Turn Any Old Game Boy Into an Offline Crypto Cold Wallet

After finding and battling Missingno on Pokémon Red for the first time since 1996, you can now stick some Bitcoin or Ethereum in your cold wallet by just changing cartridge.

If there’s one thing you can comfortably rely on in Web3, it’s news you couldn’t predict if your life depended on it. The latest example is Game Wallet: a new company that allows you to turn your old Game Boy into a “secure, offline cold wallet” for your crypto.

You may have seen a wild spike in the number of times you have heard about hardware wallets this week. This is due to one reason and one reason only: Ledger Recover. The new service will allow subscribers to recover their seed phrases which has opened a feisty debate on how secure the devices are. If you want a more in-depth discussion about it, we have just recorded a Mint One podcast episode about the subject.

What Is the Game Wallet?

The Game Wallet is a project in development by Joseph Schiarizzi, founder of Keyp, that will turn an old Game Boy into a crypto cold wallet just using a cartridge. The cartridge has a visual representation of the process that is similar in style to early Pokemon games. Players can then generate mnemoic phrases (seed phrases) for their device. Game Wallet will cater for Bitcoin and Ethereum in its first iteration.

How does Game Wallet work?

We converted an open source assembly implementation of the sha256 hashing algorithm used to generate cryptographic seed phrases based on BIP-39 into GBAssembly, the language all GameBoy games are programmed in. Randomness is introduced by the player as they walk around the world and complete engaging quests.

Gamewallet.gg

There are some difficulties for the project at the moment. At the moment, the seed phrase randomness is not strong enough, which is why Game Wallet hasn’t moved to open source as Schiarizzi has planned. It is theoretically possible to replicate gameplay to get repeated seed phrases.

A cold wallet is simply a wallet that isn’t connected to the internet, which is for various reasons, more secure in most ways. A cold wallet is often just a paper wallet — keys printed on paper — which is what was originally recommended, but it needn’t be quite that “offline”. This might sound like a gimmicky solution — and it is in some ways — but if the randomness can achieve something closer to true RNG, then this is a great and fun little method! Being as it is truly offline, there will never be firmware updates which bypasses the Ledger Recover controversy entirely.

Preorders for the Game Wallet are starting soon and Schiarizzi is looking to release the product this summer.

Robert Baggs
Robert Baggs
Full-time professional crypto writer and Editor of Token Gamer. Co-host of the Mint One Podcast. Obsessed with MMOs. London based. Primary holdings: WAXP, ENJ, & BTC. Secondary holdings: ETH, GALA, & MATIC

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