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I started working with Bitcoin and Crypto while pursuing my Bachelors in CS, got into a well-paying job in Samsung as software dev, left it to work on my Crypto security startup, Cypherock, with the aim of eliminating fear of loss of Crypto for mass adopt

I started working with Bitcoin and Crypto while pursuing my Bachelors in CS, got into a well-paying job in Samsung as software dev, left it to work on my Crypto security startup, Cypherock, with the aim of eliminating fear of loss of Crypto for mass adopt

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I started working with Bitcoin and Crypto while pursuing my Bachelors in CS, got into a well-paying job in Samsung as software dev, left it to work on my Crypto security startup, Cypherock, with the aim of eliminating fear of loss of Crypto for mass adoption.

Hello everyone, I am Rohan Agarwal! I heard the word 'Bitcoin' for the first time around 2013-2014 but it didn’t creep up on the top of my mind until 2017.

It was during my college days in 2017 when I was mostly working on android apps and attending hackathons to satisfy the competitive edge in me that I met my friend and CTO of Cypherock - Vipul through a mutual friend. During the same time, I went down the crypto rabbit hole after being bugged by the idea of decentralisation. During the 2017 bull run, I was continuously researching and trading Bitcoin, Ethereum and various cryptocurrencies while conducting workshops, writing blogs about the space.

At the height of the 2017 bull market, I found that one of my friends couldn't recover his recovery phrase kept safe on paper due to an unfortunate house fire. At the same time, another one of the colleagues had kept his 24 word mnemonic phrase as a screenshot on his phone which got lost when the phone was corrupted. That's when I realized the need for a secure hardware wallet + with a recovery solution that caters to both data loss and data theft problems without a single point of failure.

To facilitate mass adoption, it is necessary that -

  1. Regular, non tech savvy people should be able to use and secure crypto without the fear of losing it.
  2. The solution to secure and recover crypto should be a non-custodial solution and the support should be open to all assets.

This was the belief that gave birth to Cypherock. Current hardware wallets secure the crypto but the unencrypted seed phrase on the paper becomes a single point of attack. We believe that seed phrases deserve the same level of security that your private keys have.

So, we used 2 of 4 Shamir Secret Sharing (with the option to change the threshold in future) along with tamper-resistant hardware to secure your private keys. Simply put, it is like Multi-sig but for your wallet recovery phrase. Practically, it’s much easier to use than multi-sig, if implemented correctly. Even Coinbase uses Shamir Secret Sharing to secure their own assets.

More on what we developed

- Each shard will be stored in a EAL6+ tamper resistant secure element chips. As comparison, your iPhone has the same level of security chip for securing fingerprints.

- Nothing will be stored in the X1 Wallet on which the computation will be done.

- Keys can be recovered by tapping any 2 out of the 4 cyCards on the X1 Wallet. Each cyCard can also be protected by a PIN just like your hardware wallet. The recovered keys are stored in a volatile memory on the X1 Wallet which gets wiped out as soon as the operation is done.

- You can store 3 wallet recovery phrases in a single product.

- The cyCards can be distributed around different places to increase security of the funds and protect against $5 wrench attacks.

What this means is without the knowledge of location of atleast 2 cyCards and the PIN, it is impossible for the hackers to steal your assets. We'll be able to support multiple blockchains (read: coins) using this along with other digital assets like your passwords, secrets, non Blockchain private keys etc. You can secure the cards by distributing it among trusted people or keeping it secure in different places that only you know of.

https://preview.redd.it/aqkuuizvfng41.jpg?1920&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1fc5bb71e79df86fef5ea5855c29d0fe154e5b05

It has been a hell of a ride to provide an optimal solution for the mnemonic phrase/seed phrase recovery issue, without compromising the security of the user or the ownership of the assets.

We recently got backed by Consensys which was a high point for us. It has been a huge journey for us coming from India, where blockchain or the related hardware isn't that big with consumers yet.

The product is in the testing phase and we have started with the pre-orders. You can book one today with >50% off and if you don’t like it, we will give you a full refund, no questions asked.

Small Example to show how it works:

  1. You enter/generate your mnemonic phrase on the device or any other sensitive information like passwords.
  2. You tap four cyCards on the device to make 4 shards of your phrases.You'll need any 2 of them to recover your keys or perform a transaction.
  3. The cyCards can be stored at different locations or kept with different people for security.
  4. It can solve the issue with inheritance too with proper management of keys. (PM or comment to know more on this).
  5. To conduct a transaction, tap 2 cards on the device. The keys will be generated on the X1 Wallet for the transaction in a volatile memory which will be wiped off once the transaction is done (no current generation wallet has this). This allows for the hardware to have similar security as of multi-sig with the possible support of every asset.

Any feedback appreciated.

TLDR: With the dream of making storage of seed phrase an easy solution for everyone, started out with Cypherock and in the process found out a solution for removing single point of failure and a way for easy crypto inheritance. Would love any help from the community to take this further.

If anyone would like to see the device functioning, they can refer to the following videos:

  1. Securing Seed Phrases with Cypherock X1: https://youtu.be/eD3CZMPumCk
  2. Trezor Hack and Transaction Using Cypherock X1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19u2mKaHRoM&t
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