Storing IOTA Coin has always been a problem for users on mobile. The GUI light Wallet could only run on the desktop and some users claim it doesn’t work too well. Fortunately, the IOTA Trinity Wallet is here to offer the top-notch storage solution that investors have been calling for.
The Ins & Outs Of The IOTA Trinity Wallet
Problems with the GUI Light Wallet
When the IOTA coin announced their Initial Coin Offering on 2015, there were only a few storage solutions available. This was hardly encouraging considering the infamous Mt. Gox incident, where investors lost funds worth about $470 million. To change that, the IOTA foundation started developing an open source desktop wallet: The GUI Light Wallet. But the application failed to live up to its users’ expectations. Soon after the release, it became abundantly clear that a replacement was necessary. Unlike most companies, the IOTA foundation accepted the problems with its official solution and bit the bullet by inviting the community to help out in the development of a robust successor.
The IOTA foundation has recently released the Trinity wallet for both mobile and desktop. The entire user interface has been revamped and an incredible amount of effort has gone into ensuring that it’s a simple and secure way to store IOTA.
With the help of the IOTA community, the foundation pursued a strategy of joint development with a mounting list of features and elusive deadlines. Taking lessons from the past, the app was based on the React Native framework which provided easy cross-platform portability (though at the cost of some performance overheads). Development proceeded at a brisk pace, bringing the application to a minimum usable state, and paving the way for rigorous testing.
Alpha tests started in January and involved about 250 iOS and Android users. The feedback helped the project move to the next phase, with an increased emphasis on security. Because the bulk of new users don’t have a non-technical background, there was a need for a foolproof safety system. Once the improvements were in place, IOTA conducted multiple external audits to assess any vulnerabilities, and then finally released it into an open public Beta. This is where we are at the moment.
The old GUI lightwallet was often criticised for its clunky user interface. The poor design left many new investors scratching their heads and without the proper information or controls. The Trinity Wallet has worked hard to upgrade this to a clean and responsive frontend that greatly reduces the learning curve for new users.
Is Trinity Wallet Safe?
The January heist
A serious failing of the previous official wallet was on the security front. While the storage solution did require a ‘seed’ for the user’s account, it made no effort to generate the seed randomly or to back it up. This resulted in many users relying on third-party websites to generate their seeds. This small move of carelessness led to dire consequences, as hackers gained access to those seeds from the aforementioned websites. Needless to say, the hackers used the bogus seeds to move users’ funds en masse into their own accounts. This incident highlighted the poor security practices of the official wallet, and the IOTA foundation has made sure to safeguard Trinity from similar vulnerabilities.
Seed generation and Backup
The IOTA Trinity Wallet includes a foolproof algorithm for generating random seeds on its own and forces the user to back it up in a paper wallet or a password manager like LastPass before proceeding. This not only protects the seeds from brute-forcing attacks, but also ensures the user’s funds can still be safely recovered if their device is lost.
Apart from external backup options, the IOTA team has also provided an in-house backup option in the form of SeedVault. This is a password-protected KeePass file (.kdbx) containing all created seeds in an encrypted format for maximum security.
The app also includes the option of an additional layer of biometric security to further secure the user’s account. This protects the funds from malicious elements with physical access to the device.
Local Storage of Transaction information
To speed up load times and mitigate address re-use, the wallet stores the transaction history locally. In addition, the signed inputs are also backed up. This allows the re-broadcast of transactions in case of network failure instead of repeated signings potentially prompted by a rogue node trying to reveal more of your private key.
IOTA Trinity Wallet Features
Learning From Past Mistakes
Transactions on the IOTA tangle can be complicated, and the old wallet did not help matters in the slightest. It required users to manually attach and re-attach to the Tangle, fiddling with obscure Node configurations with their fingers crossed in the ‘hope’ of perhaps successfully performing a transaction.
