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Your Old Game Boy Can Now Be a Bitcoin and Ethereum Hardware Wallet!

Crypto startup Keyp is creating an offline crypto storage solution with a Game Boy cartridge that gamifies the seed phrase process.

Craving both ’90s nostalgia and ice-cold crypto storage?

A small team of developers at crypto startup Keyp is revamping original Nintendo Game Boy handheld consoles and optimizing them to store cryptocurrency offline,

transforming the popular handheld of yore into a crypto hardware wallet called the Game Wallet.

But the Game Wallet isn’t just a newfangled hardware wallet with a Game Boy console cover.

In fact, the Game Wallet is far from a gimmick—it’s a brand new Game Boy game cartridge that actually uses gamification to generate users’ seed phrases through random quests and interactions with non-playable characters (NPCs).

Guy Turned a Vintage Game Boy Into A (Very Slow) Bitcoin Miner

An IT security researcher has turned a 32-year-old Nintendo Game Boy console into a cryptocurrency miner.

Stacksmashing, a pseudonymous IT researcher and YouTube content creator,

has adapted a 1989 Game Boy–Nintendo’s first major portable game console–into a Bitcoin miner.

Albeit a rather slow one.

The modified Game Boy can mine Bitcoin at a “pretty impressive” hash rate of roughly 0.8 hashes per second.

“If you compare that to a modern ASIC miner, which comes in at around 100 terahashes per second, you can see that we are almost as fast, only off by a factor of roughly 125 trillion”

said Stacksmashing.

According to the researcher, it should only take “a couple of quadrillion years to mine a Bitcoin” at such a rate.

“It’s without a doubt the slowest miner I’ve ever heard of. But you have heard of it!”

Stacksmashing boasted on Twitter.

According to the published video, since the device has no built-in wireless connectivity, Stacksmashing turned to a $4 Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller board and a USB flash card.

Armed with these, the modder connected his Game Boy console to a Bitcoin node on his computer.

  • The next step was to create a custom mining firmware, as well as to modify the code for ntgbtminer, a mining program Stacksmashing used for the experiment.
  • The challenge wasn’t over, though, because of the difference in the voltage requirements for the Raspberry Pi Pico and the Nintendo Game Link Cable–the former runs at 3.3V, while the latter operates at 5V levels.
  • To do the voltage translation, Stacksmashing implemented a simple four-channel, bi-directional logic shifter.

Given the rate at which it mines Bitcoin, probably the most concerning part of this hack is how big the pile of discarded batteries would be after a couple of quadrillion years.

One more thing to worry about, on top of Bitcoin’s environmental impact.

Game Wallet

Game Wallet, Game Boy
the Game Wallet has been in development since January

Once set up, the Game Wallet will be able to store any cryptocurrency that uses BIP-32 seed phrases,

which means it can store coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum at launch.

Its software will also be open source and available for anyone to create their own implementation, if desired.

  • the Game Wallet isn’t just a newfangled hardware wallet with a Game Boy console cover.

While the Game Wallet has been in development since January,

Keyp’s nine-person team believes the recent controversy surrounding Ledger’s new “recovery” service means a truly offline storage solution is needed.

Game Wallet is marketing itself as an offline storage option that promises no firmware updates—ever.

Keyp founder Joseph Schiarizzi told Decrypt that the wallet’s game experience will be “Pokémon-like.”

“Our primary focus at Keyp is making Web3 accessible and safe for everyone with tools like social logins and extra security layers for wallets,” “Game Wallet is a fun project [and] extension of that.”

Schiarizzi said.

“With all the drama around the recent Ledger hardware wallet update, we realized the need for truly offline cold storage that minimizes trust,”

Keyp co-founder Sascha Mombartz wrote on a Game Wallet product page.

“What started as a fun idea now seems to be a really important product,” Mombartz added.

“Trusting the supply chain for new security devices can be scary because we don’t know who has messed with a device, but I know exactly where the Game Boy on my shelf has been for the last 20 years.”

The Game Wallet doesn’t yet have an official release date,

but Schiarizzi told Decrypt that the company plans to open pre-orders soon and is targeting a summer rollout, barring supply chain and/or technical hurdles.

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