[Ads-l] (cryptocurrency) wallets

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 29 22:36:09 EDT 2017

Follow-up on the issue of whether a hardware wallet is offline.

Concerning the Ledger Nano S, https://blog.ledger.co/ledger-nano-s-secure-multi-currency-hardware-wallet-65b0574cfaa1 <https://blog.ledger.co/ledger-nano-s-secure-multi-currency-hardware-wallet-65b0574cfaa1> says: "Nano S is running a certified U2F app and can be used as a second factor security key for Google, Github, Dropbox and other compatible services.”

The page appears to have been written by a fluent but non-native speaker of English, but regardless, clearly this hardware wallet includes online services. It also says, "You can have different accounts and securely receive or send ETH/ETC from your Nano S.”

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

> On 29 May 2017, at 12:16, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com> wrote:
> Because alternative currencies (cryptocurrencies) such as Bitcoin have no physical form, such as a metal coin, they must employ a (secure) means for storage and access.
> After about three hours, I still don’t understand some of the basics, but I think it works like this: a cryptocurrency account comprises a private key and a public key, the keys being a series of alphanumerics. These keys are randomly generated, and because they are so long, there is about as much chance of two people getting the same keys as there is of the universe suddenly exploding. (Private key = 2^160 and public key = 2^256).
> So as long as you have the private and public keys, you can access your cryptocurrency. (The internet keeps track of transactions to the account pegged to public key, but withdrawals from the account are possible only with the private and public keys.)
> Although neither Wikipedia, Wiktionary nor the online Oxford Dictionaries provide clear definitions or explanations of the cryptocurrency wallet, Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin#Wallets <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin#Wallets>) has a helpful section: 
>> A wallet stores the information necessary to transact bitcoins. While wallets are often described as a place to hold or store bitcoins, due to the nature of the system, bitcoins are inseparable from the blockchain transaction ledger. A better way to describe a wallet is something that "stores the digital credentials for your bitcoin holdings" and allows one to access (and spend) them.
> I suspect that the concept of a (leather) wallet physically storing a credit card (which is a means for using money) was extended to the idea of a cloud wallet that stores credit card information and/or money (like an e-wallet on Amazon.com <http://amazon.com/>) and then to any storage means that holds cryptocurrency access information.
> Cryptocurrency wallet defined and explained on the Bitcoin Wiki: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Wallet <https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Wallet>
> Some wallet types:
> 1. hot wallet - a wallet on a device connected to the internet (https://themerkle.com/bitcoin-hot-wallet-vs-cold-wallet/ <https://themerkle.com/bitcoin-hot-wallet-vs-cold-wallet/>)
> 2. cold wallet - a wallet on a device not connected to the internet (see also my ADS post yesterday on “cold”)
> brainwallet/ brain wallet- a wallet with a secondary password stored in one’s head (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Brainwallet <https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Brainwallet>) — the actual information is too difficult to remember, so you use a simpler password to access it
> 3. software wallet - software that stores one or more sets of account information 
> 4. hardware wallet - a secure device storing wallets (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Hardware_wallet <https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Hardware_wallet>). (https://www.bitcoinadvocacy.org/library/glossary/ <https://www.bitcoinadvocacy.org/library/glossary/> says its offline, but I don’t think this is correct.)
> 5. paper wallet - since a wallet just stores pairs of information, that information can be printed out, in which case it’s called a paper wallet, which the truly careful transfer to a cold device, print out and store in a safe deposit box
> 6. desktop wallet - a software wallet that stores your wallet on your computer (https://www.bitcoinadvocacy.org/library/glossary/#Desktop%20Wallet <https://www.bitcoinadvocacy.org/library/glossary/#Desktop Wallet>) — I suspect this might be used for other mobile devices, too, but….
> 7, 8. mobile wallet, USB stick wallet - self-explanatory at this point 
> 9. deterministic wallet - a simplified way to access a wallet with (multiple) account(s) using a seed (single password) (https://www.bitcoinadvocacy.org/library/glossary/ <https://www.bitcoinadvocacy.org/library/glossary/>) 
> 10. BIP38 wallets - this seems to be a form of a deterministic wallet: https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/32140/bip38-or-brain-wallet <https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/32140/bip38-or-brain-wallet>, https://www.weusecoins.com/bitcoin-cold-storage-guide/ <https://www.weusecoins.com/bitcoin-cold-storage-guide/> 
> 11. [cryptocurrency] wallet such as Bitcoin wallet - a wallet storing [cryptocurrency]
> Benjamin Barrett
> Formerly of Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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