Stealth-mode crypto custody specialist Shard X has claimed a breakthrough, being the first company to successfully run math-heavy, multi-party computation (MPC) on hardware security modules (HSMs).
So why does this alphabet soup of security tech matter?
In summary, HSMs are a battle-tested way to store private keys, particularly popular in consumer products like Ledger and Trezor. MPC, which breaks up cryptographic keys into shards and distributes them, is growing in popularity with custody tech providers like Fireblocks and Curv. But one challenge with MPC has been where to store key shards: The whole process was thought to be too computationally heavy to run on hardware.
Solving this problem is important because banks, which are gradually edging towards crypto custody, generally like and trust HSMs. So a combination of battle-tested, bank-grade HSMs, combined with cutting-edge MPC is probably the type of tech those institutions will be looking for, says Yaniv Neu-Ner, co-founder and CEO of Shard