Crypto cold storage is when digital assets are stored in a physical, offline wallet device vs. a non-custodial hot wallet that is connected online. Your cold storage wallet is where your private keys, or secure codes, are securely generated, encrypted, and held.
Think of a cold storage device as a private safe deposit box you control. Remember that hard drive sitting in your desk drawer filled with digital photos? That’s an early example of cold storage. By maintaining both access to and control of your private keys, you can truly own your cryptocurrency (i.e., self-custody).
Without the vault-like protection of cold storage your digital assets are at risk. Exchanage bankruptcies, hacks & exploits, and exchange freezes all put you at risk of losing everything.
What is 3-Factor Authentication?
3-factor authentication (3FA) is the use of credentials to confirm your identity through three separate categories of authentication – inherence, knowledge, and possession. 3FA drastically improves security and is the gold standard for protecting user data and assets.
What are the Three Factors?
Something You Are: Biometric Authentication
Also known as realistic authentication, biometric authentication is a security protocol that relies on unique biological characteristics to verify that you are you. Biometric authentication compares physical or behavioral traits to see if it matches the confirmed, saved, and verified data on record.
The Arculus App is only accessible on your smartphone when used with your unique biometric lock. The biometric lock gives you and you alone access to your Arculus Cold Storage Wallet.
Something You Know: PIN Authentication
Knowledge authentication (KBA) is an authentication type in which the user is asked to answer one or more personal questions or enter a special secret code.
Arculus’ second authentication step is entering your unique 6-digit PIN to open the app. With 1 million possible variations, your private 6-digit PIN protects your Arculus Cold Storage Wallet against outside attacks.
Something You Have: The Arculus Key™ Card
Possession authentication is the category of user authentication based on having an important item physically with you. This item is usually a hardware device like a security token or a smartphone used to communicate with security token software.
Tap your Arculus Card to the back of your phone to finish the authentication process and start buying, swapping, sending, and receiving cryptocurrency and NFTs. Your Arculus Card is required to make all transactions from your app at all times.
How Does Arculus Generate Your Private Keys?
Your private keys are generated, encrypted, and stored in the Secure Element on the Arculus Card. Cryptography requires numbers that potential attackers can’t guess, so generating random numbers is essential for secure encryption. Arculus uses a True Random Number Generator (TRNG) as opposed to a less secure Pseudo-Random Number Generator (PRNG). Keys are generated in compliance with the EIP2333 standard, while the recovery phrase consisting of either 12 or 24 words (the BIP39 Mnemonic) is generated using BIP39, the standard for seed phrase generation in crypto cold storage wallets.
If you lose your card, you'll need a recovery seed phrase to regain access to your wallet. In Arculus' case, your 12 or 24 word recovery phrase is generated during the initial wallet setup, not before. Each seed phrase is unique to you, your card, and your wallet.
What Does it Mean That Arculus has a CC EAL6+ Rating?
Let’s break it down: CC Stands for Common Criteria, a standardized, industry-specific security evaluation for Information Technology. Technology companies use a Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) rating system to verify and validate that a product’s security features work effectively. The ranking measures the assurance, or confidence, that a product’s security features will stop a threat.
So choose your cold storage wallet carefully. While some wallets only have CC EAL5, the Arculus Card has the best-in-class secure element classification of CC EAL6+. Giving you the confidence it has undergone extensive security testing. The Arculus team continues to test regularly to ensure that the Secure Element performs as intended.
Arculus Means Security
Leveraging leadership in security hardware and financial payments from our parent company, CompoSecure, Arculus has developed a simple, convenient cold storage device in the form of a familiar metal card to secure your private keys. 3-factor authentication ensures that only you have access to your Arculus Wallet App, and Near Field Communication (NFC) guards against other outside threats.
Together, the easy-to-use Arculus Key Card and the Arculus Wallet App give you complete power and control of your digital assets. Arculus empowers you to control your private keys, secure your crypto, and protect your digital identity.