BTC hardware wallet privacy question

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Palancar, May 31, 2016.

  1. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,599
    I am strongly considering the use of BTC for some of my everyday (real name) payments. With that in mind the simplicity of a Trezor using an OTG adapter and my android would make this super simple. Its on the fly easy from all of my reading and studying. Before you privacy guys (that's me too) jump me, consider I am saying for some basic real name account payments. Several of my utility companies allow btc as well as some others. I currently have no issue re-stocking btc as needed. Why do this? I want to learn, have some fun, promote the coins. This wallet would be totally separate from other wallets and there is no overlap of trail among the wallets.

    Now the reason for the thread/post: if anyone here is using a Trezor (or has a known friend with one) have you/they tried to create more than two wallets on the device? There is an engineered capability to have at least one hidden wallet along with the $5.00 wrench wallet (decoy), but I am still undecided as to if its possible for a third or fourth wallet? The way Trezor's chip is engineered a great password would conceal a wallet's existence, even if a STRONG adversary were to melt/disassemble the hardware and use a scope of any kind on it. That way no IPhone PIN scenario to deal with by an adversary.

    Privacy of some wallets is quite important and if this is possible then using one Trezor would be better than multiple. I would be using software wallet interfaces (watch only mode) to handle all the tracking and such. Trezor would be guarding the private keys as needed.

    If anyone knows, am I limited to 2 wallets on this device?
     
  2. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,599
    First time I have ever been disappointed in a big way with ELECTRUM.

    I had a friend buy a Trezor and give it to me as a thank you for some work I've done. The Trezor is working perfectly but Electrum 2.6.4 sucks at handshaking with the Trezor on a Linux system. Runs fine on Windows but I'll never use that where $$ is concerned.

    Spent some time on GitHub and found several folks with the exact same issue. The disappointing part was where it seems Thomas (Electrum big shot) closed this error without any affirmative action visible. If you google a "list index out of range" code you will discover several others that are also dead in the water with Electrum and Trezor. reference: #1786 #1793

    I captured some code suggestions by another semi-senior coder there and I am considering my own build with those code edits made. This has been going on for over a month and the fix is a simple one. I am baffled to be in a position to build my own Electrum OR go to another program.

    Come on Thomas!!!!!

    You guys cannot believe how smoothly the Trezor works using mytrezor dot com. Hoping Electrum does what it has always done and gives out the best software available.


    Stay tuned!!
     
  3. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,599
    I guess I am talking with myself here but maybe others considering a hardware wallet may be enjoying gaining some knowledge on a Trezor. You can generate many wallets using a slick passphrase technology, which is "nested" by the Trezor's 24 word seed. The Trezor never reveals the private keys to ANY other device. You hand write the 24 seed words on paper and then lock it away somewhere. You have ONE chance to do that when you configure the Trezor (you can wipe and start over anytime/as often as you want to). I have mine setup with an 8 digit PIN but you can do less or more. The PIN number positions change all the time making a super slick way to keep any computer from discovering your PIN.

    I also elected to enable passphrase methods on the Trezor (in addition to the PIN). If you lose/forget your passphrase the bitcoins are LOST completely. To restore a Trezor passphrase enabled wallet you MUST have the 24 seed words + the passphrase to EACH encrypted wallet. There is only ONE set of Trezor seed words. I have confirmed this works flawlessly. I restored as if my Trezor was broken or lost. Using Electrum I was easily able to re-create all wallets. I confirmed all btc addresses and transactions. All perfect so its a snap to restore, and the restoration can be fully independent of Trezor if desired. Then I wiped the Trezor and started over with new seed words that NO computer has ever seen. Easy process once you get it down.

    You do not need to do passphrase if you don't want to. With no passphrase you will only need the 24 seed words to do a full restore of the one wallet.

    Here is where it gets interesting: Once you get the Trezor configured, IF you enter a password (not the PIN) during mount of the device it will ALWAYS generate completely legit private keys and xpub numbers for a software wallet. I tested this a few times too. Any passphrase creates a key and xpub that you can open in Electrum. Valid, just empty if you use the wrong passphrase. Its math and this device crunches algo's accurately. 24 seed words plus a unique passphrase generates a predictable X private key. So it appears to me that you can have a virtually unlimited number of wallets. Remember this device does not hold your wallet or transactions, but only private keys to access those wallets on your software wallet programs. You enter the passphrase and it very quickly generates the matching private key based upon the math of the passphrase in combo with those totally private 24 seed words.

    This means an adversary cannot see those wallets even if they take the Trezor to a lab with a micron scope or any other means. Totally encrypted with NO plain text except the seed words at that super high adversary level maybe. The seed words will NOT help them without the passphrase. Nice! You can have a passphrase to reveal a wallet key with chump change in it to function as a decoy of sorts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
Loading...