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The new COLDCARD improves upon the Mk4 by adding a QWERTY keyboard, a big LCD screen, and a QR code scanner.

The new COLDCARD improves upon the Mk4 by adding a QWERTY keyboard, a big LCD screen, and a QR code scanner.

Bitcoin hardware company Coinkite is launching a new higher-end COLDCARD, featuring a full QWERTY keyboard, a larger LCD screen and a QR code scanner. The COLDCARD Q1 will also be battery-powered, removing the need for connecting the device to a power outlet or a computer.

“We always wanted to make a QWERTY device for fast passphrase input with battery power,” Coinkite founder NVK told Bitcoin Magazine. “We’ve been toying with the QR idea for years, and we finally found a secure way of doing QR scanners. I’m very excited about this, we think this is the ultimate hardware wallet.”

The COLDCARD Q1 resembles the historic BlackBerry. A gray, stealth body encloses the secure elements introduced with the Mk4, which was launched last year. The new device also borrows other features from the Mk4, including NFC compatibility, USB virtual disk mode, USB-C connector, activity LEDs for USB and SD card, and CPU speed of 120 megahertz (MHz). The Q1 takes things a step further from the Mk4, however, in adding a second SD card slot, an LCD screen four times as big, the ability to use batteries for power, a QR code scanner with LED illumination and advanced scanning algorithms, and the huge, 50-key QWERTY keyboard. It also includes a flashlight.

The Q1’s QR scanner sits at the top of the unit and is connected to the COLDCARD internally using a 2-wire serial port. According to Coinkite, this ensures “there is less danger of scanned data doing more than it seems.”

“Your bitcoin deposit address or other data is decoded by this dedicated module that is very good at reading QR codes in every lightning condition, and also includes super bright LED to light-up your mountain-top cave! Think highly-optimized grocery store scanner, not cellphone camera struggling to read a QR,” per Coinkite docs.

The COLDCARD Q1 features a specialized QR scanner with an LED, theoretically enabling users to scan under not-so-optimal lightning conditions. (Q1/Coinkite)

The new COLDCARD Q1 is available for pre-sale, but its launch data is yet to be determined.

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