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Bitcoin HD hardware wallet SIM-Shim

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ademczuk

Leon-Gerard has created the bridge for feature or microsim phones to send encrypted bitcoin transactions while also acting as a HD hardware wallet. This of course has the potential to enable encrypted value exchange for people in developing countries that predominantly use feature phones for transactions (such as turkey or kenya). What do you think about this SIM-Shim, @William ?

sourced from Advix on reddit

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  • William

    Looks interesting. I'd like to know more.

    It looks and apparently uses some of the same tech as Equity Bank's (Kenya's largest bank's) sim card that can lay on top of an existing sim card so that customers do not have to buy a dual-sim card phone or cary an extra phone to access Equity's mobile network. It also allows people to access Equity Bank's mobile money financial services. This product will help Equity compete with Safaricom's dominant MPesa platform in the growing and lucrative mobile money economy.

    Here is an article: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate-News/Equity-to-issue-mobile-money-customers-with-special-SIM-cards/-/539550/2329906/-/f6qtws/-/index.html

    Here is a pic of the thin sim: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate-News/Court-stops-rollout-of-Equity-s-thin-SIM-cards/-/539550/2561606/-/kumh9yz/-/index.html

    To more directly address your question, I would have to admit that I am not completely caught-up with the technology, so a couple of questions I have off-the-bat:

    1. How much does it cost? High cost (above $5) will be a significant barrier to adoption, especially for early adopters in low-income demographics. Once the advantages (if any) become clear, then a modest pricetag of a few dollars will not be a big deal.

    2. Does it address security issues? A main problem for people in low-income demographics with respect to Bitcoin is security. These people may not have access to the tech needed to print a paper wallet or set up reliable cold storage. This makes the rhetoric about bitcoin "banking the unbanked" moot. Storing bitcoin in a hot wallet or on a 3rd party's platform makes bitcoin vulnerable to loss or theft. A hot wallet on a cellphone is the worst kind of bank.
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  • ademczuk

    @william

    From what I've gathered from the few reddit posts about it:

    a) The sim-shim technology has been around for almost a decade and has gained economies of scale to be cheap enough for use in developing countries.

    b) It does contain a method for securing the bitcoins you have with a passphrase that can be recovered in another sim-shim.

    However, from the article you've linked it has become evident that this is a solution centralized on this hardware and can be banned through lobbying the interests of the incumbent (in your linked case, mpesa).

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  • sicocos

    yes, interestingly enough, we see the development of the future ...

    DOGECOIN is The FUTURE

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