TAPSIGNER Review 2024: Easiest Bitcoin Cold Storage?

As your Bitcoin stack continues to grow, the significance of high security measures becomes paramount. Recognizing this growing need, Coinkite, a company renowned for its rapid and innovative product releases, has unveiled Tapsigner.

What is the Tapsigner?

Tapsigner is an innovative Bitcoin hardware wallet in the form of a card, housing a private key.

To understand better what is the Tapsigner, you need to imagine having a Bitcoin private key inside a card. By just tapping the card on your phone (or a desktop PC with a supported NFC reader) and entering a PIN, you can authorize transactions from your wallet.

With the Tapsigner, your mobile/desktop wallet handles the majority of wallet functions, while Tapsigner securely holds the private key. Essentially, it acts as a super-compact hardware wallet that seamlessly slips into your regular wallet.

The Tapsigner is also very versatile, as it can also function in multi-signature wallet setups, providing an added layer of security.

πŸ’‘
Multi-signature wallets are cryptocurrency wallets that require multiple private keys to authorize transactions, enhancing security by involving multiple parties in the approval process.

πŸ‘‰ Click here to buy the Tapsigner for a special price.

DESCRIPTION DETAILS
πŸ’» Name TAPSIGNER
🌐 Website tapsigner.com
πŸ—“ Release year 2022
πŸ’° Coins Supported Bitcoin
πŸ’Έ Price From $39.99
πŸ”’ Security Features Multisig, NFC, 6-digit PIN, Entropy for seed generation
πŸ’» Compatibility Nunchuck Sparrow Wallet
πŸ–₯ Display N/A
πŸ”„ Connectivity NFC via ISO-7816, QR Code
πŸ“ Dimensions 85.6 Γ— 53.98mm (3.37 x 2.12 inches)
βš–οΈ Weight N/A
πŸ”‹ Battery Life N/A
πŸ“œ Warranty N/A

How The Tapsigner Work

Tapsigner Overview
Tapsigner Overview

The Tapsigner operates thanks to an NFC chip concealed within its card-like appearance. NFC, or Near-field communication, encompasses a collection of communication protocols that facilitate the exchange of information between two electronic devices within a range of 4 cm (1.57 in) or less.

By using NFC technology, Tapsigner embodies a lightweight, uncomplicated, and cost-effective solution. Most of the complex operations involved in Bitcoin transactions are handled by the software wallet to which the card will be connected.

NFC tags possess the capability to store an average of 200 B (bytes) of text, allowing ample space for encryption purposes. Within the confines of this NFC chip, an encrypted private key is stored, which essentially represents your Bitcoin wallet or a segment thereof (including Multisig), among other possibilities.

The Tapsigner, despite lacking a screen and only having an NFC chip, can sign transactions with a simple tap on the phone's NFC sweet spot (and by entering the secret PIN).

The software wallet (Nunchuck or Sparrow) handles the transaction, while the card performs the signing process. Similar to a Coldcard signing transactions via NFC, trust is required as the software ensures the card signs the correct transaction.

In the the next section will delve into the diverse array of features offered by Tapsigner.

Tapsigner Features

Tapsigner Design
Tapsigner Design

Tapsigner is far more than just a private key stored on an NFC chip. It offers a wide range of functionalities that can transform your digital experiences. In this section, we will explore the key features.

  1. Phone Wallet Cosigning: With Tapsigner, you can effortlessly cosign transactions from your phone wallet. It streamlines the process, making it convenient and secure.
  2. Lightning Network Channel Management: Tapsigner simplifies the opening and closing of Lightning Network channels, enabling efficient management of your transactions within this decentralized payment protocol.
  3. NFC Module Integration with Lightning Network Nodes: By utilizing an NFC module in conjunction with a Lightning Network node, Tapsigner facilitates seamless communication and enhances your Lightning Network experience.
  4. Message Signing: Tapsigner provides the ability to securely sign messages, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of your digital communications.
  5. Collaborative Multisig Service Applications: Unlocking new possibilities for collaboration, Tapsigner supports applications that require collaborative multi-signature services. This feature enhances security and expands the potential use cases for this innovative technology.
  6. Raw Transactions: Tapsigner empowers users to create and process raw transactions, granting greater flexibility and control over their digital assets.
  7. Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions (PSBTs) via HWI: Through integration with the Hardware Wallet Interface (HWI), Tapsigner enables the handling of partially signed Bitcoin transactions (PSBTs). This functionality enhances the security and convenience of Bitcoin transactions.
  8. App Authentication: Tapsigner serves as a trusted authentication mechanism for applications, safeguarding your digital identity and ensuring secure access to various services.

