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Crypto Wallet to Replace Private Keys With Encrypted QR Codes

Decentralized cryptocurrency wallet SafeWallet is launching a new QR code-based user identification system to replace mnemonic phrases and private keys, the firm announced Friday.

The app, operated by China-based Cheetah Mobile, will use a two-tier security system to grant users access to their holdings, according to a press release. The first stage will have users scan their personalized and encrypted QR codes, while the second asks pre-set security questions.

“The QR code is highly encrypted, so it can’t be decrypted by scanning it with other software … [and] SafeWallet does not store your QR code on its servers,” a company representative told CoinDesk in an email.

The system is claimed by the firm to be more secure than traditional mnemonic phrases, while also being easier to use. In particular, the system hopes to ensure users are not writing their backup phrases down on paper, “which can be easily lost, stolen or damaged.”

SafeWallet believes that the new system can also protect against the risks that arise if users send their passphrases to themselves using email or instant-messaging platforms, which can contain malware or otherwise leak the messages to bad actors.

While acknowledging the possibility that someone could gain access to the QR code if stored on a device or in the cloud (which the firm recommends for convenient backup access), the representative said:

“A hacker can’t access your assets with your QR code alone. They would need to know the answers to your security questions (in addition to your regular SafeWallet password). Our security questions are more specific than your average security questions, so they would be extremely difficult to guess, even if someone is very close to the user. … You are in complete control of your assets at all times. “

Additionally, as a safeguard against theft, private keys “will never” appear as text in the wallet, they said, while SafeWallet will also scan users’ devices for apps containing malicious code and notify users if anything suspicious is found.

SafeWallet product head Kaiser Zhang said in a statement that the new tool means “there is no longer any need to memorize or transcribe long mnemonic phrases or private keys.”

He added:

“This complicated backup process has been one of the primary barriers for users of cryptocurrency wallets, and especially for those who are new to the industry. With this latest update, we are proud to say that we have finally solved this usability issue without sacrificing any of the security capabilities that SafeWallet is known for.”

Further, the company has granted third-party developers access to its security tools, allowing others to add similar security features to their own projects. As such, “SafeWallet’s innovative ID system will serve as a bridge connecting decentralized and centralized systems and resolving ease-of-use and security issues for blockchain products,” the company claimed.

Keys image via Shutterstock

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Cheetah's New App Lets Crypto Investors Track Portfolios on the Go

Cheetah Mobile, a Beijing-based app developer, announced on Thursday that it’s releasing an app aimed to make it simpler for investors to monitor their cryptocurrency portfolios.

Dubbed Coin Master, the mobile app – available for both iOS and Android – will track the real-time prices of cryptocurrencies on over 100 exchanges and automatically calculate overall losses or profits after users update their trading histories.

The company said investors are able to update their portfolios either by inputting their transaction information manually, including both fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto transactions, or linking the app with the wallets or exchanges on which they store the assets.

Cheetah Mobile’s senior vice president, Edward Sun, said the new product allows cryptocurrency investors to “check the status of their assets anytime, anywhere.”

Publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, Cheetah Mobile was rebranded from Kingsoft Security in 2010 and is a subsidiary of Kingsoft, one of the oldest and largest software companies in China. Notably, the firm’s vice chairman is Lei Jun, the well-known Chinese entrepreneur who founded electronics manufacturer Xiaomi.

The app release follows Cheetah Mobile’s entry into the cryptocurrency space in January, when it launched a wallet app for Android and iOS devices.

Additionally, Tong Huashun, a widely used stock tracking and trading app in China, briefly rolled out a cryptocurrency price tracking service last month, but later appeared to have removed the feature – possibly due to regulatory uncertainties in China.

Mobile trading image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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China's Cheetah Mobile Launches Cryptocurrency Wallet

Chinese mobile app company Cheetah Mobile has announced its entry into the world of cryptocurrency wallets.

Launching its new SafeWallet, the firm says the so-far Android-only wallet app is designed to be user-friendly, allowing customers to easily manage their cryptocurrency assets. An iOS version is slated to follow soon.

With SafeWallet users can send and receive cryptocurrency assets, create multiple wallets and import wallets in a variety of formats, a release says. The app currently supports bitcoin and ether, with more cryptocurrencies to be supported soon, according to the release.

Cheetah Mobile, which specializes in security app products, states:

“SafeWallet employs a unique three-tiered security defense system that protects users in three key areas, including user behavior, phone security and asset management to provide maximum protection for users’ digital assets and prevent them from being lost or stolen.”

SafeWallet app, which is currently available on Google app store, enables reduced transaction fees with its “optimized transaction fee algorithm.” Also, its real-time exchange costs enables tracking digital assets’ value.

Edward Sun, SVP of Cheetah Mobile, said, “Similar to our AI strategy, we are committed to staying at the forefront of the latest technological trends, and mobile asset security is an area that we believe we can have a strong impact.”

The company stressed that SafeWallet does not access users private key, or initiate transactions on their behalf.

Cheetah Mobile already provides mobile security products such as Clean Master and Security Master, and currently claims that more than 100 million customers use its products daily.

The move comes as other mobile apps seek to tap into the popularity of cryptocurrencies.

Just yesterday, CoinDesk reported that both Square and Line Corporation are adding cryptocurrency options and services to their current payment apps.

Messaging app Kik has even gone so far as to launch its own cryptocurrency, called “kin,” aimed to power its ecosystem, as well as raise funds for the company.

Mobile in hand image via Shutterstock

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