Life and Death: Why Blockchain-Based Inheritance Plans Work in Today’s Web 3.0 by@cyberguyesq

Life and Death: Why Blockchain-Based Inheritance Plans Work in Today’s Web 3.0

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Drew Rossow HackerNoon profile picture

@cyberguyesq
Drew Rossow

Internet and Cybersecurity Attorney | Protecting You Against Social Media Crime #OwnYourData

Back in June, a Web 3.0 platform known as Safe Haven spoke at Agora’s 2021’s Blockchain Congress in Dubai on the importance of blockchain-based inheritance plans. As a practicing attorney, it captivated my attention, as the proprietary blockchain technology the company presented (and actively utilizes) seems to bridge the gap between archaic law and its evolving landscape in today’s digital age. Specifically, as it pertained to wills & estate planning, real estate management, and asset management.

After spending time with Safe Haven for the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to witness and observe the platform in action, taking into consideration the utility for both the legal landscape as well as the everyday consumer.

As both a Digital Inheritance and secure Private Key Backup solution, I believe Safe Haven’s Inheriti platform solves the two biggest problems plaguing our cryptocurrency space today-- creating a digital inheritance and personal backup plans, as well as tailoring each plan to fit your unique circumstances.

As an attorney hopeful to implement this in my own private practice, here’s what I learned during my time spent observing and studying Safe Haven’s technological infrastructure:

#1 - Multi-Wallet Storage

In my conversations with David Kerr, Executive Strategic Change Advisor at Safe Haven, I learned that Inheriti’s multi-wallet storage capabilities allow for private key information and data relating to multiple wallets and exchange accounts to be stored securely.

Currently, the platform allows for storage of up to 500 characters, allowing for seed phrases and passwords for multiple crypto wallets and exchange accounts.

What’s even more exciting is that the platform isn’t just limited to cryptocurrency alone; there are other pragmatic and practical uses for the platform that takes into consideration our everyday lives.

For example, the ability to store secret family recipes, GPS coordinates, bank account details, and so on.

According to Kerr, the company intends to upgrade its Inheriti Vault soon, which will provide for additional [significant] storage capacity. In other words, users will have the ability to protect digital assets of any size, including documents, images, and videos.

#2 - Fully Decentralized Ecosystem

In late 2020, Safe Haven voluntarily contracted the independent security audit firm, Red4Sec, to conduct two separate security audits. Upon completion, both audits revealed and verified that no private key data was stored on any Safe Haven back-end systems.

image
The significance of these audits to consumers is that the system helps to prevent both accidental leaks or malicious hacking attempts. Or better put: you cannot steal something that isn’t there.

Compared to other platforms on the market that I’ve seen, the security audits alone make me believe that Inheriti is truly the only platform-based solution that can rightfully claim its fully decentralized.

#3 - Fragmentation of Data

The platform uses complex cryptography and its own patent-pending protocol, called “Secret Sharing Distribution Protocol” (SSDP), which serves as the heart of Inheriti.

By implementing Samir Secret Sharing (SSS) cryptography in combination with SSDP, Inheriti is able to split private key data into multiple shares for maximum security. It is these shares that are eventually distributed to each beneficiary, using a combination of Safe Haven’s FIDO2 / U2F ‘SafeKey’ Hardware Security Module (HSM) cold-storage devices and blockchain.

#4 - Multi-Layer Storage

As a Web 3.0 platform, Inheriti uses a decentralized data architecture that results in the separate storage of data ‘shares’ across a mixture of storage media (including blockchain and cold-storage) for maximum security.

According to Jurgen Schouppe, Chief Technical Officer, this means the platform is Quantum Computing proof. As secret data ‘shares’ are held on cold storage devices, those ‘shares’ of data cannot be accessed.

In the unlikely event that Quantum Computing is able to decrypt any of the shares held in the blockchain, it would not be possible to gain access to the remaining shares needed because they would be held on separate cold storage key devices.

#5 - Minimizing Chances for Data Breaches

image
As much as we want to avoid using the ‘B’ word, data breaches today are inevitable. By implementing high-level security measures and NSA-approved encryption, Safe Haven works regularly on minimizing the risk of breaches on and in its platform.

