Seedless Hardware Wallets

Most bitcoin wallets ask you to write down a recovery seed and keep it secure when you set up the wallet for the first time. Underlying that seemingly simple instruction is an ocean of complexity. Keeping a recovery seed secure requires expertise and can be a labor-intensive and costly process. If mistakes are made, a recovery seed can make a wallet less secure, since the seed can be used to clone the wallet.

We decided not to use recovery seeds. Hardware devices aren’t backed up. Instead, the Keymaster interface makes it easy for a user to swap in a new hardware device for one that is lost at any time. By simplifying the key rotation and wallet sweep process, we have eliminated a whole class of complexity that users have to deal with in other systems.