On Saturday, February 10 a new bitcoin cash (BCH) wallet was announced called, Handcash, an SPV client that enables Near Field Communication transactions. The wallet’s initial release is still in beta form but is available to download for experimentation on all compatible Android devices.
Handcash the NFC Bitcoin Cash Wallet
A team of developers launched a new wallet called Handcash; a bitcoin cash client for Android phones. At the moment the platform is still in its beta form but the wallet focuses on ease of use and has a few unique features. One aspect is the wallet’s ability to complete Near Field Communication (NFC) payments in a matter of seconds. The feature effectively resembles handing someone some cash, hence the name ‘Handcash’ says the wallet developers. Anyone can make in-person payments with NFC without having to ask for a specific address or QR code.
“NFC Payments: seriously, you gotta try this out with someone. It’s so cool to do a BCH transaction with anyone in a couple of seconds without having to ask for an address. It’s effectively just like handing cash,” explains the Handcash creators.
‘Cashtag’ Usernames and Encrypted Backups
In addition to the NFC functionality, the wallet has a unique system for addresses because one element allows the use of usernames instead. The feature is called ‘cashtags’ and the developer says they are not linked to any certain address but they are linked to your phone’s ID. This means when a user sends bitcoin cash to another Handcash user the wallet’s system creates a new address for every transaction.
Further, the wallet’s developers detail the Android client has a one-tap wallet backup feature which is also different than the standard 12-word backup phrase. The team has developed a method that encrypts a wallets backup file and it stores both private key information and the rights to a ‘cashtag’ username in a Google Drive folder.
“So if you were using the google account you already are logged into on your phone — If you change your phone, you can recover your wallet on the first screen once you reinstall Handcash again,” explains a Handcash team member.
Beta Testing Until the App Works Properly
Handcash is still in beta and before the wallet jumps on the bitcoin cash mainnet the developers want to make sure the app works properly. However, a ‘Handcashbot’ distributes testnet BCH for users to test and experiment with certain features like NFC transactions. The beta version also does not encrypt the wallet username and encryption will be added when the 1.0 Handcash version goes live. Additionally, the developers conclude that the Cashaddress format is ready for mainnet once the app leaves beta.