The past couple of years have demonstrated that Bitcoins hold plenty of potential as it relates to the future of online payments but they're also ripe for theft and fraud. As Case co-founder and CEO Melanie Shapiro puts it, the current state of the cryptocurrency means you're either getting security or you're getting ease of use (but not both).
Her company, CryptoLabs, aims to offer the best of both worlds: quick and easy access to your Bitcoins with the type of security you'd expect from a cold storage solution.
Shapiro launched Case during TechCrunch's recent Disrupt NY conference. Case is a hardware Bitcoin wallet that's shaped like a credit card. It features a small display, a fingerprint sensor, a camera, an integrated GSM chip and a handful of buttons. Whenever you want to make a purchase using your Bitcoins, simply press the Bitcoin button, scan the QR code using the camera and swipe your finger for authorization.
That sounds easy enough but as the publication notes, there's a lot going on behind the scenes in terms of security. The wallet uses two signatures to complete a transaction. And if you happen to lose your Case wallet, the company stores a third key offline that can be used to recover MIA Bitcoins - but only after you've proven your identity.
Pre-orders are now being accepted at $199 each. Only 1,000 wallets will be available during the initial pre-order phase which are expected to ship out sometime this summer.