For digital currency users looking to secure their e-fortune, one project is offering a new way to store private keys: on vinyl.
Theodore Goodman, the brains behind the project, said he used the iconic format as it is the "ultimate archive medium".
Records, tapes and digital audio
According to the product's website, Sound Wallets can be used to store any cryptocurrency, not just bitcoin.
To construct the wallet, a user's BIP38-encrypted private key is first converted into a sound file. Between 30 and 60 seconds long, this file will simply sound like noise to prying ears.
However, using a simple spectroscope app like AndroSpectro on their phone, the user can decipher their code hidden in the static. Alternatively, any high-resolution spectroscope should do.
The same approach can be used with different media, including CDs and magnetic tapes. This also means that a user's wallet file could be broadcast, at least in theory.
Vinyl as an archive medium
While Sound Wallet may not appeal to mainstream users, this security-minded product may prove popular with technophiles and audiophiles.
Goodman argues that cold storage is the safest way to secure cryptocurrencies, pointing out some advantages vinyl has over other physical wallets.
He adds that records can outlive memory cards, paper wallets or CDs, which degrade over time. Recent research found that CDs dating from the 1990s are already rotting away in certain conditions.
On the project's previous Startjoin campaign, Goodman added:
“Records are the ultimate archive format. You could add the record to your record crate, put it in a frame and hang it on your wall, or store it in your safe.”
Of course, recording vinyl is more demanding than burning a CD or DVD. It requires specialised hardware such as a record lathe, blanks and a turntable (in this case the legendary Technics SL-1200 was employed).
Although the project did not reach its initial crowdfunding target of €8,000, it appears that the wallets are now in production.
Disclaimers: This article should not be viewed as an endorsement of any of the companies mentioned. Please do your own extensive research before considering investing any funds in these products.
Vinyl groove image via Shutterstock
Hat Tip: Object2212