New Upstream vault could help NFT holders sleep at night

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Imagine paying millions of dollars for a JPEG image of a monkey. as long as it gets stolen from your digital wallet. This is exactly what happened to actor Seth Green, who ended up begging the hacker (and likely paid them over $100,000) to give him back the NFT.

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Green’s predicament is more common than one might think, and it raises the question of how NFT platforms should deal with helping their clients get recourse when it happens, if at all. Cracking down on thieves and enforcing property rights is especially difficult in an industry that values ​​decentralization and sovereignty as fundamental principles. However, NFT holders should feel secure in owning the digital assets they purchase. Upstream founder and CEO Alex Taub told TechCrunch in an interview.

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“Crypto security is really hard. People lose their seed, export keys, click on a bad thing, sign – this person can take a lot of things… Sometimes you do some doom scrolling when you’re half asleep and you click on a bad link. and it’s all over,” Taub said.

upstreamwhich last raised $12.5 million in a Series A round in March. refers to himself as a full-featured no-code platform for building DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations). The startup has now applied its know-how in DAO tools to release a new product Taub says this will improve the security of NFT holders, called “Storage DAO”.

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Before we get into how the Vault DAO works, it’s worth exploring why Taub may have felt the need to develop a new solution altogether. Security is by no means a new issue in cryptography, but existing solutions, especially for individuals, are limited.

Hardware wallets, for example, provide a secure option for people to store private keys to their wallet on what is essentially a hard drive, but these cold wallets are not exactly known for being user-friendly. What’s more, Taub noted, it’s just as easy to lose a hardware wallet as it is to lose a seed phrase that allows you to access your cryptocurrency. Internet-connected hot wallets are another solution, but Taub said he won’t invest any valuable assets in them because most NFT solutions are custodial or managed by a centralized entity. In addition, Taub said he was concerned about the possibility that the assets in the hot wallet could be lost due to connectivity issues.

Vault DAO, Upstream’s solution, operates as a multi-signature wallet that can be configured to require logging out of multiple separate accounts in order to authorize a transaction on behalf of the user. According to Taub, a user can set up multiple accounts directly through Upstream and can choose the signer threshold required to complete any given type of offer.

Vault DAO screenshot by Alex Taub

Screenshot of several signers associated with Taub’s own Vault DAO. Image credits: upstream

For example, a user may require three signers to sign any transfer of assets from a particular wallet, and these three signers could either be user-managed accounts or could include accounts delegated by the user to a trusted friend. Mechanically, the product works like the user’s personal DAO because each transaction occurs in the form of an offer made by the user, voted on by a predetermined critical mass of DAO members, and then executed as such.

It’s basically like Gnosis Safe, popular multisig wallet specifically for organizations, but Taub says that Vault DAO is much more convenient in terms of design. Unlike most popular multi-signature wallets on the market today, Taub added, Vault DAO is specifically designed for individuals to secure their own assets, not groups that require multiple parties to sign a transaction.

Screenshot of the Upstream Vault DAO home page interface

Screenshot of the Upstream Vault DAO home page interface Image credits: upstream

In terms of where assets are actually stored, the Vault DAO product connects to major existing wallets, including MetaMask and Rainbow, as well as the WalletConnect protocol, allowing users to link assets held in cold storage to their Vault DAO, Taub said.

Taub described Upstream’s platform as two-sided: one side is “Shopify for DAO” that helps people set up groups, and the other side is helping people manage their DAOs with a user-friendly front end.

“At the end of the day, we don’t hold your NFTs, we don’t hold your cryptocurrency. It is in this multisig wallet that you have full access,” Taub said. “Here’s how I see it – not only am I comfortable because I’m protecting myself from clicking on a link and losing all my stuff, but I’m also comfortable because I still own my stuff.”

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