Introduction and Overview
Vault is the first multi-sig, “Assisted” Self-Custody solution integrated within a major digital asset trading venue. Vault affords customers unequivocal control over their assets while providing a safety net against the loss of a key.
The solution allows users to manage the movement of funds seamlessly within the Uphold app. This is made possible by a multi-sig solution where two keys (including a backup) are controlled by the user, and one by Uphold.
Given that two keys are needed to manage funds, users maintain sole control over their assets at all times.
Day to day, users can seamlessly move funds quickly between their Vault and their Uphold wallet to trade via the Uphold App.
Importantly, the user is able to move funds independently at any time, anywhere, using their two keys - even in the unlikely event of Uphold's systems becoming unavailable.
Should a user ever lose one of their keys, a replacement can be generated using the remaining two keys, ensuring uninterrupted access and control.
Vault combines the certainty of self-custody with the convenience of a centralized exchange.
We’ve designed Vault to simplify the process of establishing a self-custodial wallet, while mitigating many of the associated risks, (e.g. loss of keys). Uniquely, Vault maintains instant access to Uphold’s trading platform and portfolio of 260+ assets.
- The ability to safeguard assets held in the Vault in the unlikely event of Uphold systems becoming unavailable.
- The ability to access and move assets, at will, from the Vault and without the permission of Uphold.
- Friction free movement of assets between Vault and your regular Uphold trading wallet.
When you create a Vault, 3 keys are generated.
- The Vault Key (Yours)
- The Backup Key (Yours)
- The Uphold Key
Vault uses a multi-sig solution that requires two keys to move funds. As you alone hold two keys, you’re always in control.
Lose either of your keys and Uphold will help you replace it, restoring access to the funds in your wallet.
The Uphold Key can co-sign transactions from your Vault to your Uphold wallet, and assist with key replacement.
This is generated at setup and stored securely and locally on your device for convenience and is automatically used whenever you initiate a transfer of assets from Vault into your Uphold trading account.Once generated, your Vault Key will be backed up to your iCloud or Google Drive account in case you lose your device. Remember: Uphold can never access or see this key.
Generated during the initial setup, your Backup Key serves as a secondary access point to your Vault assets. It comes into play under rare circumstances, such as if you lose access to the Uphold platform, or if you wish to move your assets without involving Uphold.
As part of the Vault onboarding process, you'll be guided through the steps to create and securely back up this key. For enhanced security, it's crucial to store your Backup Key in a location separate from your Vault Key. This ensures that a potential breach of your iCloud or Google Drive account doesn't compromise both keys simultaneously.
This is used day to day, as directed by you, to co-sign transactions from your Vault into your Uphold wallet.
It is also used in conjunction with one of your keys to replace your other key if lost or compromised.
Remember, because you need two keys to move funds, you alone control any assets stored in Vault.
Key Management and Security
When you create your Vault your keys are generated by the Uphold App. Your primary Vault Key is stored in the secure element of your mobile device, accessible only by you. Optionally, a backup can be stored in your chosen cloud service (e.g., iCloud, Google Drive), if you permit it.
Your Backup Key should be manually recorded by you and stored in a secure location.
Let’s be clear: You are placing trust in Uphold to not retain copies of the keys generated during the setup within the app. Uphold does not have, and will never seek to have, access to the users’ private keys.
Vault is designed to simplify the process of establishing a self-custodial wallet while mitigating many associated risks. Achieving this requires a balance between Convenience and Trust.
We appreciate that Vault will appeal greatly to some, and not to others. The Vault roadmap includes plans to reduce this trust and reliance on Uphold by allowing more experienced users to generate their key(s) externally.
Self-custodial solutions usually place the responsibility for key safety squarely on the individual. Losing these keys often means that the assets are irretrievably lost.
Vault incorporates multiple safeguards to enhance the security of your keys while also offering options for key replacement in case one is lost or compromised.
Your Vault Key is stored on your device and automatically used any time you initiate a transfer of assets from your Vault to your Uphold trading account.
If you lose your device, you will need to recover this key in one of two ways:
- Access the copy you were prompted to store in your iCloud or Google Drive account when activating your Vault account and re-enter it into the app, or;
- If you failed to make that copy, or for whatever reason have lost access to your cloud storage, you can initiate a process in the Uphold app that combines your Backup Key with the Uphold Key, to replace it.
You alone control access to your funds. You can unilaterally transfer your assets from Vault into any third-party wallet* at any time by following these simple steps:
- Launch Uphold Vault Assist Tool here: https://github.com/uphold/vault-assist-tool
- Select the Vault you wish to access (XRP, BTC...)
- Enter your address
- Enter Vault and Backup Key
- Specify the destination address
- Confirm and view transaction on chain
Detailed instructions on how the keys operate, where to locate them and how to replace them if lost or feared compromised, can be found in the “Vault Key Health and Recovery Guide” here.
*That wallet must support the asset you are transferring.
Vault remains 100% under your control. For regulatory reasons however, only assets originating in and transferred from the Uphold trading account can be withdrawn from the Vault back into the users trading account.
Funds will be screened/monitored when moved into the Uphold trading account as per any normal deposit transaction.
Fees and Charges
Yes. To access Vault, you will need to sign up for a recurring subscription payment plan via the in-app purchase mechanism provided by Apple and Google.
If your subscription expires, is canceled, or terminates for any reason, you will no longer be able to use the Uphold Key to co-sign transactions for the movement of funds into the Uphold wallet, or to generate a replacement key. Sixty (60) days after any expiration, cancellation, or termination of your subscription, your Uphold Key will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered.
Your Private Keys will remain functional as described above, but once the Uphold Key is deleted, should you wish to re-subscribe, you will need to create a new Vault with new Private Keys and you may transfer assets held in your current Vault to the new instance using the original Private Keys in combination. If you re-subscribe within six months of canceling your subscription, Uphold reserves the right to charge you for the time period in which your subscription was not active.
You can cancel your subscription at any time within the subscription section of the Settings app on your phone and by following the provided instructions.
Access and Availability
No. The Vault Key, required for signing any transaction, is only stored in the secure enclave of your phone and therefore not available to other devices, such as your desktop.
We do plan to support users viewing their Vault balance, and depositing to their Vault from their Uphold account via the web interface at a later date.
When setting up an XRP Vault you are required to deposit at least 12 XRP.
This is due to reserve requirements on the XRP ledger - designed to protect it from growing excessively large as the result of spam or malicious usage.
Future Vault functionality may require a different reserve amount, and occasionally the XRPL Validators vote to change the reserve, and/or the transaction fees. Vault will reflect the current active minimums when a user creates an XRP Vault account.
You cannot send the reserved XRP to others, but you can recover some of the XRP by deleting the account.