This is a set of installation guides, standards and templates that allow general cryptocurrency users, Cardano stake pool operators, token minters, users with funds in bare addresses, and smart contract creators to use an ordinary USB drive (the "Frankenwallet") as a highest-security, air-gapped transaction signing environment instead of a second machine or the key & resource management tools on a hardware crypto wallet.
When one's primary computer is booted from this removable drive, a strict security protocol allows users to:
- store and work securely and flexibly with private keys
- sign transactions and securely keep records of transaction details
- follow instructions and save encrypted files on the "insecure" host machine
- make encrypted backups without ever revealing keys or passwords in the insecure host environment.
What the Cardano COSD pool is hoping to achieve with the Frankenwallet
The result of the Frankenwallet becoming more popular will be the option not to have a second machine and/or hardware wallet for secure Cardano operations. A second machine is an inconvenience to many (including COSD user group members, mostly expatriates in India) and either a hardware wallet or a dedicated machine would be a prohibitive expense in the growing Cardano community in the developing worlds of Africa and Asia.
So far we have catalogued about 20 Cardano Forum requests for a reliable air-gapped environment in the year leading up to September 2021. Posting the Frankenwallet to these current and future threads, so operators know it is available, will help refine this material so it can be understood as easily as possible and so that users can be more confident of its security. The demand for a flexible air-gapped environment has been so high that this should emerge in Q4 2021 as an industry standard tool.
We also expect the Frankenwallet will bridge the gap between the devoted Cardano community and long time enthusiasts of other cryptocurrencies. For instance Ethereum users extending or migrating to Cardano will have a common tool to generate addresses, keys and transactions offline: since the flexible Ubuntu OS will allow Cardano and these other blockchain CLIs to be installed in the same environment.