There's no such thing as being too crazy about security, especially when it comes to hoarding mountains and mountains of invisible, digital, volatile money. If that description hits a little too close to home, you might just have a new friend in the $199 Case, a physical bitcoin wallet the size of a credit card that secures your nebulous funds and lets you sign off on transactions with just a touch of a finger. There's a good chance you've heard the name before -- the team behind it, led by Melanie Shapiro -- has been plugging away on the thing for over a year a now, but it's finally going to ship to bitcoin magnates this summer.
It's taken plenty of time to perfect the formula, but the team figures that by setting up a trio of security keys that unlock the Case and scattering them to and fro, no one sketchy will be able to dip into your bitcoin stash. Once it's been set up, Case generates a key that lives right on the device, and captures a bit of personal data with a built-in fingerprint reader to ferry along to a secure server where another private key lives. If those fingerprints match up, voila: You can send or request bitcoin in a jiffy. Another key lives solely in cold storage somewhere, and only comes into play in case you lose your Case. Throw in a teensy global SIM card for international use and you've got yourself a gadget that just might do the unthinkable: making handling bitcoins a breeze.
Thing is, the Case still doesn't seem perfect for everyone. Consider the company's global ambitions -- it wants Case to become the sort of device that becomes an everyday companion as bitcoin grows in clout and legitimacy, but a $200 price tag puts it out of reach of most developing markets. Still, it's tough not to look at the Case with a little bit of hope. It's tiny, smart, secure and above all, it seems like the sort of thing a decently tech-savvy uncle could handle. Maybe, just maybe it's the right device to make bitcoin easy at the right time. We'll find out in just a few months.