Crypto wallets incorporate a key system - a private and public key - used for executing and authenticating transactions and signatures. Public keys generate addresses that can be shared to receive cryptocurrencies. Private keys on the other hand serve as the password to send cryptocurrencies. Therefore, whoever owns the private key, owns whatever cryptocurrency is secured by the wallet. Private keys in their traditional form are really hard to read by humans therefore BIP 39 was introduced as a means of simplifying an otherwise random unreadable string of alphanumeric characters. BIP 39 introduced the concept of seed phrases which has become commonplace now in the world of web3.
Seed phrases come in formats of either 12/18/24 words and consist of a set of random words such as:
“clump smooth please walnut spin hotel want clump thank era neutral bleak”
To a computer, these words are processed as the 128-bit seed:
Naturally, seed phrases are easier for humans to process and secure - if you are interested in how seed phrases are generated, you can try out this website. Please do not use any internet-connected website to generate your seed phrase, this example is given for educational purposes only. Although seed phrases became simple for individuals to understand, methods for securing seed phrases posed an immense challenge.
Most seed phrase backups come in the form of paper or metal sheets. Although popular, both forms of backups have the risk of being damaged, lost, or stolen. Most importantly, seed phrase backups today do not solve the core problem that seed phrases pose - a single point of failure. With access to the seed phrase, all funds secured by the wallet can be instantly transferred without requiring any form of authorization on the wallet itself. Therefore, a truly secure wallet system not only eliminates the problem of having a single point of failure but does not require a user to worry about seed phrases at all - essentially a seedless wallet.
Cypherock X1 is the world’s first seedless hardware wallet. When a wallet is created, Cypherock uses an algorithm called Shamir Secret Sharing to shard the private key. The private key is split into 5 shards which are stored on the X1 device and 4 X1 cards respectively. To re-derive, the private key, a threshold of 2/5 is used - any X1 card and X1 device or 2 X1 cards for example. Additionally, no one single shard can be used to derive the information on the other shard, therefore, if say one of the X1 cards is lost, the private key is still recoverable. This way, wallet shards can be distributed geographically to avoid a single point of failure with the private key. Instead of having to backup a singular seed phrase, Cypherock X1’s 5 shards become the representative of the private key thereby also eliminating the need to think about buying paper or metal backups.
Click here to learn more about how Cypherock X1 is the world’s first seedless wallet.