Cryptocurrency hardware wallets are in rather high demand right now. Obtaining such devices can take some time, as manufacturers can’t always keep up with the demand. Luckily, it seems a new player has entered the market. Archos, a company often associated with portable multimedia players, is now venturing into the cryptocurrency hardware wallet business.
Archos Shocks the World
Most people would never expect a popular company such as Archos to pay any attention to cryptocurrencies. Although it makes a lot of sense for any company to keep tabs on different markets, Archos had not shown any interest in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies up to this point. This makes it all the more surprising to hear not only that the company has devised a plan to create a cryptocurrency hardware wallet, but that it seems to be entering production as of right now.
Although the Archos Safe-T mini will not be shipping until June, it is one of the more intriguing developments we have seen in the business for some time. Archos is expected to showcase the Safe-T mini at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Although most people would expect such a device to be priced rather high, it will cost just $62. That is a fair bit cheaper than the Ledger Nano S, even though it is possible these wallets will offer very similar services.
In fact, according to information provided by Next INpact, the Safe-T mini will operate like a Ledger Nano S in many ways. The private key is generated on the device itself, there is a seed phrase to recover one’s wallet if needed, and the hardware wallet supports five different cryptocurrencies. They include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and (surprisingly) Zcash. More currencies may be added in the future, although no further specifics were provided at the time of writing.
It seems Archos has also put in the time and effort to ensure its Safe-T mini hardware wallet can be used with third-party software solutions. Mycelium support will be included by default, and it seems Archos will also support the newly announced MyCrypto service. It is unclear if MyEtherWallet will be supported as well, even though that should be expected. After all, MyCrypto “forks” the existing MEW code, and thus both platforms should, in theory, be compatible with Archos’s new hardware wallet.
Contrary to what most people may expect, this new hardware wallet was developed by the Archos team itself. In the past, the company tended to outsource the development of some products and release them under the Archos brand. With the Safe-T mini, development and research was conducted in France. This will also be the place where the device is manufactured and shipped from. Non-European buyers of the Safe-T mini may want to take this into account in connection with delivery times and potential VAT charges.
For the time being, it remains to be seen how secure the Safe-T mini will prove to be, since no one has gotten their hands on one of these wallets as of yet. For now, we will have to wait and see how Archos holds up in comparison to both Ledger and Trezor. More competition in this market can only be a good thing, all things considered.