer, writer, and cryptocurrency trader who hails from sunny South Africa. He eats, breathes and lives crypto. With experience trading the FX & Crypto markets, he's always trying to understand the bigger economic picture. When not meticulously looking over the charts, he can be found planning his next road trip or running around a 5-a-side soccer field. Gmail: ryanbrennansmith [at] gmail [dot] com. Twitter: @Trendz