Smart card

Andrew Gallagher andrewg at
Tue Apr 4 14:23:58 CEST 2017

On 04/04/17 11:22, Mauricio Tavares wrote:
> I will add that the "Are smartcards out of vogue?" question has
> an loaded question taste to it.

Depends whether by "smartcard" you mean the technology or the form
factor. The underlying protocol is here for the long term - it's the
same one banks use for credit cards so even if it's not fashionable, it
will still be supported by software for the foreseeable future.

But smart cards (the form factor) really only make practical sense if
your equipment has a built-in smart card reader - and that is highly
dependent on industry fashion. My current work laptop has an inbuilt
reader and that's why I chose a full format smartcard over a yubikey or
a clamshell reader - both of which are less physically portable but
more logically portable.

So while the smartcard protocol may be here to stay, the credit-card
form factor might not. But don't agonise over it. As long as you are
careful and keep an offline backup of your primary key and encryption
subkey, all you lose by picking an obsolete form factor is the money
you spent on the physical hardware.


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