With its vast range of features, Tapsigner is a versatile private key stored on NFC, useful for managing transactions, securing communications, or exploring new collaborative applications.

What's In The Box

Tapsigner What's In The Box
Tapsigner What's In The Box

Tapsigner, is a budget-friendly card, so it offers a minimalist yet effective packaging. Let's take a look at what you'll find inside:

  1. 1x Tapsigner: The heart of the package, Tapsigner itself, comes as the main component.
  2. 1x RF-blocking Sleeve: Always accompanying the Tapsigner card, you'll discover a protective RF-blocking sleeve. This sleeve serves a dual purpose: providing physical protection and ensuring enhanced security.
πŸ’‘
The Importance of the RF-blocking Sleeve: The RF-blocking sleeve included with Tapsigner plays a crucial role in maintaining the security of your card. It not only offers physical protection but also serves as a shield against unwanted access by RF readers with malicious intent. When not in use, fully insert the Tapsigner card into the sleeve.
Tapsigner Front
Tapsigner Front
Tapsigner Back
Tapsigner Back

TAPSIGNER Quick Review

For a brief overview, check out this concise review. If you're short on time and prefer a quick read, you can access the secure link to acquire TAPSIGNER directly from Coinkite's official website.

Category Feature Score
πŸ” Privacy & Security (47/50)
πŸ“„ Open Source Compliance Source code is publicly available and Open Source 10/10
πŸ”„ Firmware Integrity Firmware can be built from source and binaries match 10/10
πŸ” Secure Element EAL6+ certified smart chip that acts as a secure element (SE) 4/5
🌱 Seed Generation The secret changes everytime funds are sent. Uses multiple (2) unpredictable physical processes, supports Dice Roll also 5/5
πŸ’Ύ Seed Storage Stores the seed inside the card 5/5
πŸ’Ό Software Wallet Nunchuck and Sparrow supports the TAPSIGNER 4/5
πŸ’° Purchase Procedure Shipping address data is destroyed after 90 days, can pay with BTC 5/5
πŸ“¦ Packaging Safety Comes with a RF blocking sleeve 4/5
πŸš€ Features (38/50)
πŸ–₯️ User-Friendly UX Easy to use, send funds without using the blockchain 5/5
🎨 Design & Build Quality Many customized graphics 5/5
πŸ“‘ Air Gap / PSBT / SeedQR In order to work it must be tapped with NFC 3/5
πŸ’Ύ MicroSD Backup No backup solutions 1/5
🀝 Multisignature Support Supports Multisig wallets 5/5
πŸ” Passphrase (BIP39) No support for BIP39, the private key is unknown also to the owner 1/5
πŸ”Œ Connection Uses NFC only 3/5
πŸ“¦ Ready-to-Use Package Comes with everything needed to start immediately 5/5
πŸ“š Documentation Detailed user guides available online 5/5
πŸ› οΈ Customer Support Company offers customer support 5/5
🧱blockdyor Score (85/100)

πŸ‘‰ Click here to buy the Tapsigner for a special price.

How To Setup The Tapsigner

As part of our Tapsigner review, we will proceed to explain how to use it in practice. Before proceeding with the Tapsigner setup, it's important to note the compatibility requirements and the necessary tools.

Prerequisites

To move forward, you must have one of the following:

  1. Bitcoin (optional, you don't need during the setup): Tapsigner exclusively supports Bitcoin (BTC) as Coinkite is a Bitcoin-only company. Other cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, and other hard forks, are not compatible with Tapsigner.
  2. NFC-Enabled Phone (mandatory): You'll need a phone with NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities. Fortunately, most modern smartphones come equipped with NFC technology, making it accessible for many users.

OR

  1. Desktop Computer with Sparrow Wallet and USB NFC Card Reader: If you don't have an NFC-enabled phone, an alternative option is to have a desktop computer with Sparrow Wallet installed. Additionally, you'll need a USB NFC card reader to facilitate the connection between Tapsigner and your computer.