Most importantly, the client-based top layer is written in Javascript with built-in security features, such as preventing reading and writing to disc, not allowing access to other browser windows or domains, and any actions not permitted by the browser itself.

All safety devices are protected by pin numbers that are stored using complex SHA-256 hashing algorithms and a maximum pin attempt that prevents brute force and rainbow table attacks.

All private key share data stored on the blockchain or on SafeKeys, is encrypted using the AE256 encryption standard - the first and only publicly accessible cypher approved by the NSA for information classified as “top secret.”

Most recently, Safe Haven is currently undertaking a 24-month Bug-Bounty program with Intigriti - Europe’s number one ethical hacking and bug bounty organization.

#6 - Dead Man Switches and Preventing Fraudulent ‘Share’ Transfers

With multiple fail-safe mechanisms, Inheriti helps protect against premature releases of private key data while you (the owner of the estate) are still alive.

When processed or the data ‘merge’ process is initiated, various ‘Dead Man Switch’ mechanisms will ask you to respond in a set period, using a combination of methods such as platform login or email responses.

Only when no responses are received within the allotted period will a platform release the all important ‘validator share’, so the merge process can commence.

At this point, the required number of beneficiaries must also come together with their respective shares on their separate safety devices, before the shares can be recombined and decrypted, and the private key data revealed.

#7 - Lawyers as a ‘Merge Authority’

From a legal standpoint, lawyers and other legal professionals can also be appointed within the system to help ensure a valid Death Certificate exists before data can be retrieved and (subsequently) transferred.

This is what makes the ‘Separation of Roles’ concept so crucial to the platform’s ongoing viability. Inheriti differentiates the role of a trusted individual (or organization) that initiates the data retrieval ‘merge’ process, or ‘Merge Authority’ from beneficiaries that receive the data.

In other words, a lawyer can be appointed as the Merge Authority who is able to verify that such a valid Death Certificate exists before the process can continue on.

Bottom Line

While Safe Haven’s Inheriti and SafeKey were originally touted for inheritance, exploring how a Plan Manager can access an inheritance plan for purposes of storing information as a digital backup is certainly the next-gen that estate planning and asset management has been waiting for.


Enter the Blockchain Writing Contest

Back in June, a Web 3.0 platform known as Safe Haven spoke at Agora’s 2021’s Blockchain Congress in Dubai on the importance of blockchain-based inheritance plans. As a practicing attorney, it captivated my attention, as the proprietary blockchain technology the company presented (and actively utilizes) seems to bridge the gap between archaic law and its evolving landscape in today’s digital age. Specifically, as it pertained to wills & estate planning, real estate management, and asset management.

After spending time with Safe Haven for the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to witness and observe the platform in action, taking into consideration the utility for both the legal landscape as well as the everyday consumer.

As both a Digital Inheritance and secure Private Key Backup solution, I believe Safe Haven’s Inheriti platform solves the two biggest problems plaguing our cryptocurrency space today-- creating a digital inheritance and personal backup plans, as well as tailoring each plan to fit your unique circumstances.

As an attorney hopeful to implement this in my own private practice, here’s what I learned during my time spent observing and studying Safe Haven’s technological infrastructure:

#1 - Multi-Wallet Storage

In my conversations with David Kerr, Executive Strategic Change Advisor at Safe Haven, I learned that Inheriti’s multi-wallet storage capabilities allow for private key information and data relating to multiple wallets and exchange accounts to be stored securely.

Currently, the platform allows for storage of up to 500 characters, allowing for seed phrases and passwords for multiple crypto wallets and exchange accounts.

What’s even more exciting is that the platform isn’t just limited to cryptocurrency alone; there are other pragmatic and practical uses for the platform that takes into consideration our everyday lives.

For example, the ability to store secret family recipes, GPS coordinates, bank account details, and so on.

According to Kerr, the company intends to upgrade its Inheriti Vault soon, which will provide for additional [significant] storage capacity. In other words, users will have the ability to protect digital assets of any size, including documents, images, and videos.

