This article was written by Steven Decsesznak
Abundant stories have flooded the news of people losing substantial Bitcoin capital due to error, hardware malfunctions or theft, its indubitable of the need for biometrics applications within bitcoin security and protection. The consumer market will expand as Bitcoin adoption continues to increase.
On the popular Bitcoin forum Bitcointalk, a user pieced together a list Bitcoin thefts. This list reported that a total of 818,485.77 Bitcoins have been stolen from 2010 to 2014. This list only includes the reported losses of companies such as Mt. Gox and Bitstamp excluding individual extortion. On this note, wallet addresses bound by identify could alleviate Bitcoin’s storage and security vulnerabilities. Already two companies have released prototypes of biometric wallets, demonstrating the promising potential of biometrics application with the Bitcoin infrastructure.
Hardware Wallets Still Have Flaws
Case is a multi-signature, multi-factor wallet that is designed with simplistic intentions. Its sleek credit card body sold well and Case has began shipping their 1000 pre-order units. Since, its initial targeted users are Bitcoin enthusiasts, Case’s close sourced code has sparked controversy within the Bitcoin community. Although Bitcoin followers want open source code to expedite innovation, Case’s interface is designed for a wide variety of Bitcoin users. With Case’s website promising foolproof security, Case’s most obvious downside is in the security encryption. Case creates two keys, one that is stored on the device itself and one that is stored in an online database. With this said the wallet’s operational ability is purely dependent on the company staying afloat. Undoubtedly Case is a Bitcoin believer but this is an ambitious wager with Bitcoin’s steep price volatility.
Unlike Case’s biometric finger scanner the Nymi band uses patented biometric authentication technology. In other words, it can confirm an identify using the heart’s unique signature. Coupled with its compatibility on mac, windows, android, the Nymi Band is futuristic yet takes advantage of computer and phone prevalence. The Nymi band has multiple features besides its secure Bitcoin wallet; these include storing passwords, security questions, and card information. While these are convenient, it may add a layer of complexity that novice Bitcoin users don’t want.
These two different biometric wallets provides us with a glimpse into the future direction Bitcoin is headed in payment and wallet innovation.
Security and Protection With Biometrics
Even with the outlined benefits of biometrics, the industry is in it infancy age and has some obstacles it needs to resolve. The prominent hinderance of biometrics is its expensive price. While this is an issue now, biometrics is being utilized by benchmark innovators such as Apple and Microsoft, integrating fingerprint and facial recognition within their products. As biometrics become more and more prevalent, it is safe to say the price with drop to a reasonable value. In addition, technologically advanced products have a pattern of low reliability.
Biometrics application within storing and protecting Bitcoins is only in its development stage and has room to innovate and grow. If biometrics continues to develop, these problems with be dominated by its countless benefits in wallet security and payment ease.
Photo Source: Dreamstime.com, Case Wallet, Nymi