Not your keys, not your crypto. We have all heard it before, and considering Ledger’s recent “Recovery” feature for the Ledger Nano X, which exposed the company’s ability to gain access to a user’s mnemonic phrase even if it was stored completely offline, cryptocurrency investors are scrambling for a cold wallet solution that guarantees security.
Crypto startup Keyp, a company focused on ensuring the transparency, safety, and accessibility of Web3, has reached a breakthrough using assembly languages—low-level programming languages that provide direct control over the hardware components of a computer system—to create the Game Wallet, one of the most innovative and creative cold storage solutions in existence.
Keyp founders Sascha Mombarts (Chief Design Officer) and Joseph Schiarizzi (CEO) discovered a way to integrate the SHA-256 hashing algorithm based on BIP-39 with the GBAssembly language to generate crypto seed phrases on Game Boy Color game cartridges, enabling the usage of old Nintendo Game Boys as non-custodial crypto cold wallets.
Keyp’s mission is to improve the connection between Web3 apps and users, prioritizing decentralization and user control over digital assets. Their technology empowers developers to create Web3 apps with familiar logins and non-custodial wallets, while game studios can establish marketplaces for trading items across different MMOs.
By enhancing the Web3 onboarding experience, Keyp aims to make Web3 accessible to users and developers. Keyp technology is open-source and completely agnostic, making it compatible and interoperable with any EVM chain.
In a Seed round, Keyp secured $2 million in funding from investors, including Skycatcher, Lemniscap, Lionschain Capital, W3b.vc, and GitHub co-founder Tom Preston-Werner. Keyp also received support from investment DAOs like Bufficorn Ventures and The LAO.
Why Game Wallet is so Important
Current cold storage hardware solutions are made from an international supply chain with many manufacturers and assemblage across varying regions. This process cannot be trusted.
The Game Wallet eliminates the trustless supply chain aspect of cold wallet manufacturing. It does this by leveraging existing Game Boys as cold storage hardware that cannot be exploited and features no vulnerabilities because it predates the creation of cryptocurrency and has never been connected to the internet. Game Wallet enables pure offline storage and will never require any firmware updates.
How SHA-256 and BIP-39 Function Together
SHA-256 is a special computer algorithm that helps secure digital information. It takes any message, like a text or a file, and turns it into a unique fingerprint, called a hash output. This hash output functions as a digital seal to preserve data integrity and ensure it’s not compromised. SHA-256 is widely used in blockchain technology.
BIP-39, also known as Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 39, is a standard that provides a deterministic and secure way to create a seed phrase for securing the private keys of crypto wallets. This phrase comprises a sequence of random words unique to every wallet.
BIP-39 works together with SHA-256 to generate seed phrases in a process that goes like this:
- First, BIP-39 generates a random sequence of numbers called entropy. Think of it as the starting point for creating the seed phrase. The length of this sequence determines how strong and secure a seed phrase will be.
- Next, BIP-39 adds an extra piece of information to the entropy known as a checksum. A checksum helps detect any errors that might occur and is created by taking a small part of the entropy and using it as a hash output.
- The entropy and checksum are combined to form a long binary string. This string is divided into groups of bits—binary digits representing the smallest amount of data a computer can store or manipulate—and each group is matched with a specific word from a list. These words together make up the mnemonic seed phrase (a sequence of words used as a memory aid to help recall and recover critical information).
- Finally, the seed phrase goes through another process called seed generation. This step produces a unique cryptographic seed, a long sequence of numbers that will be used to create the private and public keys for a crypto wallet.
The GBAssembly Language Explained
The GBAssembly language is the assembly language used for programming the Game Boy. GBAssembly is specific to Game Boy architecture and allows developers to write code that the console’s processor can directly execute.
It provides mnemonics and syntax corresponding to the processor’s instruction set, allowing programmers to manipulate registers, perform arithmetic operations, control memory, and interact with various hardware components of the Game Boy.
The Game Wallet Video Game and Seed Phrase Generation
Using GBAssembly, developers can write code at a very granular level, accessing the console’s graphics, sound, input controls, and other functionalities.
This level of control enables the creation of games and applications that fully utilize the capabilities of the Game Boy hardware. This is precisely what Keyp did with the Game Wallet cartridge, creating not only a new hardware storage solution but also an entirely new Game Wallet video game.
Users must play the game to generate their seed phrase, which, once created, will be stored, secured, and managed on Game Wallet cartridges. These cartridges will be interchangeable with several GameBoy models.
The video game is an RPG inspired by Pokemon Red, where players must complete quests and tasks to generate the words that will make up their seed phrase. The words will be randomly generated based on a player’s reactions to quests and their strategies for completing them.
Everything from the in-game routes a player travels to their button inputs will be considered when creating their seed phrase, making them utterly unique to that player.
Essentially, by interacting with the game world—having conversations with NPCs, exploring, and completing quests or in-game tasks—players will be awarded randomly generated words that comprise the seed phrase used to secure the private keys of their cold storage crypto wallets. The Game Wallet RPG will be educational and feature ways that users can learn about cryptocurrency and cryptography.
Game Wallet has an exciting future, with an easy adoption process that appeals to those with old GameBoys lying around collecting dust. Keyp plans to launch the cartridge product as early as this summer, and you can already sign up for their whitelist.
Keyp has big plans for the Game Wallet, including features like pre-signing user transactions, Discord wallet sign-ins, and a complete DApp ecosystem to enhance the user experience. If you’re intrigued by this groundbreaking project, be sure to join the Game Wallet Discord or follow them on Twitter for all the latest updates!