Publish0xTutorials - Creating A Secure Homemade Hardware Wallet
Publish0xTutorials - Creating A Secure Homemade Hardware Wallet

Publish0xTutorials - Creating A Secure Homemade Hardware Wallet


Publish0xTutorials - Creating A Secure Homemade Hardware Wallet

 

Purpose Of This Tutorial

This tutorial is intended to illustrate how to create a secure homemade hardware wallet that authors here at Publish0x and others can boot into on any Windows or Linux machine with secure access to their crypto accounts.

This tutorial intends to show that it is possible to create a homemade hardware wallet simply by following 25 easy steps in a tutorial published here at Publish0x and strives to finish the article in one less than 2,721 words. That total should be 2,720 if mathematics is not your strong point.  I was able to figuratively eat one apple to arrive at the total of 2,720.  The mentioned apple tasted much like a word at that time.

I apologize that it took an extra day to write as I wanted to be sure all my t's were crossed and my i's were dotted thanks to hindsight taught by the fictitious Kim Wexlar.

The target number mentioned above steadily increased as the article continued to grow and may still change at any time in the future due to possible editing considerations.

This article intends to show that the possibility of creating a tutorial without the aid of graphical representations is doable.  The only graphic added is the necessary inclusion of a cover image when publishing an article.

This article will be published  about 5 hours from now in my world which will be approximately 5 hours in the past in yours.  It will be the present time in your world when you finally have the chance to read this article.

Any comedic overtones that are perceived should not detract from the seriousness and ultimate goal of this tutorial.  I'm super cereal as well as serious.

There are 25 steps contained in 2 separate versions of the tutorial.  Both versions will produce similar results.

The 25 easy steps are located somewhere below and require all the preceding text to bring the tutorial into the proper context which means that skip-reading is not an option for anyone.

Relevant facts have to be weighed before finally revealing the instructions contained in the tutorial steps.

This 3rd Publish0x Tutorial is an example of a more affordable hardware wallet that would handle all currencies. There is no need to compete with hardware wallets that are already available on the market.  This tutorial is just an example of another possibility.

Perhaps the future holds the possibility of creating cosmic code that could turn any flash drive into a hardware wallet exchange within nanoseconds.

What Prompted This Fine Tutorial

I was confronted with the cryptic learning curve introduced by the new technologies behind blockchain cryptocurrency and Ethereum network when I first became a blockhead and cryptonian.

Although you don't need to be a crypto-rocket scientist to understand how it basically works, much information can remain obscure without knowledge gained by experience, research and education.

Many questions about Bitcoin surfaced when I first took interest in cryptocurrency.  I would wonder where the mysterious elves of Draxxagor were taking the mined Bitcoin pieces that would eventually create a single coin and pondered what material it was made of.

Much time passed before I accepted the fact the the unit of Bitcoin existed only in the realm of the cryptoverse.

On this world, most people can prosper from the blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies even without a lot of formal education about the mysterious cryptoverse.

Learning the technologies without a formal education can be a never-ending process of chasing answers to questions until you feel you can finally challenge the available crypto-courses.

The source of education does not need to come from a school or course that is taught somewhere, or from a sacred book inked by a Draxxagorian sage.

Yes, you have to be a super-hero to provide the energy necessary to mine a unit of Bitcoin and that is why the wealth earned by mining is so disproportionate.

I assumed that most of the wealth is equally divided between the heroes and villains of the Marvel-Thanos cryptoverse and never believed that DC had much to do with any of it.

Now I realize the importance of understanding the many cryptic crypto terms and acronyms in the cryptoverse when considering information about cryptocurrency. Your fluency is directly proportional to how quickly you pick up the crypto lingo and buzzwords.

Back on earth, my research brought me to realize that Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, Bitfinex, Poloniex and other centralized exchanges are not something I am looking for when trying to reap the security features offered by a decentralized blockchain.

Centralized exchanges act as custodians of the money you send to their exchange leader. You technically no longer own the crypto you send to a custodial exchange. Of course you still own the right to exchange and withdraw the funds that are under 100 percent control of the exchange and hidden from view, but that scenario presents all sorts of problems in the real world.

I assume that most people have heard of the unfortunate incident about the old guy that died that didn't specify where he stashed all the user private keys.

It is almost impossible to not come across news about crypto theft unless you are Herman the hermit. Over 4 Billion USD was lost to hackers in 2019.

There is a lot of crypto-fuckery that happens behind closed doors with funds that are no longer under your control.

The importance of holding on to your private keys and owning your crypto should be fully understood before tackling opponents in the cryptoverse.  Your destiny should not be determined by some centralized finance-lord.

