Silence Laboratories brings a new paradigm of security for Metamask users: Distributed self-custody


Silence Laboratories, a deep tech startup focused on distributed authorization and computation, launched their Silent Shard Snap, through a partnership with MetaMask, the world’s leading self-custody web3 platform. This enables MetaMask wallet users, across the globe, to add a 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) like experience, along with distributed security, for all their crypto transactions. The initial launch of the partnership targets web3-savvy users to gather their feedback, with the objective of reaching broader audiences once the product has been fully iterated.

Built on top of Silence’s state-of-the-art multi-party computation (MPC) cryptographic libraries, this Snap enhances the security of crypto transactions by distributing the private keys between the metamask browser extension and the user’s phone.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Silent Shard as part of our go live of Account Management Snaps (Beta) to start experimenting with new self-custodial key management experiences for MetaMask power users. Silent Shard in particular offers a novel 2FA like experience between MetaMask Extension and their Silent Shard app to approve transactions, which is all powered by some cutting edge Multi-Party Computation (MPC) Cryptography. The convenience of saving a part of the private key in the Google or Apple password manager also offers a great recoverability option. I’d encourage any MetaMask power user or developer to test out the Silent Shard Snap now by going to the official MetaMask Snaps Directory. – Alex Jupiter, Senior Product Manager at MetaMask”

Given the widely adopted 2FA experience in the fintech industry, Silence Laboratories envisions users’ smartphones to behave as universal co-signers for all crypto transactions initiated through the browser; i.e., each transaction initiated on the user’s MetaMask account is sent to their phone for confirmation. Only once confirmed on the smartphone can the transaction proceed to the blockchain.

“Centralised private key management, in almost all non-custodial wallets, creates a single point of failure and over the years this vulnerability has attracted many phishing attacks as well as private key thefts, costing users over $10bn in lost assets. Silent Shard Snap is one of the first MPC based self-custodial adoptions in MetaMask, aimed to ensure that the private keys are never stored in one place and our never combined, eliminating this single point of failure. – Dr. Jay Prakash, Founder and CEO at Silence Laboratories.”

The Snap is based on the ‘Distributed Self-Custody’ model pioneered by Silence Laboratories, It spreads the ownership of private keys across two user-owned devices, in this case, MetaMask Extension and the mobile app. Dispersing the private keys across two user-owned devices removes the single point of failure endemic to traditional private key management systems. Even in cases where one of the user devices is compromised, the attacker cannot proceed with malicious transactions as only a portion of the key is compromised, not the whole. This distributed storage of private key shards finds crucial applications not just for browser-based wallets, but any phone-based wallet, exchanges, or enterprise custodians where keys are centrally stored.

“Silent Shard Snap crafts a familiar push-based 2FA interaction model for users, akin to the traditional banking system. This intuitive approach brings a touch of habitual interaction, making security not a hurdle, but a seamless part of the process. – Bhaskar Sai, Product Lead at Silence Laboratories.”

Silence Laboratories recently achieved significant milestones in their implementation of MPC-Threshold Signature protocols, showcasing speed benchmarks of up to 10s times faster than the current state-of-the-art solutions, during EthCC 2023. This technological leap in efficiency is at the core of their partnerships with leading digital asset companies, setting new industry standards for speed and security.

This MetaMask Snap also hits the mark by retaining full self-custody with users, an important consideration for crypto investors given the recent issues faced on centralized exchanges/apps, it does this by ensuring that the private keys shards remain on the user’s devices (as opposed to a third party), thus making the solution fully self custodial.

On partnering with MetaMask, Jay explains “The scale and adoption of MetaMask wallet makes them the ideal partner for Silence to reach a large global audience. Combining this with the strong ethos of self-custody and decentralization shared between the teams, launching our first consumer product on MetaMask was a no-brainer. The Snap and Account Management team at MetaMask have been putting in incredible efforts while ensuring quality and security guarantees”.

The security framework of Silent Shard Snap has undergone rigorous scrutiny by Cure53, a reputable auditing entity. On another note, the Multi-Party TSS libraries of Silence Laboratories are audited by one of the leading security auditors-Trail of Bits. Silence Laboratories would like to encourage all digital asset enterprises to make efforts toward distributing the authorization risks associated with wallets through cryptographic guarantees. They are open to all possible collaborations and integrations.

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About Silence Laboratories

Founded in 2021, Silence Laboratories is a privacy tech company with its headquarters in Singapore. The company enables enterprises to adopt multi-party computation for authorizations and computations through a unique fusion of cryptography and security engineering. Their mission is to build a global infrastructure that would enable enterprises to remove single points of failures and exposures and enable privacy-compliant collaborations.

The company has been founded by a strong technical and business team including PhDs and researchers with previous affiliations at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD) & National University of Singapore (NUS); the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and; globally top-ranked Capture The Flag (CTF) teams, and leading tech companies.

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