Cryptocurrency password storage has been problematic for quite some time, with many stories of hacked accounts and forgotten seeds. Despite all warnings, people still fail to adhere to basic security standards like acquiring a hard wallet such as the ledger. A blockchain biotech firm, Carverr, is now offering password storage in DNA for USD 1,000.
Carverr DNA password storage
As futuristic as it sounds, 28 people have already signed up, according to Carverr CEO and co-founder Vishaal Bhuyan. According to Bhuyan, though there is little competition right now, DNA password storage for cryptocurrency is going to take off in the near future, and many other firms are talking about it. Carverr asserts that 30% of bitcoin wallet keys are lost at some point.
And it does make sense, despite a hefty USD 1,000 fee. Tying a cryptocurrency password towards DNA represents the ultimate form of security, as it is a tangible item that will never go out of fashion, compared to many software solutions. According to Bhuyan –
“DNA is the only thing that won’t become obsolete. So the way I look at it, this is a trust or 401(K) that you can allocate some of your assets to and keep for a very, very long period of time.”
A questionable model?
It sounds very exciting, but the process seems quite insecure as a method of password storage. Users are interacting with a third party, giving them the private key. Even encrypted on a secure connection, this is a dangerous thing to do.
After Carverr receives the key file, it is converted from binary into DNA language consisting of A, T, C, and G. Using a proprietary algorithm, Carverr will then manufacturer a synthetic strand of DNA, which is sent back to the customer for storage in a freezer. By sending the DNA back to Carverr, the key can be retrieved.
With the DNA password storage model, the key is taken off the internet and kept in physical possession. But this can already be done with a hardware wallet, which has been tried and tested, without having to involve a third party. Carverr does not seem to claim any advantage over this system, other than the fact that it may one day become obsolete.
It’s hard to see why the key is not merely printed off and kept securely as opposed to being sent to Carverr for a synthetic DNA encoding process when the user can simply manually encrypt his or her key file. It seems to be nothing more than an encryption model with a fancy DNA buzzword attached, with no discernible advantages and a USD 1,000 price tag.
However, it does have a use case for long-term storage for large amounts of cryptocurrency funds. DNA storage will likely be the future of password storage, but the price benefits right now are questionable.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.