According to Venket Naga, the CEO of Serenity Shield — a privacy-preserving decentralized application — many of today’s crypto holders understand the importance of not just protecting and preserving their assets but the ability “to pass them on in case of unexpected events.” In written answers to questions sent by Bitcoin-Trivia.com News, Naga also argued that the much-desired mass adoption of cryptocurrencies cannot be achieved “without a robust estate planning solution.”
‘A Blockchain Problem Requires a Blockchain Solution’
Venket Naga, CEO of privacy-focused decentralized application Serenity Shield, believes that inheritance plans in crypto are important, but also acknowledges that having such a plan comes with risks which include the loss or theft of private keys. The CEO also agreed that in some cases, hardware devices used to store digital assets may become compromised and this could lead to permanent losses.
However, Naga insisted that crypto holders can still overcome the risks associated with having an inheritance plan by choosing a solution which uses smart contracts and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to securely store and transfer keys to an individual’s chosen beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, the Serenity Shield CEO also gave his thoughts on the situation at the crypto storage device maker Ledger, and how the firm’s recent communications sparked a furious user backlash.
Below are Naga’s answers to questions by Bitcoin-Trivia.com News.
Bitcoin-Trivia.com News (BCN): Over the years as many as four million bitcoins are said to have been lost forever. Many of such coins were stored in wallets owned by hodlers who passed away before they could share passwords or give anyone access to these. Although there are ongoing attempts to remind crypto holders about the importance of having an inheritance plan, the number of bitcoins lost in the same manner continues to grow. This may suggest that many crypto investors have not taken heed of the message. In your opinion, is this still the case with many crypto holders and if so what could be the reasons?
Venket Naga (VN): In the early years of cryptocurrency, many token holders had likely not understood the full importance of having an inheritance plan for their digital assets. Crucially, this question reflects the core of our thought process and project execution, especially in the post-pandemic world where recent events have reshaped our lives and our approach to planning for the future. With the significant growth of the crypto market since 2019, reaching a trillion-dollar capitalization, the question of “what if?” has become more prominent. People are starting to realize the importance of protecting and preserving their assets and being able to pass them on in case of unexpected events.
To address this complex situation, a blockchain problem requires a blockchain solution based on fundamental principles such as privacy, security, and self-custody. Without a robust estate planning solution, mass adoption of cryptocurrencies cannot be achieved. The need for inheritance planning is rooted in a universal human value that has been practised for generations. Fundamentally, our history shapes reality, and fuels hope for the future.
BCN: It is logical that some crypto holders may not think of having a contingency plan because the value of their crypto assets is insignificant. For those that do plan, how the private keys are stored is one important factor to carefully consider due to the risks that may be involved. What are these risks and how can crypto holders overcome them?
VN: Firstly, it is important to emphasize the binary nature of private keys and to highlight that preserving sensitive data extends beyond passwords, private keys or finances. It also includes personal items like documents, letters, and cherished family photos.
While the risks associated with storing private keys for crypto assets include loss, theft, and unauthorized access and can result in permanent loss of assets, we must understand that the same risks and consequences can exist for all data types.
To overcome these risks, at Serenity Shield, we developed the StrongBox®️ dapp to ensure data security without storing digital assets or offering a wallet. It offers a blockchain solution to safeguard sensitive information and provide access to confidential data, thus addressing the challenge at hand.
Combining the technical capabilities of cryptography alongside our core principles of privacy, security and self-custody, fundamentally, Serenity Shield is bringing the blockchain and Web3 debate back to its core values: Don’t trust. Verify!
BCN: Your decentralised application is said to use smart contracts and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to securely store and transfer the keys to an individual’s heirs or beneficiaries. Can you tell our readers how this works and why would anyone holding significant amounts of crypto want to use a solution like this?
VN: Serenity Shield ensures robust security measures to protect user data and assets. While I can’t delve into deep details here, our comprehensive white paper provides extensive explanations.
