Safer savings: XUMM + Tangem

At XRPL Labs, we're working on improving the XRP ledger user experience for consumers and businesses.

XUMM is a non custodial XRP ledger client (wallet), meaning you, and only you have access to your funds because your funds are in your own account, to which you own the keys. Keys are stored securely in encrypted storage on your iOS/Android device.

TL;DR: XUMM + Tangem: the best combination for keeping your XRP / XRPL savings both super secure and super user friendly if you ever want to touch them.

This blog contains FAQ's + answers. Scroll down to read them if you have questions :)

Keeping your keys safe

While keeping your keys encrypted on your device makes a lot of sense for your daily spending (lower value accounts, to be accessed on the fly), your key(s) to your (XRPL) savings are best kept offline, away from your iOS/Android device (or any device you carry around, for that matter).

Existing methods to keep your key(s) to your high(er) value accounts safe all have disadvantages, if you want to be able to potentially/periodically move funds from your savings to your spending account.

A paper wallet (your secret offline, written down) is not user friendly. It's hard to use, because it will have to be imported to eg. XUMM when you want to access your funds. Hardware wallets have to be charged, are slightly harder (or even scary) to use. Air gapped clients require manual data entry when signing.

Enter Tangem Cards

Just like XRPL Labs, Tangem is making the cryptocurrency space a safer, more user friendly place. Their take on keeping keys to on ledger accounts safe is one we at XRPL Labs appreciate a lot. To the point where we feel confident using their cards ourselves to keep the key to our savings.

Instead of using a hardware wallet, or a static, written down secret (that can't be used easily), their cards contain a chip and use NFC (near field communication). The chip generates a private key, while being powered using NFC (by your iOS/Android device). This means the cards are shipped without a private key on them, and the private key will never leave the card. The chip used in Tangem cards offers bank grade security and has been fully audited.

Security + usability

Because the key stays in the (chip in the) card, signing happens in the (chip in the) card. This means your secret will never leave the card. To sign a transaction, you'll have to hold your card against your NFC enabled iOS/Android device. XUMM will then send transaction details to the card, the card will sign and return the signature (for the signed transaction) to XUMM so XUMM can submit it to the XRP ledger.

This offers the best combination of user experience and security. Using your smartphone with decent screen size, and the XUMM + XRPL ecosystem to compose and review transactions, while using a separate (dedicated, low level, offline) piece of hardware (the Tangem card) to sign transactions.

While Tangem already offered XRP cards, one could only use them for regular XRP payments. The XRP ledger has much more to offer than simple XRP – XRP payments: IOU's (decentralized exchange), account settings, multi signing, escrow, etc. All fully supported by XUMM.

We are very excited and proud to share that, by supporting Tangem cards in XUMM, all XRP ledger features and all transaction types will be available for all existing Tangem card owners.

Recovery

Because the chip inside a Tangem card generated and holds the (non extractable) private key to acces your funds, a lost cards would mean you won't be able to access your funds anymore. As the XRPL ledger offers clever, on ledger features like “regular keys” and multi signing, XUMM will allow users to setup a secondary, offline Secret Numbers keypair. This keypair should be written down, kept secure away from the card. This key will be configured on ledger to be a back up key (“regular key”) to the Tangem card account.

At the end of December 2020, a XUMM update will add support for Tangem cards. There will also be a XUMM branded Tangem card available in the Tangem store.

Further explanation & FAQ's