How Does Vault Work?
Creating your Vault generated 3 keys:
- 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 (initiated by you) from your Vault to your Uphold wallet, and assist with key replacement.
Vault Keys Explained
This is generated at setup and stored securely and locally on your device for convenience and is automatically used (alongside the Uphold Key) whenever you initiate a transfer of assets from Vault into your Uphold trading account.
It’s important to note that Uphold cannot ever access or see this key, so backing it up is highly recommended. When setting up your Vault Key, you’ll be prompted to back it up to either your iCloud or Google Drive account in case you lose your device.
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.
How to locate your keys
Both your Vault Key and Backup Key were generated when you signed up to Vault.
The table below is a summary of that process and your recovery options.
|How was it stored?
|Automatically stored in the secure element of your device and optionally in your cloud storage (e.g. iCloud / G-Drive).
Prompted to write it down during sign-up, advised to store it securely offline.
Tip: May be recorded on paper or a steel backup plate.
|How/Where can I retrieve it?
|Navigate to your cloud storage, open folder "DO NOT DELETE - Uphold" to find the file vault.txt containing the 12-word Vault Key.
|Stored physically, so only you can know where it is.
|If you have replaced your key before, pick the file with the most recent date in the filename: vault (date).txt
|Only you can know the status of your Backup Key. It is your responsibility to store it safely.
Replacing a Lost or Compromised Key
Providing you have access to either your Vault Key or your Backup Key, you can use the Uphold app to replace either of your keys if lost, or believed to be compromised.
Tapping on “Manage Keys" within the Vault section of the Uphold app presents you with the ability to check on the ‘health’ of the Vault Key stored on that device, as well as the option to replace either key.
Health Check Options:
The below table summarizes the different messages and possible actions that you can take to safeguard or replace your keys.
- Only you can know the status of your Backup Key. It is your responsibility to store it safely.
- Our recommendation to backup your Vault Key to your cloud storage provider is made on the assumption that you alone have access to that location.
- If you lose BOTH your Vault and Backup Keys, you will permanently lose access to your assets.
|Health Check status
|Cloud service provider is disconnected
|Tap: "Connect to Cloud" and verify key storage.
|Your Vault Key is missing from the cloud
|Tap: "Save in the Cloud" to back up your key to your storage
|Your Vault Key is missing from your device and the cloud
|Tap: "Add Vault Key" to generate a new vault key or to connect to an alternative cloud service where the key may be stored.
|You alone know the status of your Backup Key. If you wish to replace it, tap: "Want a New Key?"
|If both keys are lost and neither backed up, permanent loss of asset access will occur.
Vault Assist: Accessing your funds outside of the Uphold App
You can access and move all your funds unilaterally, at any time, by following the instructions on the Vault Assist Tool located here: https://uphold.github.io/vault-assist-tool/
While Vault Assist can be accessed at any time, it has been designed as a disaster recovery mechanism. Accordingly, you can only withdraw 100% of funds per blockchain-linked Vault; there is no option to move only some of the funds.
The hosted location is operated entirely independently of Uphold so that it remains accessible in the extremely unlikely event that Uphold ceases to exist.
- Removing your assets from a Vault via the Vault Assist Tool will result in that Vault being deactivated.
- You can create a new Vault at anytime
- Once you have used the Vault Assist tool, we strongly recommend that you do not reuse those keys.