Mantle Builder Sessions Recap: LegaSeed
08/14/235 min read
Mantle recently hosted a Twitter Spaces Builder Session with LegaSeed, a prize-winning project from the HackOnChain hackathon in Warsaw, Poland. Joining John (@0xjooohn) and Veer (@0xVEER) from Mantle were Neil (@aschenkuttel) and Mica (@ToastiHD) from LegaSeed for a fruitful and insightful conversation. Discussions centered around the world of private keys and seed phrases with regard to cryptocurrency wallets. Through this recap, we’ll summarize major takeaways from the AMA session.
LegaSeed aims to answer the gloomy but important question, “What happens to your crypto wallet after your death?”
Building in Web3 Journey & Origin Story
Mica: I joined the space 3 years ago and was intrigued by smart contracts on the Binance Smart Chain. Once I started deploying my own smart contracts to understand them better, I transitioned full-time into crypto. This was during the COVID lockdown, as I was trying to make the most of the ample time available. Before diving deep into the crypto world, I studied a combination of IT and economics. I’ve also engaged in some client work, helping people with smart contracts.
Neil: My entry into the web3 space happened concurrently with Mica, and it was Mica's suggestion that started our collective journey. I was initially skeptical about the idea of creating an ERC-20 token, but soon found myself captivated by the possibilities the crypto space had to offer. My initial interest in programming began as a hobby, which grew into a passion over time.
Tracing back to our first meeting, Mica and my partnership began in an unexpected place: a gaming community. It was through this casual encounter and subsequent conversations about $LTC that we were introduced to the world of cryptocurrencies. From gaming comrades to crypto collaborators, our bond solidified as we ventured deeper into the world of Solidity.
Hackathon Experiences & Challenges
Mica: Every hackathon I have gone to has been an extremely enriching experience, and I think that hackathons are a great way to get involved. HackOnChain in Warsaw was one of our early hackathon adventures, and was a great experience to look back on.
Neil: In terms of the major challenges faced, it is sometimes difficult to get the idea and potential use cases of the MVP across due to limited time. On the technical side, we also faced some issues, however, due to the previous hackathon experience, it was manageable. I prefer hackathons that aren’t too short. The Berlin hackathon only lasted a day and a half, and the Warsaw hackathon was perfect, lasting around 3 days. It had the balance between getting a strong MVP out and not exhausting yourself with the increased workload.
Mica: When starting a hackathon, it is important to start with a problem that you are trying to solve. For us, this question was: “What happens to my wallet and crypto assets after I die?”. We looked around for some solutions, and two points stood out:
90% of people don’t have anything set up for their assets should they unexpectedly die There is no existing solution to back up your assets for your loved ones
LegaSeed solves this by allowing you to take your seed phrase and split it up into as many pieces as you’d like, and share it with your loved ones.
John: I remember meeting you guys, and you asked me that question: “Do you ever think about what is going to happen to your seed phrase when you die,” and I thought it was really interesting. Could you tell us about the ideation behind LegaSeed?
Mica: As I said, it is really important to start with a problem, so we made sure that this was our starting point. We started to talk about seed phrases once there was some discussion about the alleged backdoor with Ledger. The one thing that we found was a service where you pay a monthly fee for someone to store your seed phrase, and they can share it with your trusted third party. The issue with this is clear, so we decided to tackle this problem and create a better solution at the hackathon.
Veer: After I recently went through a seed phrase storage device, I felt, for the first time, really emotional and connected with the storage of my money. It was important to think about what instructions do I leave, who do I tell, where do I keep this, and it was a very impactful experience.
What do you think about Vitalik’s idea that seed phrases should be abstracted away in the shift away from EOA into account abstraction wallets?
Neil: It’s important to remember that with all the hardware wallet suppliers, you do need to interact with it. This means that they all need an interface, and some don’t supply that, so I think that is a big miss on some of the current seed phrase wallet setups.
I think that we should maintain the aspect of “owning” your cryptocurrency, so that is something to consider with social recovery and smart contract wallets.
Mica: On the topic of social recovery, I think that LegaSeed only really talks about one use case, which is when you die, and that is obviously something people don’t like to think about.
But there are many different cases for people to use something like LegaSeed and seed phrase fragmentation, and that’s what social recovery achieves as well.
Neil: Yeah, I see account abstraction as the future, so there is no doubt that we will go with something along those lines in the future.
John: Can you tell us about the roadmap? What is planned for LegaSeed?
Mica: The demo version is already live, so users can check it out. Please be careful as this is the demo version, so don’t use it with much of your savings. You can test out splitting seed phrases with yourself or with other people and see how it works.
So from a product perspective, we are looking good. We are still figuring out how to securely share it with others, so that is a work in progress. With a small one-time payment, you can use this forever.
Neil: And just to add some technical perspective, we were initially doing a custodial storage of the seed phrase during the hackathon. Now, we don’t store the full seed phrase. So even if a hacker accessed the database, they wouldn’t be able to get the entire phrase.
Stay up to date on the Mantle website and on our Twitter for new hackathon bounties and prompts, and don’t forget to let us know on our developer channels on Discord what type of projects you’d like to get insight into next.