Austria’s High-Tech Passport Maker Released Its Own Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet

Youniqx Identity AG, a subsidiary of the Austrian State Printing House (Oesterreichische Staatsdruckerei or OeSD), has developed a cryptocurrency hardware wallet, according to a press release published on July 29th.

The Austrian printing company dates back to the early 1800s and is a safe and secure printing company that has become the country’s high-tech passport maker and provider of other secure identity solutions.

The new device is aimed to address the vulnerability of online wallets to hacking, which are a great security risk according to the printing firm. The hardware wallet — named Chainlock — will enable the offline storage of private keys with access to cryptocurrency wallets. The device is apparently capable of generating the private key in a (patent applied for) high-security enclave, meaning it cannot be viewed by any outside party including Youniqx or OeSD employees.

Whilst the wallet can be managed through an app, it is secure from unauthorized access to private keys over the internet, WiFi and NFC. Notably, crypto-stealing malware like CryptoLocker cannot access keys on the device.

Chainlock will take the form of a credit-card sized sliver of plastic which is also water and heat resistant. The wallet will be available via the firm’s partners, including Tokenize Exchange in Singapore and Coinfinity in Central Europe. Priced at €59.99 (around $67) including VAT, the Chainlock wallet is currently available for Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Although the Austrian State Printing House is traditionally a high tech paper printer, which specializes in identity document manufacturing that implements and offers personalization solutions for identity documents such as Austrian passport, it has recently moved into more high-tech digital identity and security offerings, some of which YOUNIQX was set up to develop. The subsidiary has already launched a secure video identification service MICK (My Identity Check), and MIA (My Identity App), which is an integrated identity management platform.

The new wallet is equipped with anti-fraud features that are available via Coinfinity. Some of its anti-fraud features are similar to those found on newer forms of passports or fiat currency, which have micro-printing on both sides, hologram, as well as a continuous color gradient, tactile texturing and UV and infrared-visible patterns.