Succession Spotlight Series - Vault12 Guard
Q&A with Wasim Ahmad
Welcome to our Succession Spotlight Series, where we will be taking a deep dive with guests to explore solutions, issues and services for those holding decentralised assests.
In our first instalment I have the pleasure of introducing Wasim Ahmad of Vault12 Guard.
I met Wasim last year at NFT_NYC London, where we discussed all things Web3 Inheritance.
We caught up earlier this month in New York at NFT_NYC where Wasim told me more about the exciting relaunch of Vault12 Guard in this Q&A:
What is Vault12 Guard?
Vault12 Guard is a security, inheritance, and self-custody backup app that enables you to safely store your web3 wallet seed phrases, private keys, NFT media, and digital art inside a digital Vault. All your assets are encrypted and split and sent to “Guardians” that you choose for safekeeping. When you need them or when the need for inheritance arises, Guardians are able to release the pieces of encrypted assets, so they can be recombined and accessed.
Our app is designed for ordinary consumers who have purchased crypto and NFTs from a variety of exchanges and marketplaces across any blockchain and on any phone (iOS and Android).
What is your role at Vault12?
As in all startups, everyone wears multiple hats - I led our fundraising efforts and subsequently have focused on expanding our customer base to a robust 60,000+ clients.
What can be stored with Vault12 Guard?
Basically, your Vault can store any digital asset or file; typically, people are storing seed phrases, private keys, backing up their web3 wallets (with their NFTs) and also the digital media associated.
How is Vault12 Guard helping to secure access to Web3 Assets?
All web3 assets are tied to the blockchain and, therefore to web3 wallets which are the interface to those assets. These wallets are protected via private keys, and seed phrases and Vault12 Guard backs those up in a digital Vault, ensuring that whenever you change web3 wallets, lose them, or forget the seed phrase you have a way to access those assets using what is stored in the Vault.
How is Vault12 Guard ensuring this is still the case when the asset holder dies?
The biggest problem with corralling web3 assets for inheritance is keeping track of them - across every exchange, every blockchain, every marketplace, every gallery. There’s no one place to go to access all of your assets. This is where Vault12 Guard comes in; by routinely backing up every web3 wallet, you always have an accurate inventory of all the assets - so when the time comes for an inheritance, the entire Vault can be passed directly to a named individual. This person can then work with lawyers, executors etc… to get the assets to the rightful heir.
For the hardcore tech fans:
Which Wallets do Vault12 Guard support?
No restrictions - all wallets are supported - we are not constrained by wallet integrations or blockchains.
What blockchains does Vault12 Guard operate on?
Vault12 Guard is not tied to any one particular blockchain - assets from anywhere can be stored and retrieved.
How will Vault12 Guard play with Smart Wallets ERC 4337?
First, let’s cover the common ground: ERC 4337 Account Abstraction has come about because the management of web3 accounts via private keys and seed phrases is cumbersome. While it has worked for OG crypto gurus it really doesn’t scale to where we all believe adoption will go - for everyone. So Smart Wallets rely on smart contracts to handle the nitty-gritty of account/key management and enable things like social recovery - the ability to recover wallet assets via a network of designated individuals - just like Vault12 Guard does with Guardians. Instead of using multi-signatures, Vault12 Guard uses an enhanced form of Shamir’s Secret Sharing designed to be simple for a non-technical customer.
The difference comes in the technical implementation — ERC 4337 is bound to the Ethereum blockchain. You don’t have to trust seed phrases and private keys - but you have to trust a smart contract running on a specific blockchain. Given that many popular web3 assets do not in fact reside on Ethereum blockchain, this presents a problem — it’s a great idea, but it is not going to work for everyone, everywhere, all the time.
Vaut12 Guard was designed specifically to be distributed, decentralized, and peer-to-peer and be independent of the underlying blockchain, cryptocurrency, and device. So we love the idea of ERC 4337, and our implementation of solving the same problem is far more wide-reaching.
Planning to pass on decentralised assets is key, and anyone looking for more information about Vault12 Guard can find out more at https://vault12.com/
Disclaimer: Guests, products and services featured in the Succession Spotlight Series are not endorsed or recommended by Crypto Succession Hub and the series does not represent any advertising of or association with any products or services. As ever, do your own research.