200-Year-Old Austrian Company Launches Crypto Hardware Wallet

Samuel Haig

A 200-year-old company in Austria has launched a cryptocurrency hardware wallet targetting businesses.

The device, called Chainlock, was released by YOUNIQX Identity, a subsidiary of Austrian State Printing House (Oesterreichische Staatsdruckerei, also known as OeSD) - a printing company that has operated since 1804. Currently, the company prints Austrian passports and provides secure identity solutions.

Chainlock Applies for Patent for Key Generation System

Chainlock purports to offer enhanced security through generating keys using a procedure for which it has filed a patent application that prevents everyone other than the wallet’s owner from viewing the key, including  YOUNIQX staff. The device also claims to be both heat and water-resistant.

Despite OeSD advertising the product as being operated “100% offline,” the hardware wallet can be used via the Chainlock app. The device takes the physical form of a thin piece of plastic that resembles a credit card in both size and shape.

YOUNIQX has partnered with Singapore-based Tokenize Exchange and Austria-based Coinfinity to also offer the Chainlock hardware wallet to consumers.

The company also seeks to target the burgeoning security token offering market, with the Chainlock release stating that the wallet is “the perfect token container for STOs pursuing a retail strategy.”

Austrian Regulator Against ‘Bitcoin Trader’ Investment Scheme

Earlier this month, Austria's financial regulator, the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA), issued a warning against crypto investment website, Bitcoin Trader.

The website claims to offer investors a guaranteed return of approximately $1,460 through their proprietary automated trading platform, also claiming that investors have generated seven-figure returns in 61 days.

According to the FMA, Bitcoin Trader does not hold the licensing required to accept funds from other parties for the purpose of management. The regulator describes the website as being comparable to multi-level-marketing schemes.

Austria Post Launches Crypto Stamps

During June, Austria’s postal company, Österreichische Post, launched a line of collectible cryptographic stamps.

Dubbed ‘crypto stamps’, the collectibles claimed to comprise “the world’s first” stamps to be authenticated by distributed ledger technology. 150,000 crypto stamps were issued, with a recommended retail price of € 6.90 (approximately $7.68).

The collectibles comprised two parts, with half of the stamp comprising functional stamp that can be used to send mail, and the second hosting the information required to authenticate the crypto stamp via blockchain.

Cannabis Shops Turn to Crypto Apps Amidst Coronavirus Cash Shortages

Michael LaVere
  • Cannabis shops in Boulder, Colorado are using bitcoin payment app Strike to conduct "contactless" exchanges.
  • Cash shortages and lack of sanitation are causing businesses to find alternative means for transaction. 

Cannabis shops are using bitcoin payment services to conduct business in place of fiat amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to a report by CoinDesk, cannabis dispensaries in Boulder, Colorado have been onboarded to the closed beta for Strike, a bitcoin payment service application founded by lighting network supporter Zap. 

Zap, founded by Jack Mallers, has been operating a closed beta for the payment application Strike which allows users the option of sending bitcoin or dollars and receiving funds in their bank account. The application uses a simple QR code interface, similar to Venmo, that allows users to send funds without having prior knowledge or expertise with bitcoin. 

Mallers said, 

Every Strike user is given a public domain at strike.me. We’re using Lightning for really fast online settlement of value transfers. … It’s also beneficial for privacy on the sender’s side.

Johnny Kurish, general manager at Boulder’s Helping Hands Herbals cannabis shop, said the application allowed his dispensary to process $1,000 worth of purchases since being added to the beta last week. 

Kurish said the dispensary will switch to only accepting Strike payments, which allow for contactless exchanges in light of the coronavirus pandemic. 

He said, 

We’re really lucky to have curbside drop-offs. We check the ID through the roll-up window, deliver the cannabis to a podium in front of the car. We’re happy to reopen with an option that’s safe for our staff.

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