Ensuring the compatibility of your device or having Sparrow Wallet installed with a USB NFC card reader is essential to proceed with the Tapsigner setup process.

By meeting these requirements, you can proceed confidently and make the most of Tapsigner's functionalities in conjunction with Nunchuck or Sparrow Wallet.

Add Tapsigner as a Key

To use the Tapsigner in single-sig and multisig setups, it is necessary to first add the Tapsigner to your wallet as a key.

Please follow the steps below to set up Tapsigner as a key and create a wallet using the newly established key. Additionally, I will provide instructions for configuring multisig settings.

Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 1
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 1
  • Begin by removing the Tapsigner from its sleeve. Visit the App Store and download one of the supported apps, such as Nunchuck. Ensure that there are no obstructions, such as covers or other objects, hindering the NFC sweet spot of your phone. Typically, this spot is located near the cameras.
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 2
  • Tap the Nunchuck icon to launch the application. The main dashboard of the app will appear. Rest assured, you can use the app seamlessly without the need for KYC, ensuring your identity remains uncompromised.
  • Click on the + near Keys to start the process that will add the Tapsigner as a key.
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 3
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 3
  • Tapsigner is an NFC key, so tap on Add NFC Key to go forward.
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 4
  • Nunchuck supports several NFC devices, one of them is the Tapsigner. Tap on it to go to the next step.
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 5
  • Now, position the Tapsigner on the back of your phone, specifically in the NFC Sweet Spot located near the camera. If done correctly, you will receive a notification from your phone's browser indicating a successful NFC connection. Please refrain from tapping on the notification; instead, proceed by pressing the Continue button on the Nunchuck app.
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 6
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 6
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 7
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 7
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 8
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 8
  • Start the initiatization of the NFC by clicking on Yes.
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 9
  • You will now be presented with a prompt to set up a chain code, which is an entropy value used for generating the key picking code. In this case, we will select the Automatic mode.
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 10
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 10
  • It's time to create a new PIN. The existing pin is on the back of the Tapsigner. Locate it and write in the first field. In the other two type a new PIN and write day in a piece of paper. You'll need this pin to sign transactions.
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 11
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 11
  • Double check if the Tapsigner is near the NFC sweet spot, then tap on Got It.
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 12
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 12
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 13
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 13
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 14
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 14
  • It's time to name the key. Give it a name easy to remember and distinguish like tapsigner 1 if you would like to do multisig.
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 15
  • In the Key Info view you can verify the Card ID and Run and health check to see if the pin works.
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 16
Add Tapsigner As A Key Step 16
  • In the Nunchuck app, you will now find Tapsigner listed in the "Keys" section.

Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key

After you added the Tapsigner as the key in Nunchuck, it's possible to create a wallet based on this key, and start receiving/sending Bitcoins. Tap on the Plus near Wallets on Nunchuck in order to get started.

Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 1
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 1
  • Tap on Create new wallet to start the procedure.
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 2
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 2
  • Give a name to the new wallet. In this case, I will use tapsigner 1 wallet.
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 3
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 3
  • Now it's time to configure your wallet. Choose the key we just selected, Tapsigner 1, and proceed by pressing the Continue button.
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 4
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 4
  • Verify all the informations about the wallet, then tap on Create a Wallet.
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 5
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 5
  • Save the BMMS file, which stores the wallet configuration.
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 6
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 6
  • Review the wallet and then click on Done to finish the wallet creation process.
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 7
  • In the main view you will now find the tapsigner 1 wallet.
Create Wallet With Tapsigner As The Key Step 8
  • Tap on the key to access the wallet view, where you can perform actions such as sending, receiving, and viewing transactions.

Creating a wallet with a 1/1 key using Tapsigner is indeed secure. However, to create a true multisig wallet, you will need at least two Tapsigner devices. In the following section, we will guide you through the process of setting up a multisig wallet.

Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys

To begin setting up a multisig configuration, you will need the same requirements as before for the single sig setup, which include one phone and one Tapsigner device. In addition to these, you will now require an additional Tapsigner device. It is recommended to number the Tapsigners to avoid any confusion during the setup process.

Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 1
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 1
  • To incorporate the second Tapsigner device into the setup, follow the same steps as explained earlier for the first Tapsigner. Add the second Tapsigner as the second NFC key by placing it in the NFC Sweet Spot of your phone. Proceed with the setup process, referring to this device as tapsigner 2 to differentiate it from the first tapsigner 1.
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 2
  • Upon successfully creating the second Tapsigner, your Nunchuck dashboard will resemble the photos that have been posted. This indicates that your setup is now ready to create the multisig wallet. Tap on + on Wallets to start.
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 3
  • Name the wallet tapsigner multisig and then press Continue.
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 4
  • In the Configure Wallet view, choose both Tapsigners as the selected keys. In the Required Keys section, set the value to 2. This configuration ensures that both Tapsigners will be required to authorize and send funds, creating a true 2 of 2 multisig wallet setup.
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 5
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 5
  • Review the wallet and proceed to Create a wallet by tapping on the button.
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 6
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 6
  • Save the BSMS file in a secure place.
πŸ’‘
BSMS, which stands for Bitcoin Secure Multisig Setup (BSMS), was introduced in Bitcoin through BIP-129.
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 7
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 7
  • Export or show wallet in your favorite hardware wallet. The Coldcard MK4 is a solid choice, as it also support NFC.
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 8
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 8
  • Review all the infos, and tap on Done to finalize the process.
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 9
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 9
  • The newly configured multi-signature wallet, tapsigner multisig, will now appear in your Nunchuck dashboard.
Create A Multisig Wallet With Two Tapsigner As The Keys Step 10
  • By tapping on the multisignature wallet, you will gain access to its functionality. It's important to remember that in order to spend funds from the multisig (2 of 2) wallet, you will need to scan both Tapsigners on the NFC sensor. This scanning process ensures the necessary authorization for transactions from the multisig wallet.
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Multisig offers flexibility and creativity in configuring your wallet. You can add more Tapsigners to create various multisig setups, such as 2 of 3 or 3 of 5. This allows you to customize the total number of keys and the required number of keys for transactions.

Tapsigner Price

The price of Tapsigner currently varies, as there are many graphics and configurations. It starts at a discounted rate of $29.99 and reaching a maximum of $64.99 for the non-discounted special version.

For example, the TAPSIGNER Blank Front, priced at just $29.99, offers an affordable option for users. Additionally, when ordering the TAPSIGNER Blank front alone, up to 6 units can be shipped at a special flat-rate, providing further cost savings. This allows users to easily scale their setup or share TAPSIGNER devices with others while enjoying the convenience and security it offers.

Additionally, Tapsigner can be purchased in a bundle with the Coldcard hardware wallet, offering a unique opportunity to acquire both at a particularly advantageous price.

These bundle offers provide users with a comprehensive and cost-effective solution for their cold storage needs. Whether opting for the standalone Tapsigner or the bundle with Coldcard, users can enjoy the benefits of enhanced security and convenience in managing their cryptocurrency assets.

Tapsigner How To Buy

Purchasing the Tapsigner card is quite easy, thanks to its availability on the official Coinkite website. To secure your very own Tapsigner, simply click the link below to take advantage of a special price offer.

πŸ‘‰ Click here to buy the Tapsigner for a special price on the official Coinkite website.

Tapsigner How To Buy
Tapsigner How To Buy

There is a wide selection of graphics available, including bundles that come with the Coldcard, a hardware wallet developed by Coinkite.

If you prefer to use single-signature functionality, simply select one item. For multisignature capability, choose more than one. After making your selection, add the items to your cart and proceed to checkout.

Coinkite offers worldwide shipping through DHL, FedEx, or untracked mail, ensuring that your goods will arrive within a few days.

Tapsigner Alternatives

TAPSIGNER Satodime SATSCARD
🧱 blockdyor Total Score 85/100 83/100 84/100
πŸ’° Price $39.99/€39.99 $25/€25 $6.99/€6.99
πŸ“… Release Year 2022 2022 2022
πŸ” Number of Secure Elements 1 (EAL6+ certified smart chip) 1 (EAL6+ certified smart chip) 1 (EAL6+ certified smart chip)
πŸ”„ Open Source Yes Yes Yes
πŸ”’ Bitcoin-only Firmware Yes No Yes
πŸ’Ύ Memory N/A N/A N/A
πŸ”— Connector NFC NFC NFC
πŸ“± Display Type N/A N/A N/A
πŸ› οΈ Materials PVCA PVCA PVCA
πŸ”„ Bluetooth N/A N/A N/A
πŸ” Multisig Yes N/A Yes
πŸ“Š Number of Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin-only Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, ERC20 tokens and NFTs Bitcoin-only
πŸ”‘ BIP39 Seedphrase Words Number N/A 24/12 Words N/A
πŸ” Shamir Compatible N/A N/A N/A
πŸ“Ά NFC-V Compatible Yes Yes Yes
πŸ”„ SD Slot N/A N/A N/A
πŸ“· Camera N/A N/A N/A
πŸ”‹ Battery N/A N/A N/A
🌐 Airgapped N/A N/A N/A

