Trustology Launches TrustVault; An iPhone Crypto Storage App With Industry Grade Protection


TrustVault, Launched By Trustology, Will Provide Same Security Protection As Banks

One of the biggest issues in the crypto industry has been finding adequate ways to protect exchanges and customer wallets from being infiltrated by bad players in the space. Trustology was founded with the intention of improving security as a collaborative effort between BNY Mellon, RBS, and Barclays. Now, they have released a new crypto vault, controlled entirely by iPhone, that is claiming that it has the same security level as financial institutions.

The change was announced on Wednesday, offering the first version through the Apple UK App Store. For now, users can store Ether, though the group is planning to add support for both Bitcoin and ERC20 tokens in the future. Last year, Trustology managed to complete an $8 million seed round for this effort with the support of both ConsenSys and Two Sigma Ventures.

At first, most people might think that TrustVault is just another phone app for a crypto wallet, but there are many small details that go into it. There are multiple HSMs that work together to verify various processes. The data is stored with secure data centers. CEO and founder of Trustology, Alex Batlin, said that the implementation of this wallet provides the simplicity of using a mobile phone, but the real focus should be on the TrustVault account.

Much like a bank, the customers will need to have their identity verified right away. In the event that the user loses their phone, it is relatively easy to recover the account, considering that the private keys are not directly tied onto the device. This is far from the everyday cold storage solution that consumers are familiar with, considering that those options take about 48 hours to withdraw the funds.

After the user is added, the whole system is relatively automated, and moving funds happens in the blink of an eye. Batlin added that there is a significantly smaller risk of cyber attack with the “person scenario,” though the possibility of a physical attack is more likely. After all, he says, “an individual is just a very slow network connection.”

There have been many blockchain phones that are launching lately, like the Samsung Galaxy S10, HTC EXODUS 1, and Sirin Labs Finney. All of these phones, however, have the option to store keys in one way or another. The S10, for example, has Samsung Knox, along with storage with hardware support, though it is rumored that the goal of this wallet is to eventually be connected with Samsung Pay.

At the moment, TrustVault only is compatible with iPhone, since no other phone is secure enough for the custody service. Trustology is working on allowing the software to be used on Android at the moment, which is expected to be deployed on the Google Pixel 3 phone. Batlin explained that this model features a Titan M chip that offers greater security than the iPhone, and that the “more secure” Android phones will be the only ones with the addition.

Through all of the work, Trustology has worked to implement everything possible into the hardware, testing HSMs, which is the same way that the SWIFT network has been using banks. However, without sacrificing security, the company customized the firmware to meet their needs. As soon as the app is launched, the iPhone enclave creates a cryptographic private key, followed by a bank-level KYC process that is linked directly to the key, but that is not the key that is in charge of the user funds.

The user has to then create a key account with TrustVault, and a private key is made in a “policy file.” At that point, Batlin says that the public address of the user is about the same as a bank account. Along with the minimum viable product (MVP), TrustVault is also being offered to financial institutions as a service to their customers.

Right now, the subscription for the service will cost £4.99 a month for the early MVP.

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