Hitachi Research and Development, the R&D wing of Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachi, has partnered with Concordium Foundation, creators of the Concordium (CCD) blockchain, to develop a Web3 wallet featuring biometric electronic signatures.
The duo is working to remove one of the long-standing roadblocks that have been preventing the mass adoption of crypto.
Concordium’s New Biometric Wallet Will Not Require Users To Safekeep or Remember Their Seed Phrases
Representatives of the Swiss-based Layer-1 blockchain said the new wallet will allow users to generate a set of seed words using their biometric ID, such as fingerprints or facial scans.
The wallet will not require users to store the phrases in a safe location or remember them. Instead, they can reimport their wallet information by simply undergoing another biometric scan.
The wallet will utilize Hitachi’s Public Biometric Infrastructure (PBI) and Concordium network’s self-sovereign identity framework to create user accounts based on their biometrics.
The Hitachi PBI is a novel public key authentication protocol that combines biometric authentication with Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) digital signature technology. The protocol by itself does not store any biometric data, thereby mitigating risks related to information leaks.
The revolutionary crypto wallet seeks to leverage Concordium’s zero-knowledge proof (ZK-proof) and self-sovereign identity frameworks, which when integrated into smartphones and other mobile devices can provide heightened identification capabilities validated by a third party.
This approach allows the wallet’s users to interact with various web-based applications without having to compromise their sensitive data. The system also ensures that the user is the sole owner of their identity and personal information.
Concordium and Hitachi Aim to Revolutionalize the User Experience of Crypto Wallets
Hitachi and Concordium’s proof-of-concept initiative will explore the feasibility of generating a seed phrase for the wallet through a biometric process initiated by PBI. This ensures that the phrases are neither stored nor managed by users when they restore their wallets.
Eliminating the need to memorize or store the seed phrase enhances the wallet’s convenience to users and also reduces the risk of them losing access to their funds or personal information.
This verification procedure helps prevent malicious activity, such as hacks and rug pulls, from taking place on the blockchain. It also preserves the users’ access to their IDs.
Users can unlock the new wallet either by regenerating the seed phrases via a biometric scan or by decrypting a copy of their seed words using a private key derived from the scan. Either way, a bad actor won’t be able to access any Concordium account without first getting hold of the user’s face or fingerprint.
Under the circumstances that the user loses their device, they can still import their Concordium wallet into a new smartphone by simply undergoing another biometric scan. During this process, a new set of seed words is generated, making the old phrases unusable.
Most crypto wallets require users to store seed words as a backup in case their device stops functioning or gets lost. If they lose their backup seed phrase, they essentially lose access to their account and any funds held within.
Eliminating having to remember the seed words or the risk of them being lost or stolen would widely improve users’ convenience and security while accessing their wallets.
Dr. Kenta Takahashi, a lead researcher at Hitachi commented that PBI has already been in use for user verification when performing bank transactions and cashless payments mainly due to its high security and convenience.
He hopes that by integrating PBI into the Concordium wallet, “secure and convenient self-sovereign identity, the foundation of trust within Web3, and management of crypto assets and NFTs” can be realized based on the user’s biometric information.