Extending NEM technology to smartcard and other physical devices


#1

I am not fully versed on NEM, thus my ideas etc might contain wrong assumptions about how NEM works on certain levels and make the whole idea un-makeable. I am happy with all feedback. Also, I do not have deep enough technical skills to implement these, thus I wanted to come forward with these - perhaps someone has :slight_smile:

I recently went through Landstead project. It seems to be abandonware. Then there is He3Labs e-government experiment . Both are something to look upon to, something that makes blockchains more than just cryptocurrency, extending and evolving into real life applications that provide security and privacy for people (wow! really nice buzzword talk!)

However many projects rely on using android/ios device as a “wallet” (or signing device). Security track record for android (and ios) platforms is not what it should be, both have too much attack vectors. This is my opinion however, no need to argue about this issue on this post. Anyways, my inherent distrust for both platforms have made me think other options, lightweight options, so here comes. Also many people (mostly older people and/or people who are not versed with technology) do not like to use smartphones.

IDEA: Proposition
NEM cryptography on smartcard or usb stick with NFC (both should support PC/SC interface). Lo and behold! Secure way to sign nem transactions like we use our credit cards nowadays. Caveat, NEM relies on different set of EC cryptography than bitcoin, thus (for now) these libraries are not available for eg. JCOS (java card os) platform - they could be ported perhaps? I have very little knowledge on Java and JCOS, is it possible? Perhaps if you find sufficiently skilled people.

Why?
Smartcard / USB NFC card would eliminate many, many attack vectors for gaining access to private key. Also in some countries, there are extensive infrastructure for smartcard / nfc technology. Thus enabling systems integration much more readily to existing systems.

IDEA: Use case Landstead (just an example, I am not suggesting to make this on landstead, perhaps He3Labs would be interested from this?)
Each “citizen” could be assigned a smartcard that contains users private key, this card could be then used for government offices (or similar) to sign/authorize (whatever) transactions. It is very easy to carry around and handle credit card sized “token” than phone. Also if the smartcard pin-code is compromised, association between card and landstead citizenship could be easily cancelled and assigned to new card. Also, these cards could be limited not to accept XEM transactions (if I am correct, catapult makes it possible to assign transaction cost to either side of the transaction party).

Why?
Well… elderly people and people that distrust technology and/or smartphones could be onboarded to NEM techonologies. Maybe SC/NFC technologies would allow other use case discoveries. And also as said previously, some countries already possess smartcard/nfc infrastructures and as NEM is easily integrate to other systems, making transactions through smartcard/nfc would ease up integration to existing infrastructures.

Also, please look for opendime (https://opendime.com/), pretty cool innovation! Why not implement in NEM also? Why not Zoidberg? Adapting opendime would be beneficial to IoT sector, as it would create microchip that would allow NEM cryptography functions in electronics. Opendime appears to be using Atmel chip.

What do we need? NEM cryptography in smartcards and microchips! When do we need it? Yesterday!

Umm, as a hindsight, I haven’t checked if PundiX provide smartcard with NEM technologies. Need to check it.

Links that relate to this post:
https://github.com/LedgerHQ/ledger-javacard
https://docs.oracle.com/javacard/3.0.5/api/javacard/security/MessageDigest.html
https://shop.nitrokey.com/shop
https://en.cryptoshop.com/products/smartcards.html?limit=all
http://smartbtc.eu/
https://opendime.com/


#2

Nice post, and this idea can be made. I’m working on some NEM implementation for IoT devices with Catapult, which will allow for all kinds of things to be hooked up, including your NFC/RFID readers :slight_smile:


#3

I also appreciate the thoughts of non-crypto people using it, and making blockchain more ‘invisible’. I think that’s what we need to start doing.