Blockstream Jade Review: Open-Source Bitcoin Hardware Wallet
Blockstream Jade is an open source, bitcoin hardware wallet. It is best suited for long-term cold storage of larger amounts of bitcoin.
Blockstream Jade is an open-source hardware wallet. It stores your recovery phrase offline in combination with a software wallet. It is best suited for long-term cold storage of larger amounts of bitcoin.
As an air gapped wallet, the Blockstream Jade wallet can be operated by scanning QR codes through its camera and displaying them on the screen, eliminating the need for a USB or Bluetooth connection.
How to Use Blockstream Jade
Plug in Jade into your computer using its USB cable. You need to install a driver for your computer to recognize Jade. For Linux users, Jade will work out of the box without the need of additional drivers.
The next main step is to create a new wallet by choosing 12 or 24 words for your recovery phrase. Your wallet’s recovery phrase is generated offline and never appears on any online devices. Once your recovery phrase is generated, you can set your six-digit PIN and confirm it. Each time you want to use your wallet, you will need this PIN to unlock it. You are strongly advised to record the recovery phrase offline on paper or by using a seed phrase backup device for extra security such as Seedplate, Billfodl, and Shieldfolio.
It’s advisable to test your recovery phrase to make sure it’s correct. While hardware wallets such as Coldcard will give you a quiz asking you what each word is in random order, Jade requires you to send a small amount of bitcoin in your wallet, factory reset your Jade to remove the recovery phrase then restart your Jade, and select Recover a wallet. If you can successfully restore your wallet using your phrase and see the small test amount of bitcoin, it means your recovery phrase backup is correct.
Blockstream Jade is a device for storing your private keys, therefore you will still need to connect it to another wallet to display your receiving addresses and spend your funds. Although it’s recommended to use its software wallet, Blockstream Green, Jade cold wallet support is also available on other wallets such as Nunchuk, Sparrow Wallet, Specter Wallet, BlueWallet and Electrum.
Jade has a stateless signing feature. As a stateless signing device refers to hardware that does not store any wallet information. Instead, it requires manual input of your recovery phrase (seed) for each session. This air-gapped approach offers several benefits, particularly for users managing multiple seeds in a multisig wallet. This feature eliminates reliance on communication with companion device or PIN entry.
With cold wallet Jade, you can enable watch-only mode to only receive funds and see your balance. You can also create a “duress” wallet for situations where you are forced to reveal your PIN code. Jade uses Multisig Shield feature to increase the security of your funds. Blockstream Jade multisig transactions require the signature of more than one person. The transaction cannot be completed until all parties have signed it.
Read also: Blockstream Jade vs Trezor
Is Blockstream Jade Safe and Secure?
Yes, Blockstream Jade is considered a safe hardware wallet for storing your Bitcoin. Blockstream Jade prioritizes security for your Bitcoin with several features. Its air-gapped design minimizes online hacking risks by never connecting to the internet. The open-source code allows public scrutiny, reducing vulnerabilities. Additionally, Jade offers a watch-only wallet for receiving funds and viewing balances without online exposure. Multisig transactions add another layer of security by requiring signatures from multiple devices. A duress PIN protects your real PIN by providing a separate code for forced situations.
In traditional hardware wallets, the inherent risk lies in storing private keys directly on the device, making them susceptible to compromise if the physical device is stolen or if the chip containing the keys is extracted. This vulnerability, known as a “Klepto” attack, poses a serious threat to the security of your funds. However, Jade takes a distinctive approach by refraining from storing private keys on the device itself. Instead, it employs a secure PIN and a “blind oracle” server combination to decrypt keys only when necessary. This innovative design renders it impossible for malicious actors to steal your keys, even if they gain possession of the physical device, effectively mitigating Klepto attacks. Moreover, Jade’s unique architecture thwarts attempts to extract encryption keys from the device, reinforcing its resilience against such attacks, commonly referred to as “anti-exfil.”
In conventional hardware wallets, transaction signing directly exposes your private key to potential vulnerabilities in the signing process. In contrast, Jade introduces an additional layer of security by utilizing a “blind oracle” server to sign transactions blindly. This server receives only the transaction data and your PIN, ensuring that your private key itself remains undisclosed.
The strength of your seed phrase or private keys heavily relies on the randomness of generated numbers, often referred to as “entropy.” Weak sources of randomness can compromise the predictability of keys, exposing them to various attacks. Jade distinguishes itself by providing a more robust source of entropy compared to devices like Trezor and Coldcard. This includes factors such as thermal noise and user interactions, resulting in the generation of stronger and less predictable private keys.
Is Blockstream Jade a Good Wallet?
Blockstream Jade’s open-source code and air-gapped design prioritize security. While Linux users enjoy a straightforward setup, others require additional driver installations. Additionally, Jade wallet only stores your private keys, meaning you need a separate wallet application like Blockstream Green to display addresses and manage transactions. This complexity might deter beginners. However, security-conscious users with larger Bitcoin holdings will appreciate Jade’s advanced features like watch-only mode, duress wallet, and multisig transactions that offer an extra layer of protection beyond private key storage.
Considered one of the best open source hardware wallet, Blockstream Jade’s focuses on Bitcoin appeals to users who prioritize Bitcoin over other cryptocurrencies. Ultimately, whether Jade’s robust security outweighs its initial hurdles depends on your specific needs. A thorough comparison of different hardware wallet options is crucial before you decide to buy one.
Read also: Blockstream Jade vs Coldcard
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