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Meet Safewords – Distributed Backup for Cryptocurrency Keys

On the first day of the three-day event Satoshi’s Vision Conference in Tokyo the creator of a project called Safewords presented a new solution to safeguard cryptocurrency ”passwords”. Safewords is a 2-out-of-3 distributed backup kit for your mnemonic seed words. 

Also read: Zhao Dong Recounts How He Lost 9,000 BTC

Safewords – a 2/3 Distributed Backup Kit for Private Keys

This week the founder and CEO of the company Coin Storage Guru, Brenden Lee introduced his new project ‘Safewords.’ The product is a 2-out-of-3 distributed backup kit for private keys. Lots of cryptocurrency holders have written down 12-24 words for their mnemonic seed on a piece of paper, and then they usually hide the material out of view. Lee has designed a simplified system that enables a way they can safely distribute the mnemonic phrase between two other trusted individuals or two vaults. The system works with any cryptocurrency that uses a 12-24 word backup.

Meet Smartwords the 2/3 Distributed Backup for Cryptocurrency Keys
All the items that come with the Smartwords set.

The Safewords product comes with three cards that holds  ⅔ of a digital currency mnemonic phrase which can be handed out to two trusted individuals like a family member or a personal attorney. The cards also come with three storage envelopes (this particular design was created for the conference) with three numbered tamper evident sticker seals with six unique digits.

Multi-Signature for Your Mnemonic Seed Phrase

Basically, a private key owner fills out the three mnemonic seed card which has 16 available areas to write down ⅔ of the seed phrase on each card. So two of the cards together can unlock the funds, but only one card cannot. The cards also include an area to record the ‘wallet identifier’ and the ‘hardware wallet pin’ if the wallet is a hardware device like Trezor, Ledger or Keepkey.

Meet Smartwords the 2/3 Distributed Backup for Cryptocurrency Keys
A close up of the Smartwords mnemonic phrase cards.

After the cards are filled out the owner of the cryptocurrency then puts them into each individual envelope, and seals it with a tamper evident sticker. Then the user simply keeps one and gives the remaining two cards to trusted individuals. For instance, you could give one to your mother and give the other one to a lawyer. As long as you trust that the two individuals won’t collude together, then basically you have created a multi-signature-type method for storing a seed phrase. If one of them happened to remove the envelope seal then it would be quite evident that the seal was tampered with. Other types of examples of trustworthy people could be your son, accountant, or even two safety deposit vaults.

The Safewords system is pretty straightforward and a unique way to safely store a mnemonic phrase for any cryptocurrency that uses 12-24 word seeds. Lee’s Coin Storage Guru booth was selling the Safewords (special edition Satoshi’s Vision Conference design) for 0.015 BCH ($15 USD).

What do you think of the Safewords product? Let us know in the comments below.   


Images via Coin Storage Guru. 


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Tags in this story
BCH, Bitcoin, bitcoin cash, Brenden Lee, Coin Storage Guru, Cold Storage, Conference, Cryptocurrency, mnemonic phrase, N-Featured, private keys, Review, Safety Deposit, Satoshi's Vision, Seed, Smartwords, Storage, Trusted Individuals, vault
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Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.