Remember Archos? Yes, that Archos, the company that made portable multimedia players (PMPs) with below average touch screen ten years ago. The company is still around, selling cheap Android phones, cheap tablets, cheap drones and more.
And yet, for the first time in many years, I’m excited by an Archos product again. The company announced (via Next INpact) a cryptocurrency hardware wallet ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona — the Safe-T mini. Archos expects to ship its hardware wallet in June 2018 for $62 (€50).
The Safe-T mini works just like a Ledger Nano S, meaning that it’ll generate a private key on the device itself when you first boot it up. That private key never leaves your device. If you lose your device, you can recover your cryptocurrencies using a 24-word passphrase.
The device works with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Zcash for now, but Archos plans to add more cryptocurrencies in the future. You can also use a Safe-T mini to secure a third-party wallet, such as a Mycelium or Mycrypto wallet.
Just like on a Ledger or Trezor wallet, if you try to transfer some tokens from your wallet to another address, you’ll have to confirm the transaction on the device itself. The Safe-T mini has a tiny display and a couple of boutons to display the amount of the transaction and the recipient.
While Archos has slapped its logo on many low-cost devices, the company says that this wallet has been developed by its own research and development team in France and is also going to be manufactured in France.
Ledger assembles its wallets in Vierzon, France with its own secure enclave. This way, the company knows for sure that no supplier interfered with the device before selling it.
Archos says that it is using an ARM Cortex M3 processor, just like Trezor wallets. It isn’t as secure as Ledger’s approach, but it’s already infinitely better than leaving your tokens on an exchange like Coinbase or Kraken. It’s also cheaper than a Ledger or Trezor wallet.
Disclosure: I own small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.