What a year for AirGap! 2021 in a nutshell
The year 2021 has proven to be a watershed moment in the history of crypto. Following Bitcoin’s new all-time high, technologies such as NFTs and the Metaverse have gained widespread attention, and blockchain adoption and use-cases have increased. All of this in just 365 days. The crypto industry is a fast-moving industry, and our team is keeping up the pace at every turn. Although things are moving quickly, we wanted to take some time to reflect on what has been achieved in 2021, share it with our community, and discuss what lies ahead for AirGap in 2022.
Before we proceed, we want to wish you and your loved ones a happy and fruitful year in 2022.
Security, dig your heels in.
Projects will come and quickly become obsolete, but one underlying thing that should be important to you no matter what tech comes out in crypto is the security of your assets and funds. We understand this at AirGap. That’s why our primary goal is security, and we are constantly evolving and bringing the best security features to you.
Here are some security features we introduced in 2021:
- Entropy collection with dice rolls and coin flips: Most wallets use the random number generator (RNG) on your device to generate the entropy needed to create your seed phrase. This gives room for RNG failure, thereby making your wallet vulnerable to hackers. We introduced this feature to help you generate secure entropy by yourself using dice rolls and coin flips.
- BIP-39 Passphrase: BIP-39 passphrase is an advanced security feature that allows you to create a new account by adding a set of words or characters to your 24-word seed phrase. This functionality is also known as plausible deniability. It helps you create a “hidden” wallet without anybody knowing it exists.
- Improved secret importation: Some device keyboards do spelling checks and send everything you enter to a server, which is very bad security-wise. We replaced the regular device keyboard with our virtual keyboard that uses no external dependency.
- Support for BIP-85: BIP-85 offers solutions to the challenges of having way too many seeds or mnemonics and needing to back them all up securely. It defines a way to derive new mnemonics from a master mnemonic. The benefit will be that you have one mnemonic that you back-up, and then generate new multiple mnemonics out of it (for different wallets). Without BIP85, you might end up with dozens of different mnemonics that all need to be backed up.
- Improved usability of social recovery: Social recovery is a feature that introduces the concept of guardians. These guardians are a trusted group of people who can help the owner of a wallet recover a lost or forgotten seed phrase.
Though security is our main concern, we did a lot of hard work on usability, integration, and interoperability of AirGap with other solutions. Here are some of the things we did in that regard in 2021.
- Integration of QuipuSwap: QuipuSwap is a decentralized exchange for Tezos based tokens (FA2 and FA1.2). You can perform an in-app swap for Tezos based tokens within AirGap.
- Integration of generic Tezos (FA1.2/FA2) tokens: Just as we have ERC20 tokens on Ethereum, on Tezos, we have FA1.2 and FA2 tokens. We added support for auto importation of any of these tokens to AirGap.
- Integration of Bitcoin SegWit: SegWit is a more scalable version of the legacy Bitcoin addresses. Cheaper and faster bitcoin transactions in AirGap.
- Integration of shielded Tezos(Testnet): Shielded Tezos, used to perform sapling or shielded transactions, was integrated into AirGap to foster privacy-preserving transactions.
- Integration of Moonriver: We integrated MOVR and added support for staking.
- Support for tezos based NFTs: Our users can now view and manage tezos based collectibles within AirGap. Thanks to the team at objkt.com that made this implementation possible.
- Web version of AirGap Wallet: We released a web-based version of the wallet with the self-same functionality and UI. The web version of the wallet brings more flexibility. Our users can now download only the vault and use it in conjunction with the web wallet without downloading the mobile wallet.
- Support for WalletConnect: With this functionality, you can connect AirGap to Ethereum Dapps. You can also connect AirGap to MyEtherWallet and myCrypto.com to manage Ethereum based NFTs and any ERC20 token.
We have some other notable integrations and changes that were made, such as support for PSBTs, or “Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions” (BIP-174), the interoperability of AirGap Vault with Sparrow, and BlueWallet, and other bugs fixes and UI improvements.
We will continue to develop AirGap and bring new features.
Our focus is and always will be security. But we also want to make this security accessible with a good UI and the latest features. Over the next 12 months, we have a couple of updates planned. Please note that this list is not exhaustive as we are a team that gives room for innovation.
- AirGap Vault with MetaMask: To give our users more options with AirGap Vault, we’ll release a new version of the Vault that works with MetaMask. We created a beta release here, and you could try it following this guide.
- AirGap Vault with Bitcoin watch-only wallets: To provide users with more control over their BTC, we will add the functionality to use AirGap Vault with various bitcoin wallets like Sparrow, or BlueWallet. This feature is currently in public beta, with a final release planned soon.
- Pair AirGap Vault with other Tezos wallets: To give our users more choices regarding what kind of wallet they use, we are proposing an offline signing standard to allow QR based signers (like AirGap Vault) to connect to other Tezos wallets. There is a draft available, we hope that we can finalize this draft soon and help other wallets integrate it.
- Extended transaction details in the Vault: Being able to see what you sign is one of the most important security features. The Vault has a huge advantage in this regard compared to other hardware wallets because of the screen size. We are planning to improve the way transactions, specifically, contract calls, are displayed in the Vault so the user can more easily verify if the contract call he is signing does what it is supposed to.
There are some optional improvements we are considering. We are looking into the possibility of adding the new SSKR standard (industry standard) to replace our current Social Recovery implementation. We will also monitor the success of SeedXOR, which is a novel way of splitting up your mnemonic for added security, and further, look into improving our Bitcoin support by adding Taproot and Multisig.