In Blockchain Foundations we learned that transactions are the primary way to participate in a blockchain application, and that every transaction must be signed by its creator.
In Keys & Signing we learned that in order to sign something, we need a private/public key pair.
We can see that in order to participate directly as transactor in a blockchain, one must be able to:
- Generate and store a private/public key pair.
- Create valid transactions.
- Sign transactions using the private key.
A device capable of performing these 3 actions is often called a "wallet" because it can sign transactions that transfer crypto currency. In today's blockchain ecosystem, people are the primary users of wallets.
Software wallets, out of necessity, store your private key in a software-accessible location. This is akin to saving the private key on your desktop. If an attacker gains access to your private key, they own your digital identity, and can sign malicious transactions.
A hardware wallet is like an HSM that can—in addition to key generation and signing—create blockchain transactions. Since people are the primary transactors in today's blockchains hardware wallets are designed with affordances for human beings. They have buttons, screens, and software that's optimized for the ways in which a person needs to interact with blockchains.
As blockchain technology is adopted by enterprise businesses, the machines and devices that support their infrastructure and services—especially those in the IoT—will need to become direct transactors. What we need is a blockchain-agnostic embeddable wallet that has all the security and utility of an HSM, tailored for the constraints of IoT-class devices.
Blocklet lets resource-constrained IoT-class machines transact directly on a blockchain. The Blocklet Enclaves (USB and UART) provide a Trusted Execution Environment, while the Blocklet firmware, API, and SDK provide a straightforward interface for creating and signing transactions for Ethereum, BigchainDB, Hyperledger Sawtooth, and Hyperledger Fabric.
Unlike typical hardware wallets that can only participate in popular public blockchains, Blocklet is built for enterprise blockchains, which are typically private or permissioned, and often use an alternative blockchain platform that's better suited for their application.
Blocklet makes key generation, transaction creation, and signing as easy as an API call, and the USB and UART hardware enclaves make it easy to integrate with existing hardware. It's the fastest, most-secure way to make your machines first-class transactors on a blockchain.