What are folks thoughts on custody? I thought yesterday that I had lost my 12 words for Cardano’s wallet but luckily I found yet another place I had stored them. IMO this is the big fat elephant in the room. How can anyone make a use case for crypto without a way to safely store your assets without the stress of these dame words and phrases that one must keep in a nuclear bunker somewhere? How is my mother at the ripe old age of 83 going to spend her crypto?
Here is a comparison of who manages the private keys:
You yourself or someone else like an exchange or someones child.
An older person who does not (really) understand crypto could use a service like Coinbase. It is the same (sort of risk) like with a bank. You trust them with your ‘money’. An older person could (automatically) get his spending money/crypto on his spending account wich is connected to his phone (or hardware crypto card). And his savings money is in the banks/your saving account.
You could store the recovery phase in one location in a bunker OR you could store it several locations. If one burns down, you still have another location. Or you could split the words (for example) over three locations. To recover you need access to two locations. So 1 may burn down or may try to misuse the words.
Location 1: words 1,2,3,4 & 5,6,7,8
Location 2: words 5,6,7,8 & 9,10,11,12
Location 3: words 1,2,3,4 & 9,10,11,12
So it is ‘protected’ agains a adversary on one location. But not protected when two locations conspire together. So a location could be yourself, a bank, your brother, etc. Also it is wise to think about when someone dies. Who has or can reconstruct the private keys and to they even know that they exist. Maybe put someting in a will/testament.
I think with a Fips compliant hardware module the keys are shredded into 5 pieces and there you need 3 pieces to recontruct the original. So 3 have to conspire to break it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIPS_140-2
Some wallets have 24 words: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptocurrency_wallet