This is an opinion edit by Wartime Microchad, a contributor to Bitcoin Magazine.
Since the introduction of the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 39, Bitcoiners have had the option to memorize the information needed to retrieve Bitcoin funds stored on-chain using plaintext words. Memorizing 1 or 24 unrelated, non-consecutive words and reliably recalling them later is not easy. That is, most people make and store physical backups of those words instead of memorizing them.
This well-established approach is fine for those confident in their physical security setup, but it can be a big challenge for others, such as those without a fixed residence. People who need to travel or live in conflict/war areas; or live in other environments where physical seed phrase storage may be at risk of security, loss, damage, or confiscation people who are
Running the Numbers
To put the scale of this problem into context:
- By the end of 2021, 89.3 million people will have been displaced worldwide, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR. Many of these displaced people would have had little but the clothes they carried on their backs and the personal belongings they could carry. Transporting wealth along with personal belongings can be an impossible challenge and risky.
- About 5 million Americans identify as digital nomads, and another 17 million aspire to this lifestyle, according to Nomad Embassy. This represents her 6.5% of the US population who currently or want to live on the move. Frequent border crossings and living in rental housing can make protecting private keys difficult.
- An estimated 35% of Americans rent accommodation, and house-sharing is on the rise as home ownership collapses, especially among younger generations. It is not uncommon for personal belongings to be lost in shared housing.
So we wanted to create an easier and more reliable way for bitcoin enthusiasts facing these challenges to transport bitcoin across borders. We named this solution Border Wallets.
patterns and words
Imagine being able to remember either (A) or (B) from the following choices in 5 seconds.
The Science (™)
Several previous studies have shown that we have a much better ability to recall patterns than words over time.
Anecdotally, it’s clear that shapes are easier to recognize than words. We tend to remember faces more easily than names (which makes sense given that our eyesight and facial recognition abilities predate our use of language).
This phenomenon is known as the “image dominance effect”.
Let’s see if this works.
Given the space, try to recall the missing words and missing patterns from the example shown above. No cheating!
Memories using border wallets and entropy grids
Border wallets provide a way to remember seed phrases using three components:
- Entropy Grid: A randomized grid of all 2048 seed words.
- Pattern: A user-generated pattern or cell coordinates.
- Final Word “Number”: Final (checksum) seed word.
Combining these three components makes up the Border Wallet.
entropy grid generator
Using the offline browser-based Entropy Grid Generator (EGG), users generate their own entropy-protected randomized grid of all 2048 BIP39-compliant seed words, generating memorable patterns or cell coordinates. A set can be applied to it. They know—to create wallets.
EGG is browser-based, but is designed to work offline on any air-gapped PC, Mac, or Linux machine (or with Tails) and runs locally in your browser. To use it, users download it, transfer it to a machine of their choice, and start generating entropy grids.
Since each unique entropy grid contains the complete list of all BIP39 seed words in randomized form, and the user’s patterns exist only in their minds, the user can use the entropy grid (or its recovery phrase ) physically or digitally. Since the entropy grid composes all 2048 Bitcoin seed words in random form, an evil maid attack faces a significantly higher difficulty adjustment than if the plaintext seed phrase backup were discovered. You can think of this as a firewall between your seed word and potential attackers.
Last word calculator and last word “number”
EGG allows you to import the relevant 11 or 23 words from the entropy grid and compute the final checksum word. Besides the user’s pattern, all you have to remember is the checksum.
However, to make this even easier, EGG includes a unique “last word number” feature. This eliminates the need to memorize the word “pair” and allows the user to memorize only the number “5”. Since this number by itself is meaningless and provides no clues about the pair, we can also write this number down on the entropy grid. The final word for which no other word is known.
The user can also change the last word number to something more meaningful, but this also changes the last word itself. Therefore, if the user changes the number, his Border Wallet should be set up with the new checksum displayed. I don’t recommend changing the numbers (because they are generated with entropy by the tool), but you have the option if you want.
Deterministic Grid Regeneration
When creating an entropy grid, EGG provides an option to select deterministic entropy. Using 128-bits of entropy to create these grids allows us to simultaneously generate a 12-word recovery phrase that provides a backup of the plain text. A recovery phrase is automatically added to the bottom of the deterministic entropy grid during generation.
At first glance, offering a 12-word recovery phrase may seem counterintuitive to the Border Wallets concept. After all, we are giving users the ability to memorize seed words, not find new ways to write down new words! may find value in having the option to make a handwritten or digital copy of the playback word. For example, if you want to store a copy of the entropy grid in a third party (sibling, parent, child, etc.). .) for storage.
All 12-word recovery phrases are valid BIP39 mnemonic phrases, giving you the additional option of deploying decoy funds in the resulting wallet or having nothing at all. In the latter case, the attacker spends money and resources trying to brute his force attack against the seed phrase that should have the funds, but the entropy he only unlocks the grid.
Grisception and obfuscation techniques
Since the cost of generating an entropy grid is essentially zero, users can generate dozens (or even hundreds) of individually numbered grids and choose their preferred grid among a considerable amount of “noise”. You can choose to store it in Imagine there are 100 unique and individually numbered entropy grids, and only the user knows which grid may have been used to generate the Border Wallet.
In fact, there’s no reason users can’t generate multiple patterns (or even multiple entropy grids) to create a multisig wallet they can carry around in their heads. Deterministic grids also unlock the ability to introduce multi-grid solutions where the primary entropy grid is encoded within other entropy grids. This is called gridception.
To do this, the user generates a grid, creates a 12-word pattern and applies it to the grid. Then take those 12 words and enter them into the “Regenerate Grid” tab within EGG to generate a second grid. You can repeat this to create an infinite number of new grids.
For digitally stored entropy grids (i.e. personal computers, USB sticks, or secure online cloud storage), EGG allows users to encrypt and decrypt entropy grids natively all within the tool’s interface. There are options for Once the user has created a secure password, drag and drop the entropy grid onto the encryption tool to create an encrypted .json file that can be stored more securely in digital format. To decrypt, the .json file is imported into the tool and unlocked with the same secure password.
Handle seed word randomization
For the “maximum” entropy grid, which uses a truly cosmic 19,580 bits of entropy, EGG uses the Fisher-Yates shuffle algorithm and browser’s Employ a cryptographically strong pseudo-random number generator. Seed word.
An option to reproduce a deterministic entropy grid using 12 words created with 128 bits of entropy uses Gibson Research Corporation’s ultra-high entropy pseudo-random number generator.
Applications after Bitcoin
For Bitcoin, Border Wallet and Entropy Grid offer new applications and solutions for bitcoin cold storage and transportation, legacy planning, gifts, third-party custody assistance, and most obviously border crossings.
But looking beyond Bitcoin, I envision the idea being applicable to other decentralized protocols where seedwords are used to back up user accounts, namely Nostr, Web5, and other decentralized identifier type systems. increase.
This is a guest post by Wartime Microchad. Opinions expressed are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect those of his BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
Border Wallet Helps Users Remember Bitcoin Seed Phrases – Bitcoin Magazine
Source link Border Wallet Helps Users Remember Bitcoin Seed Phrases – Bitcoin Magazine