In summary, Serenity Shield employs multiple layers of encryption, including military-grade AES 256, to safeguard your data. This encrypted data is stored within a privacy-by-design smart contract on the layer-1 Secret Network. A viewing key, which allows access to the encrypted data, is issued and then sharded into three separate NFTs [non-fungible tokens]. Each NFT represents a fragment of the multi-encrypted viewing key known only to the user.
The security architecture ensures that the data cannot be retrieved from any single NFT. It’s comparable to finding a broken or partial key in the vast ocean. Moreover, the NFTs are made untraceable on-chain through Prism++ technology by Findora, a layer-1 privacy network.
In essence, Serenity Shield serves as a comprehensive privacy hub, incorporating the expertise of top privacy technology professionals to provide users with the utmost security and confidentiality. Our platform offers users a decentralized inheritance solution, providing convenient access to assets anytime, anywhere, while ensuring secure and seamless transfer of their confidential data or private keys.
BCN: Just like any solution which requires the authorization of two or more parties, there is always the possibility of the so-called collusion attack to restore sensitive information. How can this be prevented?
VN: It is a valid concern we have anticipated and have taken measures to address this proactively. To clarify, in our solution, once the users have minted the three NFTs, each NFT serves a specific purpose:
- One NFT is allocated to the user’s wallet.
- Another NFT is allocated to the user’s chosen nominee (Remains inactive until the smart contract parameters are triggered).
- The remaining NFT is securely stored in one of our randomly designated vaults.
To ensure data recovery, our system only allows it when the user’s NFT or the nominee’s NFT interacts with the NFT stored in one of our vaults through our API. By design, collusion or malicious acts are prevented as neither the user’s NFT nor the nominee’s NFTs can retrieve any information independently. It requires interaction with the NFT stored in the Serenity vault.
Furthermore, our system incorporates multiple verification processes to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the NFTs before allowing them to merge with the vault NFT. These verification processes (calibrated by the user) add an additional layer of security to prevent unauthorized access or tampering.
BCN: Recently the hardware wallet maker Ledger was forced to pause the rollout of its key recovery service following an outcry from users worldwide. In your view, what caused so much user backlash and, in hindsight, what could have been the right approach?
VN: Let me begin by saying that, like many others, we became aware of the Ledger situation due to the public outcry and backlash that entered the mainstream media. Interestingly, we initiated communication with Ledger approximately a year and a half ago, offering collaboration and sharing details on our solution. However, it seems that our proposal may not have been perceived as an important topic or aligned with their roadmap at that time, as they didn’t pursue the matter with us.
From our perspective, Ledger’s current situation, as described in the public domain, may stem from the lack of clarity regarding its data storage structure. This could have raised serious concerns within online communities about the fundamental aspects of privacy and security.
Furthermore, the proliferation of videos on YouTube has exacerbated the uneasiness felt by several Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) regarding privacy issues. The reliability of Ledger’s service has been called into question, and users may think that their communications during this time do not align with the core values of trust and verification upheld by the blockchain community.
At Serenity Shield, we have taken a different approach, which we believe to be the right one. We have implemented a solution that does not shift the problem onto a hardware device or Web2 storage. Additionally, we do not offer a solution that requires another wallet and a new set of seed phrases that would otherwise perpetuate the seed phrase problem. Furthermore, we do not store any user data, thus preserving a user’s privacy and self-custody.
While achieving our objectives takes time, we remain steadfast in our principles. We consistently advocate for inclusive and collaborative policies, positioning ourselves as an aggregator within the blockchain space and actively seeking partnerships with other projects. As mentioned earlier, we had reached out to Ledger in the past for a potential collaboration based on our technology and product offering, but unfortunately, no outcome was reached at that time.
Today, Serenity Shield stands as a pillar upholding the fundamental core values of blockchain, promoting privacy, security, and self-custody. Our ultimate goal is to empower individuals worldwide.
What are your thoughts on this interview? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.