Trustology, founded by technologists who previously worked at such banks as BNY Mellon, RBS and Barclays, has launched an iPhone-controlled crypto vault it claims is secure enough for financial institutions.
Announced Wednesday, the first version of TrustVault is available for download at the Apple UK App Store, and initially can be used to store ether, the cryptocurrency native to the ethereum public blockchain. Bitcoin and ERC-20 tokens that run on top of ethereum are to follow soon after.
Trustology closed an $8 million seed round late last year led by ethereum design studio ConsenSys and Two Sigma Ventures, a VC arm of tech-focused hedge fund Two Sigma Investments.
At first blush, TrustVault might look like another crypto wallet phone app. But there’s a lot going on behind the screen: a clever combination of hardware security modules (HSMs) operated by Trustology with verification processes distributed among individuals at secure data centers.
Spelling this out, Alex Batlin, Trustology’s founder and CEO told CoinDesk,
“It allows you the ease of a mobile phone, but really what we always talk about is a TrustVault account. If you mention the phone, people think it’s just a phone app. But that’s a bit like saying my bank account is just the mobile bank app. It looks like a simple app, but the real power is in the service behind that.”
Indeed, like a bank, Trustology identifies its customers upfront, and if the phone is lost, the account can be recovered with the company since the private keys to the crypto wallet are not stored on the device.
Yet involvement of humans in certain parts of the setup process doesn’t mean this is a typical cold storage solution,