With centralized exchanges, the user agreement you sign empowers the custodial owners to do whatever they see fit with the funds much like a bank minus the regulations and interest that a bank would give under similar circumstances.

Some of the exchanges are adopting insurance provided through a consortium of professional insurers but that does not do so much for the dark cloud I see above the custodial type centralized exchanges that remain totally unregulated.

It is a good thing that non-commissioned super-heroes took up the fight against centralization in general after creating the blockchain using the mysterious compounds from Draxxagor.

Benefits Of A Non-Custodial Wallet

Owning my own keys to my funds is of utmost importance in my consideration of a wallet choice.

Using a centralized custodial exchange is most certainly not the way to go when looking to be a part of the expanding cryptoverse.

Benefits Of A Hardware Wallet

A software wallet can make your keys vulnerable to an attack on your computer, but a hardware wallet can store your private keys completely offline.

Traditional Hardware Wallets

Traditional hardware wallets vary in style and features determined the wallet manufactures.  All hardware wallets cannot handle all the cryptocurrencies available but most are adequate.

Present day hardware wallets do provide excellent features such as integration with software wallets and handling a multitude of cryptocurrencies.  The biggest problem I see is the exorbitant device cost and lack of a password manager.  Remember what Mickey said to Rocky!

Homemade Hardware Wallets

Awesome hardware wallets such as a Ledger Nano X are available for a significant fee spurring some to create their own more affordable versions.

A Cryptonian can go as far as creating their own wallet exchange on a 64 GB Secure SanDisk USB drive that is never connected to anything other than an air-gapped PC except when it is time to do crypto-stuffery such as trading, depositing and withdrawing funds.

Hacking a wallet is not a possibility when  private keys and passphrase are not accessible to anyone.  I would concede that a hacker deserved my funds if my system was ever successfully hacked  without actual physical access.

Installing my Atomic wallet on an OS (operating system) contained on a hidden bootable partition of a secure flash drive brings a low level of concern.

Installation to the external drive does not require the drive to have a separate operating system but does increase the security by a ridiculously high factor.

I awoke this morning after considering my present security previous night and realized that all my imagined millions would be forever lost to my wife and family if I was to suddenly exist no longer.

About The Homemade Hardware Wallet

The details of this particular endeavor is not limited to the information provided for this example.

There are countless methods of implementing the idea various operating systems and hardware choices.

Installing an OS on the hardware for the project is not even necessary.  You could basically store your keys on an encrypted Secure SanDisk flash drive.  Adding an operating system only enhances the amount of security available.

Creating The Homemade Hardware Wallet

My choice of hardware would be a SanDisk Ultra Fit 32 or 64 GB USB 3.1 available around the world.  Any flash-drive with sufficient speed and storage should work.

Just installing a portable version of a wallet software on a USB flash-drive does not provide more protection than the software running on your computer due to the fact that both are connected to the network and exposed to the possibility of infections.

Installing the portable version of the wallet software on a bootable Linux partition of the USB drive provides the needed OS encryption and and security when not connected to the network.

This Tutorial Disclaimer

I am satisfied that the tutorial accurately describes the necessary procedure to create the Hard Wallets successfully and would attribute any failure or damage to user error and will not accept any responsibility if things don't go as intended.  The installation works on every drive I installed to and can't think of any bizarre circumstances that may prevent creating the bootable hard wallet.

The Publish0x platform staff does not necessarily agree with anything in this article and is not paying me in secret for any services rendered.  All revenue received comes from tips by readers like yourself.

Tutorial Prerequisites

It is not a prerequisite to be a super-hero to create your homemade hardware cryptocurrency wallet.

Understand the difference between Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems is very important.  You should be comfortable with booting an operating system, formatting, modifying and creating new drives.

It is important to know that formatting a flash drive will wipe it clean when an operating system is written to it.  A blank and unused flash drive of high quality is the intended medium that should be used.

It is not necessary to pledge allegiance to any member of the cryptoverse to benefit from this tutorial.

Links for the items directly below are available in the tutorial steps in each version.

  • Universal USB Installer
  • The Atomic Wallet Image
  • Ubuntu 19.10 or Linux Mint OS image downloads

Either Linux Mint 19.3 "Tricia" - Cinnamon (64-bit)  or Ubuntu 19.10 can be installed to a flash-drive using a third party Universal USB Installer to create your own OS on which you can install the Atomic wallet.