#2 - Fully Decentralized Ecosystem

In late 2020, Safe Haven voluntarily contracted the independent security audit firm, Red4Sec, to conduct two separate security audits. Upon completion, both audits revealed and verified that no private key data was stored on any Safe Haven back-end systems.

image
The significance of these audits to consumers is that the system helps to prevent both accidental leaks or malicious hacking attempts. Or better put: you cannot steal something that isn’t there.

Compared to other platforms on the market that I’ve seen, the security audits alone make me believe that Inheriti is truly the only platform-based solution that can rightfully claim its fully decentralized.

#3 - Fragmentation of Data

The platform uses complex cryptography and its own patent-pending protocol, called “Secret Sharing Distribution Protocol” (SSDP), which serves as the heart of Inheriti.

By implementing Samir Secret Sharing (SSS) cryptography in combination with SSDP, Inheriti is able to split private key data into multiple shares for maximum security. It is these shares that are eventually distributed to each beneficiary, using a combination of Safe Haven’s FIDO2 / U2F ‘SafeKey’ Hardware Security Module (HSM) cold-storage devices and blockchain.

#4 - Multi-Layer Storage

As a Web 3.0 platform, Inheriti uses a decentralized data architecture that results in the separate storage of data ‘shares’ across a mixture of storage media (including blockchain and cold-storage) for maximum security.

According to Jurgen Schouppe, Chief Technical Officer, this means the platform is Quantum Computing proof. As secret data ‘shares’ are held on cold storage devices, those ‘shares’ of data cannot be accessed.

In the unlikely event that Quantum Computing is able to decrypt any of the shares held in the blockchain, it would not be possible to gain access to the remaining shares needed because they would be held on separate cold storage key devices.

#5 - Minimizing Chances for Data Breaches

image
As much as we want to avoid using the ‘B’ word, data breaches today are inevitable. By implementing high-level security measures and NSA-approved encryption, Safe Haven works regularly on minimizing the risk of breaches on and in its platform.

Most importantly, the client-based top layer is written in Javascript with built-in security features, such as preventing reading and writing to disc, not allowing access to other browser windows or domains, and any actions not permitted by the browser itself.

All safety devices are protected by pin numbers that are stored using complex SHA-256 hashing algorithms and a maximum pin attempt that prevents brute force and rainbow table attacks.

All private key share data stored on the blockchain or on SafeKeys, is encrypted using the AE256 encryption standard - the first and only publicly accessible cypher approved by the NSA for information classified as “top secret.”

Most recently, Safe Haven is currently undertaking a 24-month Bug-Bounty program with Intigriti - Europe’s number one ethical hacking and bug bounty organization.

#6 - Dead Man Switches and Preventing Fraudulent ‘Share’ Transfers

With multiple fail-safe mechanisms, Inheriti helps protect against premature releases of private key data while you (the owner of the estate) are still alive.

When processed or the data ‘merge’ process is initiated, various ‘Dead Man Switch’ mechanisms will ask you to respond in a set period, using a combination of methods such as platform login or email responses.

Only when no responses are received within the allotted period will a platform release the all important ‘validator share’, so the merge process can commence.

At this point, the required number of beneficiaries must also come together with their respective shares on their separate safety devices, before the shares can be recombined and decrypted, and the private key data revealed.

#7 - Lawyers as a ‘Merge Authority’

From a legal standpoint, lawyers and other legal professionals can also be appointed within the system to help ensure a valid Death Certificate exists before data can be retrieved and (subsequently) transferred.

This is what makes the ‘Separation of Roles’ concept so crucial to the platform’s ongoing viability. Inheriti differentiates the role of a trusted individual (or organization) that initiates the data retrieval ‘merge’ process, or ‘Merge Authority’ from beneficiaries that receive the data.

In other words, a lawyer can be appointed as the Merge Authority who is able to verify that such a valid Death Certificate exists before the process can continue on.

Bottom Line

While Safe Haven’s Inheriti and SafeKey were originally touted for inheritance, exploring how a Plan Manager can access an inheritance plan for purposes of storing information as a digital backup is certainly the next-gen that estate planning and asset management has been waiting for.

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