Satodime is a product by the French company Satochip that sets itself apart from SATSCARD by offering the ability to store various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and NFTs. It functions more like a traditional hardware wallet, unlike SATSCARD, which is designed to resemble a physical asset for easy transfer, like cash. To learn more, read our Satodime Review.

SATSCARD: on the other hand, this card provides a different approach. While TAPSIGNER is designed to be a hardware wallet that emphasizes keeping keys away from internet-connected devices, the SATSCARD is geared towards physically transferring Bitcoin. It's more affordable. With a TAPSIGNER, you can use it to sign as many transactions as needed. With a Satscard, you can send sats a maximum of 10 times. To learn more, read our Satscard Review.

Tapsigner Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
βœ… Great for cold storage on the go ❌ No Lightning Network support
βœ… Not just an hardware wallet, but can act as a key in multisig setups ❌ NFC passive tags can last for decades, but still don't know exactly how long
βœ… Plenty of entropy options with Nunchuck ❌ Must be always stored with the sleeve
βœ… They recently added support with Sparrow Wallet ❌ Stickers for easy tagging/identification not provided
βœ… Convenient, safe, and simple

Bottom Line

Introduced in 2022 together with the Satscard, Tapsigner offers a compact and versatile solution for secure Bitcoin cold storage.

With its functionality as a portable hardware wallet and the ability to be incorporated into multisig setups, Tapsigner provides users with convenience and enhanced security.

Its seamless integration with software applications and simple tap-to-sign process makes it a valuable asset in the realm of cold storage solutions.

TAPSIGNER Evaluation

The TAPSIGNER can be a great starting point for self-custody with multi-sig configurations, but it might be too pricey as it's "just a card". However, it gets an impressive score of 85/100.

Security: Tapsigner ensures high security with its PIN and NFC technology, along with an RF-blocking sleeve for secure storage. It utilizes a 32-byte chain code for entropy, while the PIN can be changed. However, the ability to use the same PIN in software wallets affects the overall score. (4/5)

User-friendliness: Tapsigner stands out as one of the simplest cold storage solutions available. The well-designed Nunchuck interface enhances the user experience. (5/5)

Compatibility: Tapsigner supports companion apps like Nunchuck and Sparrow Wallet, but expanding compatibility with more apps would be beneficial. (3/5)

Reputation: Coinkite, a respected Bitcoin-focused company, follows Open Source practices and has established a strong reputation in the industry. (5/5)

Cost: The current discounted price of Tapsigner is affordable. However, if discounts are removed or prices increase, it may become comparable to other hardware wallets offering additional features like screens and QR code cameras. (4/5)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What if the private key inside the Tapsigner is compromised? How can I 100% trust Coinkite?

During the initial setup of TAPSIGNER, you provide a 32-byte chain code for entropy. By combining this chain code with a private key generated by TAPSIGNER using the BIP-32 standard, the payment address is derived. Since you provided the chain code and TAPSIGNER shares the public part of its key, you can verify that the derived payment address matches the address provided by the card. This allows you to establish a correspondence between the XPUB (public key) you know and the XPRV (private key) stored in the card, providing a simple and effective means of confirmation.

What if the manufacturer (Coinkite) pretends the TAPSIGNER is generating private keys but actually it's not?

Every customer has the opportunity to provide their own chain code for entropy during the setup process. This allows customers to verify that TAPSIGNER has indeed incorporated their specific chain code entropy when generating the keys. By ensuring the chain code is utilized, customers can have confidence in the security and integrity of their TAPSIGNER-generated keys before making any deposits.

What if I lose my TAPSIGNER?

To recover the XPRV, you can use the backup file and a copy of the decryption code located on the back of the card. Having these two components eliminates the need for the original card. By utilizing the backup file and the decryption code, you can successfully retrieve the XPRV associated with your TAPSIGNER without relying on the physical card itself.