Minimum Flash Drive Capacity: ≅2 GB

USB Flash Drive creation essentials:

  • 16 GB or Larger USB Flash Drive (Fat32 formatted)
  • Linux Mint 19.3 or Ubuntu 19.10 ISO
  • Universal USB Installer

How to create a Linux Mint 19.3 USB flash drive that can boot on a Windows or Linux machine:

  1. Download The Atomic Wallet Image and place it somewhere you can find.
  2. Download the Universal USB Installer tool to install the OS onto the flash drive.
  3. Download Linux Mint 19.3 "Tricia" - Cinnamon (64-bit) and place it on the desktop for easy access later.
  4. Insert an empty flash drive on a Windows PC and note the new drive letter.
  5. Run the Universal USB Installer you downloaded in Step 2.
  6. Select the Linux Mint in the first drop-down box of the installer.
  7. Click Browse and select the Linux Mint image you placed on the desktop in step 3.
  8. Select the target USB drive noted in Step 4.
  9. Set the persistent file size slider all the way to the right for maximum.
  10. Click Create to initiate the installation to the USB drive.
  11. Take a break and wait for the installation to finish.
  12. Close the installer when it shows the installation is complete.
  13. Reboot your PC and select the keyboard keys that allow you to change the boot sequence.
  14. Select the USB storage device in the boot menu and boot.
  15. Allow Linux Mint to load with no interaction.
  16. Open the Linux Mint file manager on the left and select other locations.
  17. Open the large drive location containing your windows system.
  18. Open the Users folder.
  19. Open the folder name of your Windows system. Mine is named Smolj.
  20. Open the Desktop folder of your Windows system.
  21. Locate The Atomic Wallet Image you downloaded in Step 1 and copy it to your Linux Mint desktop.
  22. Launch your Atomic Wallet you copied to your Mint desktop in Step 21 by clicking the The Atomic Wallet Image.
  23. Use the Atomic Promo code 15X9JG if you have no existing wallet and intend to create one or wish to participate in the Atomic airdrop.
  24. Make one or more backups.
  25. Let me know how you did.

Note

I personally prefer Linux Mint and use it on my main dual-boot system with Windows 10.  My gaming PC boots into Windows 10 by default if Linux Mint is not selected in the boot menu within a few seconds.

There was a situation where a relative in another country could not successfully install the Linux Mint version and so I created a similar and alternate tutorial using Ubuntu which worked as intended.

The following 24 steps can be taken if you wish to create the flash-drive with the Ubuntu OS instead of Linux Mint OS.


How to Create a Ubuntu 19.10 USB flash drive that can boot on a Windows or Linux machine:

  1. Download The Atomic Wallet Image and place it somewhere you can find.
  2. Download the Universal USB Installer which will be a tool to install the OS onto the flash drive.
  3. Download Ubuntu 19.10 and place it on the desktop for easy access later.
  4. Insert an empty flash drive on a Windows PC and note the new drive letter.
  5. Run the Universal USB Installer you downloaded in Step 2.
  6. Select the Ubuntu  in the first drop-down box of the installer.
  7. Click Browse and select the Ubuntu image you placed on the desktop in step 3.
  8. Select the target USB drive noted in Step 4.
  9. Set the persistent file size slider all the way to the right for maximum.
  10. Click Create to initiate the installation to the USB drive after wiping it clean.
  11. Take a break and wait for the installation to finish.
  12. Close the installer when it shows the installation is complete.
  13. Reboot your PC and select the keyboard keys that allow you to change the boot sequence.
  14. Select the USB storage device in the boot menu and load Ubuntu.
  15. Allow Ubuntu to load with no interaction.
  16. Open the Ubuntu file manager on the left and select other locations.
  17. Open the large drive location containing your windows system.
  18. Open the Users folder.
  19. Open the folder name of your Windows system. Mine is named Smolj.
  20. Open the Desktop folder of your Windows system.
  21. Locate The Atomic Wallet Image you downloaded in Step 1 and copy it to your Ubuntu desktop.
  22. Launch your Atomic Wallet you copied to your Ubuntu desktop in Step 21 by clicking The Atomic Wallet Image.
  23. Use the Atomic Promo code 15X9JG if you have no existing wallet and intend to create one or wish to participate in the Atomic airdrop.
  24. Make one or more backups.
  25. Let me know how you did.

Note

WiFi is available when running the Atomic wallet so it is a straightforward task to move crypto from wallet to wallet or do other business as usual do on your Windows machine.

You can boot into your new USB hard wallet using any PC.

just a line

Comments are welcome and thanks for reading!

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Smoljanovic
Smoljanovic Official Team Member

Publish0x Team Member and Canadian Expatriate from Sarajevo living in Sweden.


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