[FEATURE] Let's make NEAR a Social Recovery Wallet


Given that NEAR wants to bring blockchain to the masses, IMHO it is very important that NEAR implement “social recovery” of wallets. Social recovery is a way to recover wallets when the passphrase has been lost that relies on people (or machines) in one’s network. I recommend that NEAR become a social recovery wallet.

Vitalik Buterin wrote a post about it in early 2021.

This gets us to my preferred method for securing a wallet: social recovery. A social recovery system works as follows:

  1. There is a single “signing key” that can be used to approve transactions
  2. There is a set of at least 3 (or a much higher number) of “guardians”, of which a majority can cooperate to change the signing key of the account.

The signing key has the ability to add or remove guardians, though only after a delay (often 1-3 days).

Under all normal circumstances, the user can simply use their social recovery wallet like a regular wallet, signing messages with their signing key so that each transaction signed can fly off with a single confirmation click much like it would in a “traditional” wallet like Metamask.

If a user loses their signing key, that is when the social recovery functionality would kick in. The user can simply reach out to their guardians and ask them to sign a special transaction to change the signing pubkey registered in the wallet contract to a new one. This is easy: they can simply go to a webpage such as security.loopring.io, sign in, see a recovery request and sign it. About as easy for each guardian as making a Uniswap trade.

The full article is here: Why we need wide adoption of social recovery wallets

It would be exceptional if NEAR was the first layer 1 to have a social recovery wallet. It would mean that very few people would ever be locked out of the NEAR wallet, reducing frustration while strengthening community.

@marieke.flament @David_NEAR @chris @MarcusNEAR @Cameron

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I’m looking to build something like this. Want to build a NEAR mobile wallet w/ social recovery + more nice security/usability features baked in, but currently still in ideation phase really.

Is this something you’d be interested in working on? Drop me a message, would love to chat.

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