Finances aren’t something I talk about openly let alone review, but the aspect of cryptocurrency is a reality that is here and in full effect. This also means asset security and cold wallets like the Arculus Wallet are essential if you’re serious about investing beyond fiat while minimizing theft; which is the best anyone can hope for in a market stubbornly resistant to government regulation or alleged societal instability—Scary times indeed.
A disclaimer: I am not advocating that you immediately run out and buy cryptocurrency with this review, although I do own some tokens myself. However, if you are interested in crypto, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you do your own research and due diligence to figure out if cryptocurrency is a viable means of investing.
What is a cold wallet a.k.a. crypto wallet? It’s more-or-less hardware storage that’s not directly connected to the internet or any device, and solely meant for holding crypto assets. This effectively cuts off intruders or thieves from getting to your funds digitally, and even if they manage to steal your physical card it will remain practically inaccessible without proper authorization.
What you get for all that peace of mind is something that looks like a credit card that you see on VIP members, with plenty of weight added so it’s not flimsy. The front is stainless steel with the Arculus logo prominently displayed while the back is made of more conventional plastic, this is also the side that has all the functionality for NFC to make passthrough transactions work. Overall, it’s a neat and elegant design that will make other people think you’re important when you pull it out of your wallet, or whatever purpose you need to access your crypto on the go—I’m personally not comfortable flaunting my cold storage out in public, but Arculus also has the advantage of not needing to be charged to work either.
Indeed, the Arculus looks like the business, but setup is mostly identical to other cold wallets (i.e. Ledger, Trezor, D’Cent) for being tedious to first-timers just getting into the trade. The typical rundown involves choosing a randomized twelve-phrase code, which must then be written down and/or saved somewhere. This string of words cannot be reset if you forget them so due diligence is vital on storing your phrase code since that is one thing that can’t be recovered in worst-case scenarios.
After that You’ll also need to pair your Arculus card to your phone or tablet via NFC. There’s an indicator on the rear of the card, but an in-app animation makes it abundantly clear where to tap. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, the companion app uses NFC to configure the card to your device and works well enough when set still, otherwise the pairing process can be fickle sometimes.
Beyond the initial setup, Arculus utilizes a three-factor authentication which includes the biometric lock for either facial and fingerprint recognition, 6-digit numeric pincode, and NFC connectivity for maximum protection if either the Arculus card and/or phone gets lost or stolen. So essentially would-be thieves shouldn’t be able to access your wallet without your face or fingertips, and even then, the second step of guessing the numeric pin will probably be more trouble than it’s worth after a few attempts.
Luckily, if either your card, phone or both gets stolen you can at least recover your wallet with a replacement card and keeping that 12-phrase security code handy, because without the latter you’re pretty much screwed and that would be tragic.
As a wallet though, the Arculus card gets the basics right where you can buy, store, and pay for things with whatever supported cryptocurrency you have in your account. The app also displays market pricing and what it’s worth in dollars and how much your wallet is currently worth, which is great for people tired of juggling through other exchanges at a time and can be toggled in the settings menu.
You can add funds to Arculus in multiple ways too. If you already own the cryptocurrency, you can transfer it to your Arculus wallet or receive funds from someone else directly. Another thing I appreciate is that Arculus allows you to purchase crypto within the app too with Simplex, and streamlines the buying process if you don’t want to jump through more hoops with Coinbase or Binance.
However, if abundance in selection is a selling point then the Arculus falls short with only 25 cryptocurrencies supported as of this writing. Most of the popular currencies and stablecoins like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and USDC can be traded here, but more adventurous investors banking on memecoins are excluded outright. This is limiting if you’re looking for a cold wallet that can do it all, but people just starting out won’t complain too much—besides the lack of Dogecoin on the list.
The Arculus Wallet is a newcomer among an already crowded market, but still stands on its own with strong multi-tier security and extreme ease of use after setup. Some will be disappointed that the coin listing isn’t as exhaustive for additional currencies and NFT provisions are nonexistent, although Arculus says support for the controversial token is on their roadmap. For investors just now getting into cryptocurrency, this wallet is solid—albeit still getting its footing.