Melanie Shapiro Reveals the Case Wallet

Melanie Shapiro Reveals the Case Wallet

Case wallet is a self contained, portable Bitcoin Wallet with fingerprint scanner, camera, and 2g network access. Case wallet supports multisig transactions, and ...


What's up, party people? Chris DeRose here, community director of the Counter Party Foundation, and I'm here at the case booth at the Inside Bitcoins New York convention 2015, and I didn't know much about what they were doing, and in the short time that I've been looking at this booth, I've been pretty impressed. I have with me the CEO? Yes. Melanie Shapiro? Melanie Shapiro. And let's talk to her, let's get a little bit more knowledge about this company. Now at the time the audience is viewing this, I'm guessing they're gonna know maybe a little bit more about you, but this is kind of like a big debut for you, no? Well, it's our first time ever showcasing the device anywhere, so we've only ever had it in our office, and we've been using it amongst ourselves, but we've never made transactions outside of, you know, the employees at Case, and now..

. Right. ...we're making transactions for people at this event.

So it's a hardware wallet that they've designed. Now, I've covered hardware wallets before, but typically the hardware wallets are USB devices, or they're maybe slightly encumbered in terms of what they can do without a computer or phone, but this seems like it's really self-contained. Yeah. Tell them what makes it different. You know, let's show them, actually. Good idea.

Yeah, put a little sticker on there... Should we zoom it a little for the camera. So it almost looks like a calculator on here. Is it the B sign that turns it on? Yes, it's the B sign that turns it on.

Perfect. So you can see that there's a little screen on there, and there are a lot of functions available, but it's a very, very simple interface. Now, tell the audience what it is that makes your wallet different and how it works. Yeah. So, our wallet doesn't piggyback off of a laptop or a phone or anything, it's GSM connected, so it has its own dedicated connection, and we use 2G, so basically that means that if you're in a place like this, you can still get connection, and it's multi-signature technology. One of the keys is actually generated on the device itself through entropy.

So, we don't pre-populate it on the device, we don't generate it and put it on the device, so if it's intercepted you can't get the private key off of it. And then the only key that we know is the key that we generate and that lives on our encrypted database server. And then a third key is generated and stored with a third party in cold storage, or if you want to have control of your recovery key, you can generate it yourself and import that private key. And it's biometrically secure, so the basic premise is that when you want to send Bitcoin, you just press the Bitcoin button, scan the QR code, and swipe your finger that way. Oh is that what that little thing is? Is this a fingerprint scanner? A fingerprint scanner, yep. So what happens behind the hood there is, once you scan your fingerprint, the minutia is extracted from the fingerprint, broadcasted to the server, and along with a user data encryption key that lives on the device and encrypts the key on the server.

So once it confirms the fingerprint and we have that user data encryption key, that unlocks the private key on the server, the device partially signs the transaction, and it's broadcasted and you've sent, received Bitcoin. But you can send, receive, buy, sell with the device and authenticate. I've been very impressed. It's totally self-contained and it seems like it has really good battery life, did you say? Yeah, so it actually lasts for a hundred transactions, and also something of note is that just like a Kindle comes with connectivity, we offer free unlimited transactions on the device as well, so it works in 174 countries? And...

Oh, wow. ...Yeah! So it works globally, and in those countries we have multiple carriers. So it will connect to whatever carrier is stronger in that area.

Very, very cool. And now you said that there are multiple keys, is it like a multi-sig sort of thing? It is multi-sig, two to three multi-signal. So when a spender gets issues from there, then it is relayed, what to your server where it's signed again and then it broadcasts out to the ledger? Yep, exactly. Chris; Very, very cool. And you said that service is included, so I guess, what, do you open up the box and you're ready to go, you just register really quickly, or? Yeah, there's a dashboard that we have on our website which is where you initialize the device, and we really like this idea of people authenticating with our device, so we show a QR code and that's actually how you initialize your device, scan the QR code, and it's at this point where you swipe your finger, we build the fingerprint template for you, and we initialize your device! Private key is generated. Very very cool.

And are you speaking at the event, are you one of the speakers? No, I'm not actually a speaker, I'm pretty busy with getting ready for the launch... Understandable. ..

.and, so. And so tell me a bit about yourself. How did you come to discover Bitcoin, and when did you decide this was something that you needed to be involved in? Right, so, I came across Bitcoin in 2011, I was doing a PhD and I was doing interviews with some really bright people and oftentimes those conversations would go off on these tangents and this thing called Bitcoin kept coming up, so I started doing my own research and became really, I guess entranced with the idea of how promising it was and how disruptive it could possibly be. And then I knew at some point, once I was done with my PhD, that I would contribute to the community in some way, and I really believe that you have to solve security and ease-of-use, they have to be married together, you have to offer both to the consumer, they shouldn't have to make a choice. And so I started working on some ideas and eventually got here, and here we are! Very, very cool.

And when would this be available for sale? When can the audience go ahead and buy this? Do you have a retailer lined up, or are you working on that right now? Well, we're gonna sell directly on our website... Great. ..

.yes, and the device will be about $200. Wonderful. Well, I think that answered most of my questions. I'm really wishing you guys the best of luck. Thank you so much! You seem like you have a really competent team, and you yourself are pretty knowledgeable.

We're a big team, too! Thirteen of us! Yeah, well, they're all here, and they're all giving demos. Well, a few of them are here, a few of them are about to. Going over pretty well. And what are these little boards right here, by the way, are those prototypes for? Yeah, let me just show that. So, one of the first things that we did was we built a bread-board prototype, to help us pick components. So that's actually how the mystery meat is made, so to speak.

Yeah, that's how it looked at the very beginning. I mean, it's taken many forms, so. Did you have experience in the computer field, doing anything like this before? Have you learned a lot in this process? I have learned a lot in this process, and you know, I was part of a start up, I co-founded a start up back in 2006, so that was my first foray into entrepreneurship, and it was a software business. This is my very first hardware company, I have learned so much and there is so much to learn. Luckily, I've had some amazing mentors, an amazing team behind me, and we work with an amazing manufacturer, we're actually manufactured in the United States. Oh, wow, okay.

And our manufacturer is very close-by to us, so we're very active in that role, and I think that's important, because anytime that you import anything into the U.S., it goes through customs, and you know. Yeah, obviously. Well, it's also nice, like Made in America kind of stuff, it brings to memories, like, the Apple sort of, like, values, or something like that. So I don't know if that's the heritage that you'll be falling into, but I wish you the best of luck.

Thank you. Where can the audience find out more about your products? Where can they buy or preorder one of these really cool hardware wallets? Thank you so much Melanie, I really appreciate you on the show. Guys, if you liked what you saw, why don't you check out the rest of the channel? I'm covering the whole Bitcoin New York exhibitor area, just about, I'm interviewing a lot of people, so explore my channel, see if there's something else you like, and if you like my format, subscribe to the channel! I'd love to have you around. Later, party people.