Trezor’s Shamir Backup: A New Security Standard
Trezor’s Shamir backup, available on the Trezor Model T, is an innovative security feature that seeks to address the twin challenges often encountered in safeguarding your recovery seed – theft and destruction. The Trezor Model T holds the distinction of being the first-ever hardware wallet globally to incorporate the fully functional SLIP-0039 security standard, popularly known as the Shamir Backup.
The Rationale Behind Shamir Backup
Trezor’s Shamir backup is designed with the understanding that your recovery seed serves as the gateway to your digital assets. The consequences of losing it can be devastating, as it may result in the irretrievable loss of your cryptocurrency. To counteract this potential disaster, the Shamir backup allows users to generate multiple unique recovery shares to back up their private keys. A predetermined number of these shares (referred to as the threshold) must be collected and used to restore your wallet.
The Shamir backup protocol is an application of a cryptographic algorithm developed by Adi Shamir, called Shamir’s Secret Sharing. This security standard allows users to select the number of shares they wish to generate and decide how many are needed for recovery. Users can distribute these shares as they see fit, among trusted friends or in secure locations.
Ledger’s Recovery Feature: Secure Seed Phrase Storage
On the other side of the spectrum is Ledger’s new service, Ledger Recover. This service, despite some backlash on social media, offers a fresh perspective on the challenges of seed phrase security. Pascal Gauthier, Ledger’s CEO, stands firm in his belief that Ledger Recover is what future crypto customers want and need. He states:
“This is the way that the next hundreds of millions of people will actually onboard to crypto.”
The Ledger Recover service addresses the common issue of seed phrase loss. When subscribing to this service, a pre-BIP39 version of your private key is encrypted and divided into three fragments. These fragments are stored securely by three separate entities: Coincover, Ledger, and an independent backup service provider. To recover your wallet, two of the three parties send fragments back to your Ledger device, reassembling your private key.
Balancing Security and User Experience
The introduction of Ledger’s recovery service highlights the tension between blockchain-focused companies’ efforts to attract new users and the need to uphold core crypto principles. Both Trezor’s Shamir Backup and Ledger’s Recovery Feature offer innovative solutions to the same challenge: how to keep crypto secure without compromising user experience.
As both companies continue to refine and enhance their offerings, it’s clear that the future of crypto security is rapidly evolving. As Ledger’s CEO Pascal Gauthier confidently stated, “the piece of paper is a thing of the past, and Ledger Recover is a thing of the future.” Simultaneously, Trezor’s Shamir backup continues to empower users with greater control over their recovery shares, further enhancing the security of their digital assets.
In conclusion, while there may be differing views on the best way to secure crypto assets, both Trezor and Ledger are making significant strides in pioneering enhanced security measures for the future of cryptocurrency.