Changelly crypto exchange goes mobile with CoolBitX app partnership
The future of hardware wallets as wafer-thin, credit-card-like equipment is receiving heavy investment.
The Changelly cryptocurrency exchange is bringing crypto-to-crypto trades to mobiles through a new partnership with CoolBitX. Changelly's fiat trades will still be desktop only though.
The new deal is focused on letting people trade directly from the CoolWallet S cold wallet via the CoolBitX app.
Paper, plastic or metal?
CoolBitX's name might hearken back to the MySpace era, but the product is pretty futuristic, helped to market by investors including SBI Holdings and Bitmain who gave it $13 million in funding to bring itself to market.
The CoolWallet S might be described as an electronic card hardware wallet. That orange circle on the right hand side is actually a button, and the pictures on the card are actually a display screen.
Adding exchange functionality through Changelly is naturally an entirely new level of utility for it.
The card itself is powered with a flexible lithium ion battery and pairs with the CoolBitX app through an encrypted Bluetooth connection.
Charging the card (with electricity, not money) is done with a separate device that the card wallet slots into.
CoolBitX supports BTC, BCH, XRP, ETH, LTC and a handful of ERC20s – a much smaller range than the full Changelly selection.
"The CoolWallet S is an outstanding product," said Changelly CEO Ilya Bere. "We couldn’t be more excited to empower it with Changelly’s instant exchange features. This partnership promises to be a major step toward building trust-based relationships with the crypto community."
The new forefront?
Similar projects elsewhere have attracted similar levels of funding from similar industry heavyweights, such as DINNGO, which raised $10 million from some big names in its pre-ICO to pursue a similar vision. Its card-style hardware wallet is yet to hit the market, but it's going for a similar mobile twist on cold wallet to app to exchange connectivity by building its own so-called "hybrid" decentralised exchange, accessible through its own app, which can in turn be tied to a card-sized hardware wallet through an encrypted Bluetooth connection.
It has yet to reveal its wallet product though.
But it's all very futuristic feeling. Some pain points undoubtedly remain – the CoolWallet S battery only does about 20 uses before it needs charging – but the level of investment in multiple variations of this specific card-style cold wallet/app/exchange combination from various heavyweights suggests that there's going to be a lot of development in that space in the near future.
Plus, you can now literally keep a wafer-thin screen, which can be charged and switched on and off, in your wallet as easily as any other card. And it's actually something fully functional and useful, rather than just a gimmick or a proof of concept. As a cool wallet, it undeniably lives up to its name.
The times they are a changin'. Incidentally, Bob Dylan wrote that song (1964) right when credit cards, as we know them today, were in the middle of rolling across America and changing the world in their own way.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC and ADA.