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In this episode of "The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado," hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discussed hardware wallet integration into Bitcoin Core, one of the ongoing projects that Provoost regularly contributes to himself.
Hardware wallets are a popular solution for storing private keys offline, to minimize the risk that hackers gain access to the corresponding coins. They are used in combination with regular software wallets to sign transactions in such a way that the private keys never leave the device.
The Bitcoin Core project has been working toward hardware wallet integration as well, which would offer users the safety of storing private keys on an offline device in combination with the security of a full node. A key part of this project is the Hardware Wallet Interface (HWI), a Bitcoin Core-compatible program designed to communicate with a range of hardware wallets.
Provoost explained how Bitcoin Core and HWI are slowly getting more closely integrated. Until now, HWI could already be used in combination with Bitcoin Core by having users copy/paste data between the two programs. This will now be automated in the next Bitcoin Core release, at least for command line users. The next step will be to also use hardware wallets from Bitcoin Core's graphical user interface.
Finally, the hosts discussed some alternative solutions to use hardware wallets in combination with full node security, like the Specter wallet.