Saturday, 8 March 2014

"Trezor makes using bitcoins safe for people with little security knowledge"

Interview mit Alena Vranova from SatoshiLabs Prague, who will be our special guest at the next BXB.

What is Trezor?

Trezor is a hardware wallet for Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. It's a single purpose computer which secures private keys and does the transaction signing as well. Unlike a USB stick or a card with engraved private keys, it allows you to visually verify that the address and amount to be sent are correct, and that the transaction fees do not exceed a standard amount.

The goal of Trezor is to make using bitcoins safe even on compromised computers and thus accessible to people with little security knowledge. Using  Trezor together with the myTrezor Web Wallet will make even top level security transactions a very easy process.

The Trezor will come in two versions, the Classic edition made of plastic and the Metallics edition, which is a bit more expensive.

When will the first devices be shipped?

Since Trezor is a completely new development, the project experienced several delays in the software development as well as in the production of the hardware itself. We have the edition of Metallics ready, but still waiting for some early users testing in order to be able to send them out to the world with peace of mind.

For the Classics edition, unfortunately the users have to wait. Our producer has failed our expectations so we are in negotiations with a new producers and are about to start the production again from scratch. As you can imagine this might take up to several weeks.

When will you be taking new orders and how much will the device cost?


Once the production proves to go well and we send the first Classics to our crowd­funding supporters, we will open a new eShop.

You teamed up with Bits of Proof for an exclusive web wallet service. Does this not add a certain centralization and a decrease in privacy?

The implementation of the Bits of Proof API provides access to the blockchain so the user can have a fast and convenient overview of his balance and transaction history. Otherwise with a growing blockchain the web wallet would become unusable. Such indexation is being used by all bitcoin wallets, but you are right, it can be seen as a certain centralization. The more crucial issue is privacy and we are very serious about it. We consider the myTrezor Web Wallet to be unrivaled in privacy protection.

There is no other wallet you can use without being asked for personal data (like user names, passwords or email). With myTrezor the only thing to claim and verify your ownership of your bitcoins is your Trezor device.

Are you working on other devices or services?

Yes. Mainly we want to concentrate on Trezor, in order to enlarge the scope of functions as well as include support for more significant currencies. The code is open source, so developers of alternative currencies are welcome to implement their currency and once we validate their implementations we will include them in the official Trezor firmware.

Also, our team stands behind the Slush's mining pool where we plan to introduce new features and services soon. Coinmap.org is another project of ours and we have some ideas how to make it more user friendly.

We have a few other great ideas but we'll disclose them at later stages. In general, the goal of SatoshiLabs, our newly created organisation, is to help Bitcoin become a widely adopted, secure and user friendly tool. We strongly believe that once Bitcoin is as easy to use as for example email, it will open new opportunities for the growth of our society.


Alena Vranova will be our guest together with Marek "Slush" Palatinus. The interview was conducted by Levin Keller. Register here!

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