This is an opinion editorial by Wartime Microchad, a factor for Bitcoin Magazine.IntroductionSince the intro of Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 39, Bitcoiners have had the alternative to memorize the info necessary to recover bitcoin funds stored on-chain by utilizing plain text words. Memorizing– and then dependably remembering at a later date– 12 or 24 unrelated, noncontiguous words isnt simple, which implies that many people produce and save physical backups of those words rather of devoting them to memory.While this well-established method is great for those who are confident in their physical security setup, it can be a big difficulty for others, e.g., people with no fixed residence; those who require to travel or who live in areas of conflict/war zones; or those living in other settings where storage of physical seed phrases may be subject to security, confiscation, loss or damage risks.An example of how someone just recently had their bitcoin seed words taken from their home.Running The NumbersTo put the scale of this issue into some context: According to the United Nations refugee company UNHCR, by the end of 2021, 89.3 million people had been by force displaced worldwide. For a large number of these people fleeing their homes, they would have had the ability to take little bit more than the clothing on their back and whatever personal belongings they could bring. The transport of any wealth together with individual possessions may have been an impossible difficulty, and fraught with risks.According to the Nomad Embassy, almost 5 million Americans identify as digital nomads and another 17 million strive for this way of life. Thats 6.5% of the U.S. population who either presently or want to live a roving lifestyle. Regular border crossings and life in rented accommodation can make it difficult to safeguard personal keys.An approximated 35% of Americans rent their accommodation, and house-sharing is on the increase as own a home collapses, especially amongst younger generations. It is not unusual for personal possessions to disappear in shared accommodation.So we wanted to create a way for Bitcoiners who face these problems to more easily and reliably transport their bitcoin across borders. We named the service Border Wallets.Patterns Versus WordsImagine having five seconds to remember either (A) or (B) from the options below.Which one is most convenient and more than likely to be remembered after a few days?The Science (™)Some previously performed research studies have shown that we are even more capable of recalling patterns versus words after extended amounts of time.After being revealed a random collection of words and shapes, participants had much higher levels of recall for shapes than words.Being able to acknowledge shapes more easily than words substantiates anecdotally too– we tend to bear in mind faces more quickly than names (that makes sense, considered that our vision and facial acknowledgment capabilities precede our use of language). This phenomenon is called the “photo superiority result.”The Litmus TestLets see if this works.In the spaces offered, attempt recalling the missing words and the missing out on pattern from the example we showed above. No cheating!How did you do?Memorization Using Border Wallets And Entropy GridsBorder Wallets supply a technique for remembering seed expressions using 3 components: Entropy Grid: A randomized grid of all 2048 seed words.Pattern: User-generated pattern(s) or cell coordinates.Final Word “Number”: The last (checksum) seed word.Combined, these 3 components comprise your Border Wallet.The Entropy Grid GeneratorUsing our offline, browser-based entropy grid generator (EGG), users can generate their own entropically-secured, randomized grid of all 2048 BIP39-compliant seed words, and then use a remarkable pattern or set of cell collaborates to it– which just they understand– in order to create a wallet.While the EGG is browser-based, it is created to work offline on an air-gapped PC, Mac or Linux device (or even utilizing Tails) and runs locally in the internet browser. To utilize it, users download it, move it to the machine of their choice and start producing entropy grids.An example of a remarkable, 23-cell pattern used to an entropy grid to create a Border Wallet. The 24th/ final word (the “checksum”) or last word number can be computed natively within the EGG.As each special entropy grid consists of a total list of all BIP39 seed words in randomized format, and the users patterns exist only in their heads, users will save their entropy grid (or its healing expression) physically or digitally. Considering that entropy grids comprise all 2048 Bitcoin seed words in a random format, any wicked house maid attacks are faced with an upward trouble modification that is considerably higher than if plain text seed expression backups were discovered. You can believe of it as a firewall program between your seed words and any prospective attackers.Other FeaturesFinal Word Calculator And Final Word “Number”The EGG permits users to import the appropriate 11 or 23 words from their entropy grid in order to determine the last checksum word. In addition to the users pattern, the checksum is the only thing that must be memorized.However, in order to make this even easier, the EGG consists of a distinct “last word number” function. With this, rather of needing to keep in mind the word “pair,” users can just keep in mind the number “5”– they could even document this number on their entropy grid considering that, by itself, it is worthless and offers no hints about the last word without the other words being known.Users may also alter the final word number to something more significant to them, although this likewise changes the last word itself. Therefore, if users do change the number, the new checksum revealed need to be used to establish your Border Wallet. We do not recommend users to change the number (since it is created with entropy by the tool), but the choice is there if desired.The EGGs “last word” feature provides automated estimation of the checksum. This checksum, or its associated “last word number”– a special feature within the tool– is the only word that should be remembered to recreate the Border Wallet.Deterministic Grid RegenerationWhen creating an entropy grid, the EGG provides the option to select deterministic entropy. By using 128 little bits of entropy in the creation of these grids, we have the ability to at the same time generate 12-word recovery expressions that provide a plain text backup. Healing phrases are instantly contributed to the bottom of deterministic entropy grids during generation.An example of a 12-word grid healing phrase provided when you produce a deterministic entropy grid. This provides the alternative to conserve entropy grids in plain text format. It acts and looks like a typical Bitcoin wallet