Turn your old smartphone into an Ethereum hardware wallet

Source: iStock / mikkelwilliam

Enjoy crypto owners with old smartphones that you haven’t thrown away or sold yet – there’s a new solution you can use to turn them into hardware wallets for Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. For those for whom this is old news and you’ve already installed the Parity Signer app – rejoice too – since the 3.0 beta version of the app is here.

Parity Signer is an offline mobile application that generates and stores your private keys. You can use it to convert the smartphone that you are lying around senselessly into a hardware wallet. It was created by Parity Technologies, a blockchain infrastructure company. Among other things, they are the developers of the progressive Ethereum client Parity Ethereum and the interoperable blockchain network Polkadot.

According to the announcement, the beta version v.3.0 of the app available for iOS and Android offers new functions and now contains:

  • Support for the Kusama CC2 network (Chain Candidate 2); Ability to use Parity Signer with Polkadot-js apps and the Polkadot-js extension, as well as bond funds to validate or nominate, transfer funds or vote for governance proposals by signing with the offline device;
  • Support for universal offline signatures, the standard for efficient data transfer via QR codes;
  • Better visualization of addresses on small mobile screens, faster generation of account IDs, uniform fonts, improved button colors, etc.

Turn your old smartphone into Ethereum Hardware Wallet 102A screenshot of the app. Source: parity

The developers explain that all you have to do is take your old smartphone, factory reset it, and then switch to airplane mode forever to turn off all Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and all other connections. Then create your accounts. However, they do warn against connecting this phone to the internet or any internet connected device like your computer.

To update it, make a backup of all accounts on your phone, reset your phone to delete the accounts, install the new version, go offline and restore your accounts backed up on Parity Signer.

You can use the device to generate and store multiple private keys. In addition to the aforementioned Kusama CC2 network, it supports Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Kovan and Ropsten networks.

You use it by entering the amount and the recipient in your network connected device, then checking and signing with Parity Signer. You can also use the app to scan the QR code.

Back in July, the Polkadot Network announced Kusama, an experimental version of Polkadot with real economic conditions that developers can use to experiment and test in a Polkadot-like environment.

Also check out our list of six alternative hardware wallets.

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