Piston Vault technologies are designed to be deployed in several configurations, each one addressing the requirements of a different type of client and user base.
Our electronic vaults can be deployed by crypto exchanges for self-managed cold storage, by custodians for long-term servicing of digital securities, or for delivery of crypto-wallet services to retail users.
Legacy security custodians can deploy Piston Vault technology as a hosted or managed solution to offer their client a solution for digital assets custody that integrates within their existing technology platform and business processes.
The Piston Vault management platform is open and versatile, offering extensive support for integration within legacy custodial systems.
Since each customers is assigned a Spark, Piston Vault architecture provides a clear implementation SEC Customer Protection Rule, protecting customers of a registered broker-dealer from losses and delays in accessing their securities and cash that can occur if the firm fails.
In the event a broker-dealer were to be liquidated under SIPA, the SIPA trustee would be able to deliver assets to customers in an easy and orderly fashion, in accordance with SIPA.
Piston Vault electronic cylinders are the perfect solution for digital assets exchanges looking to move their existing cold storage processes to a use-centric custodial model where each market participant has their own account associated with a hardware wallet provided by the exchange.
This model has several advantages, among which:
- It relieves the exchange from implementing costly custodial solutions that are not part of core business or competencies;
- It creates a new stream of revenues for the exchanges through recurring licensing fees for the hardware wallets;
- It creates interesting new settlement models that go beyond current slow, outdated models, and solve legacy issues of trust and asset control (contact Piston Vault for more information).
Mass adoption of blockchain services requires solving the issue of custody altogether for non-technical normal users.
Piston Vault offers a solution for retail adoption of blockchain services that makes the custodial issue ‘disappear’ by relegating custody to an infrastructure service. That happens ‘behind the scenes’ and is seamless for the end user.
This has several advantages:
- Removes the need for retail users to purchase outdated self-storage hardware wallets;
- Rrogresses the issues of custody from top-concern to an infrastructure concern – similarly to moving from cable modems requiring installation and manual connections to seamless mobile internet.
In one solution, a software application called software wallet is employed to store and manage the private keys. This solution fulfills the accessibility requirement (Requirement #2), i.e. the private keys are easily accessible through the software, but it does not address Requirement #1, because bugs that inevitably exist in software create intolerable vulnerabilities. This weakness applies to both local software, e.g. a mobile app, and to remote software, e.g. a cloud system.
In another solution, a hardware device called hardware wallet is employed to store keys. This solution provides a secure storage method since several security features are used in microchips to protect the keys from unauthorized access (Requirement #1). However, it does not offer quick access (Requirement #2), since hardware devices must be securely stored (e.g. in a bank safe), and taken out of storage when needed, which is a very slow process. Furthermore, if a hardware wallet is stolen, an attacker can probe the electronic circuits to reveal the private keys. This is an expensive but still possible attack.