and for that reason might be used as a decoy/canary. The arrangement of a 12-word healing expression may initially look seem counterproductive to the idea of Border Wallets– after all, we are giving users the ability to remember seed words, not discover brand-new ways of composing new ones down! However, some users might discover worth in having the option to make digital or handwritten copies of regeneration words in some circumstances: for example, if they want to keep a copy of an entropy grid with a 3rd party (brother or sister, moms and dad, kid, and so on) for safekeeping.Since all 12-word recovery expressions stand BIP39 mnemonic phrases, this gives additional options for releasing decoy funds on the resulting wallet or just to have nothing at all on them. In the latter case, an attacker might invest money and resources attempting to brute force a passphrase on a seed expression that appears like it needs to have funds, however which just opens an entropy grid.Gridception And The Art Of ObfuscationAs there is essentially absolutely no cost for producing entropy grids, users may pick to generate dozens (and even hundreds) of separately numbered grids, keeping their preferred grid amongst substantial “noise.” Picture having 100 unique and separately numbered entropy grids, the user being the only individual who knows which grid(s) may have been used to generate the Border Wallet.Gridception provides users the capability to utilize words from one Entropy Grid to produce new grids – drastically increasing attack difficulty!In truth, there is no reason that a user can not produce numerous patterns– or perhaps several entropy grids– to produce a multisig wallet that they can carry in their head. Deterministic grids likewise unlock the ability to introduce multigrid solutions whereby a primary entropy grid is encoded within other entropy grids. We call this gridception.To do this, users would produce a grid and after that build a 12-word pattern to use it onto that grid. They then take those 12 words and input them to the “grid regeneration” tab within the EGG, producing a second grid. This can then be duplicated to develop new grids advertisement infinitum.”A dream within a dream. Im satisfied. However in my dream, you play by my guidelines”– Saito, InceptionEncryptionFor entropy grids saved digitally, i.e., on ones desktop computer, USB thumb drive or protected online cloud storage, the EGG features a choice for users to natively secure and decrypt their entropy grids all within the tools user interface. As soon as users have produced a secure password, they drag and drop their entropy grid into the tool for encryption, producing an encrypted.json file that they can then store more safely in digital format. To decrypt, the.json file is imported back into the tool and opened with the exact same safe password.Handling Seed Word RandomizationFor “maximum” entropy grids– which use a really cosmic 19,580-bits of entropy– the EGG employs the Fisher-Yates shuffle algorithm and the browsers cryptographically strong pseudo-random number generator seeded with truly random worths for creating a random permutation of all BIP39 seed words.The choice to recreate deterministic entropy grids utilizing 12 words– created using 128-bits of entropy– uses Gibson Research Corporations ultra-high entropy pseudo-random number generator.Applications For Bitcoin And BeyondFor Bitcoin, Border Wallets and entropy grids provide new applications and solutions for bitcoin cold storage and transportation, legacy planning, gifting, third-party custody help in addition to, the majority of obviously, border crossings.Looking beyond Bitcoin, nevertheless, we imagine the idea applying to other decentralized protocols where seed words are utilized for user account backup, i.e., Nostr, Web5 and other decentralized identifier-type systems.This is a visitor post by Wartime Microchad. Viewpoints expressed are completely their own and do not always show those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
No cheating!How did you do?Memorization Using Border Wallets And Entropy GridsBorder Wallets offer a method for remembering seed expressions utilizing 3 parts: Entropy Grid: A randomized grid of all 2048 seed words.Pattern: User-generated pattern(s) or cell coordinates.Final Word “Number”: The last (checksum) seed word.Combined, these three components comprise your Border Wallet.The Entropy Grid GeneratorUsing our offline, browser-based entropy grid generator (EGG), users can generate their own entropically-secured, randomized grid of all 2048 BIP39-compliant seed words, and then use a remarkable pattern or set of cell collaborates to it– which only they know– in order to create a wallet.While the EGG is browser-based, it is developed to work offline on an air-gapped PC, Mac or Linux device (or even utilizing Tails) and runs locally in the web browser. Recovery expressions are automatically added to the bottom of deterministic entropy grids during generation.An example of a 12-word grid healing phrase supplied when you produce a deterministic entropy grid. Think of having 100 special and individually numbered entropy grids, the user being the only person who knows which grid(s) may have been used to produce the Border Wallet.Gridception uses users the capability to utilize words from one Entropy Grid to create new grids – significantly increasing attack difficulty!In fact, there is no factor why a user can not create multiple patterns– or even multiple entropy grids– to create a multisig wallet that they can carry in their head. Deterministic grids also open the ability to introduce multigrid services whereby a primary entropy grid is encoded within other entropy grids. To decrypt, the.json file is imported back into the tool and unlocked with the very same secure password.Handling Seed Word RandomizationFor “maximum” entropy grids– which utilize a really cosmic 19,580-bits of entropy– the EGG uses the Fisher-Yates shuffle algorithm and the browsers cryptographically strong pseudo-random number generator seeded with genuinely random values for generating a random permutation of all BIP39 seed words.The option to reproduce deterministic entropy grids utilizing 12 words– produced utilizing 128-bits of entropy– utilizes Gibson Research Corporations ultra-high entropy pseudo-random number generator.Applications For Bitcoin And BeyondFor Bitcoin, Border Wallets and entropy grids offer new applications and services for bitcoin cold storage and transport, legacy preparation, gifting, third-party custody support as well as, the majority of undoubtedly, border crossings.Looking beyond Bitcoin, nevertheless, we envisage the idea being appropriate to other decentralized protocols where seed words are utilized for user account backup, i.e., Nostr, Web5 and other decentralized identifier-type systems.This is a visitor post by Wartime Microchad.