Argent — Secure, Simple and Seedless

A new model for decentralised wallet recovery

Itamar Lesuisse
Sep 4, 2018 · 4 min read

We founded Argent to radically simplify how you access the decentralised web. We started by tackling the problems with holding and using cryptocurrencies. One problem is particularly significant: the fact you have to risk everything on a piece of paper with 24 words on it — your seed.

Seed phrases are an anachronism. Writing them out simply doesn’t make sense for what’s supposed to be the next era of your digital life. We’ve been telling people for years to stop writing their passwords on post-it notes and spreadsheets. Crypto shouldn’t be any different.

Yes, there is an alternative — trusting centralised custodians — but they defeat the point of the decentralised web and they’re security risks.

We were convinced there must be a better way and now there is:

Argent has made it possible to recover a wallet without seed phrases and without centralisation.

How? Argent Guardians.

No phone. No seed. No problem.

The solution — Argent Guardians — is to use the people or devices you already trust. You give them limited permission to help with specific tasks (such as approving a recovery). And these tasks are predefined in a smart contract. You’re always in control and can easily add or remove a Guardian at any time.

It’s all as easy as a few taps of our app.

Here’s some background on the Argent wallet to help place Guardians in context. It’s followed by a quick overview of how they work.

Argent — the secure and simple smart contract wallet

The Argent app acts like a remote control to your account. (In technical terms your phone holds an Externally Owned Account that controls a Contract Account on the Ethereum network).

Why is our approach significant?

  • Second, your phone controls who can interact with the smart contract that holds your funds. Not Argent, not anybody else.
  • Third, Guardians are defined at the smart contract level. As mentioned earlier, this means that you control them — not Argent.

Argent Guardians — you’re in control

  1. People (e.g. friends or family with the Argent App)
  2. Devices (e.g. hardware wallets of your choice)
  3. Third party services (e.g. the Argent Guardian Service, using two factor authentication; or, in the future, a network of third party KYC providers)

You can have as many Guardians as you want, in whatever combination you want. You can add or remove them at the tap of a button on your app.

Cryptocurrency expert that doesn’t trust anyone? Make hardware wallets your Guardians. Newcomer to the field? Use friends or family you trust.

Guardians in action: how to recover a lost wallet

The process is as simple as:

  1. Downloading the Argent app on your new phone
  2. Entering your Argent username (e.g. yourname.argentx.eth — we give ENS addresses to every user, for free)
  3. Contacting your Guardians, who open their app and tap Recover
  4. Done!

For extra security, ownership is only transferred after 36 hours. During those 36 hours you can ask Guardians to cancel the recovery process (for instance if you find your phone).

Guardians — a breakthrough for crypto usability and security

P.S. We want this to be a cross-wallet standard and will be working on an EIP so that other projects can benefit from it and help us make crypto safer and simpler for everyone.

We’re starting our Beta in October. Follow us on Twitter to be the first to join us.


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