Say Goodbye to Seed Phrase Management with Obvious and Silence Labs

Obvious Technology
Obvious
Published in
3 min readNov 14, 2022

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Obvious x Silence Laboratories

Team Obvious is thrilled to announce a new way to backup your seed phrase that is more secure and is the future of seed phrase management. Recently, we announced a partnership with Silence Laboratories, to leverage secure multi-party computation that enables MPC-based seed-phrase management wallet backup of your Obvious wallet.

Today, in this blog, we’ll explain in laymen-friendly terms how it works and what cryptographic techniques we’re leveraging to make your wallet backup more secure. Let’s have a look!

How does it work?

Silence Labs have built a product called Silent Shard — an MPC-based cyber-physical proof leveraging threshold signatures for much usable, secure, and truly decentralized support for digital wallets, exchanges, and institutional asset enterprises.

To understand the working, let’s first understand the concept of multi-party computation. Multi-party computation is a simple cryptographic scheme that involves multiple participants. If a single set of seed phrases is split into shares and distributed amongst participants in an MPC protocol, each participant only knows the share in their possession and must do some collective computational work with each, using their share.

Leveraging its threshold multi-party computation scheme, Obvious wallet splits the user’s seed phrase into three shards with a threshold of 2 out of 3 to reconstruct the seed phrase from the shards.

Once the seed phrase is split into shards, the wallet prompts the user to store one shard in an encrypted folder in the user’s GDrive (for Android users) or iCloud (for iOS users), in this instance, while allowing users to manually store the second shard of the key as they want. The third and final shard is automatically stored on a secure and deeply encrypted Obvious’ server.

The Silent sharding ensures that a seed phrase cannot be reconstructed with just one part of it, hence ensuring it’s never compromised.

To help visualize it better, here are the steps involved:

  1. The seed phrase is split up into three shards with a threshold of 2/3 shards for reconstructing the seed phrase using Silent Shard technology.
  2. One shard is stored locally on the user’s GDrive/iCloud store, another one is stored manually by the user, and the last shard is stored on Obvious’s secure servers. (2nd shard can be shared with friends/family for social recovery)
  3. None of the parties involved or in possession of a shard can reconstruct the seed phrase by themselves without having access to other shards as well.
  4. Threshold cryptography ensures that even if up to one shard is compromised, users’ funds will be safe since the threshold is set for at least two out of three shards to reconstruct the seed phrase.

FAQs:

  1. How to recover your seed phrase in case you lose access to one of the shards?

Since it requires two out of three shards to reconstruct the seed phrase, even if you lose access to one of the shards, you can easily recover your wallet through the Obvious app by reconstructing the seed phrase by utilizing the rest of the two shards.

2. What happens in case of a device change/loss?

Since two of three shards are not stored on your local device, you can easily recover your wallet even if you lose your device.

3. How is it better to split up the seed phrase into shards than simply storing the complete seed phrase?

Splitting up the seed phrase into multiple shards ensures that your wallet remains safe even if you lose a shard to a malicious actor. Whereas losing the complete seed phrase can compromise all your wallets associated with that seed phrase, at one time. More about the Silent Shard product can be found here.

About Silence Laboratories

Silence Laboratories offers SaaS and hybrid solutions for Threshold Signatures and secure authorization schemes. Our developer-friendly libraries help custodians, wallets, and asset management companies alike. We’ve recently raised a seed round of $1.7M from leading deep-tech VC firms and Web3 angels, more of which can be found here.

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About Obvious

Obvious is a self-custody wallet that brings together assets across EVM & non-EVM chains and powers your cross-chain transactions by giving you safe, fast, and affordable bridging & swapping routes within the app.

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Obvious Technology
Obvious

Obvious empowers you to break the shackles of isolated chain ecosystems and experience the interoperable web3 world.