Automatic Re-attachment and Promotion
All of that is now history. The IOTA Trinity wallet comes with automatic Tangle attachment and re-attachment system. This frees users from the hassle of managing their Node settings, making transactions fast and easy. When you also consider how useful it is to generate and scan QR codes for sending funds, it is easy to see why the IOTA foundation is describing their new storage solution as something that ‘even your crack smoking grandmother can enjoy’.
Real-time price Tracking
The sped-up transactions are now more natural. The software also keeps watch on the current value of IOTA over various exchanges, which enables you to send funds based on dollar amounts. That’s a pretty sweet feature.
One Wallet, Multiple Accounts
Most IOTA users tend not to have all their eggs in one basket, preferring to spread their holdings over multiple accounts. Trinity makes this easy for them, letting them add multiple seeds and accounts within the same wallet. These are then all synced with their latest transaction and fund history for easy management.
The IOTA Tangle has a few peculiarities unique to its type of distributed ledger technology, and the snapshot system is one of them.
Blockchains are inherently burdened with the problem of scaling: As the transaction history grows, so does the size of the Blockchain and the amount of information stored. To get around this, the Tangle nodes erase their transaction history every now and then, reverting to a list of genesis addresses with unspent balances. This keeps the network lean and efficient while letting it scale without issue.
Beforehand this would cause problems for users, as their wallets suddenly displayed zero balances. To regain their funds, users needed to re-attach every used address manually – yes, manually – until they struck upon the address containing their last held funds. Trinity replaces this tedious process with a more streamlined transition system that attaches addresses one-by-one for easy retrieval in case of failure. What’s more, with the coming updates, the feature is supposed to become fully automated, relegating the issue once and for all.
Remote Proof-of-Work (PoW)
Executing the Proof-of-Work algorithms on your mobile can be a CPU intensive process. To help out those with less powerful devices, Trinity offers to carry out the process on a node. This speeds up transactions and reduces the load on your mobile.
How To Setup The Trinity Wallet?
NOTE: The iOS version is not yet openly available on the App store; you must share your contact details to Testflight get the Beta invite.
- The official way to store IOTA.
- Supported platforms: iOS, Android, MAC, Windows & Linux.
Get The Best IOTA Wallet Right Now!
How To Get Started?
Setting up the Trinity Wallet is pretty easy. Just follow these steps and you will have your IOTA ready to be transacted in no time!
The core of your IOTA account is your seed. After selecting the language, the app will prompt you to create a new seed. In case you already have one, answer no and enter the pre-existing seed. Otherwise select yes to continue.
This is where you actually create a seed. Press the button to have Trinity generate a new seed for you, and then add a few characters of your own for luck.
As your seed is the key to your account and funds, Trinity will not let you proceed until you have backed it up safely. The most secure option is to simply write it down on a piece of paper, though you have to keep the paper safe. Perhaps it is better to use a Password manager that will encrypt and store your seed on the cloud. This solution will protect against it getting misplaced or stolen.
To make sure that you didn’t cheat, the application will wipe your clipboard and ask you to enter your seed again. Once that hurdle is crossed (phew!), you can finally name your account. Keep in mind that these steps will have to be repeated for each and every account you want to have on your wallet. Finally, choose a password to secure your account even further. If you used a password manager for your seed, you can use that again to generate and store a password for the account as well.
Go through the last few remaining steps, and you are done! Enjoy using your brand new wallet! Though unless you know how to transact in it, you can do little more than stare at that pretty graph for now…
How To Use The Trinity Wallet?
How To Send IOTA?
Sending funds in this new wallet is amazingly easy. Just tap ‘Send’, choose an account to send from, and you will see a form like this:
Now either type the address or scan the receiver’s QR code (more on this in a moment), enter an amount (in USD if you wish) and add a message to personalize the transaction. That’s it! Hit send for the Tangle to do its magic now!
How To Recieve Coins To Your Trinity Wallet?
Receiving funds in Trinity is also easy. Just select ‘Receive’ this time, and generate a new address. You will come across a screen like this:
You can copy this long string address and share it with the sender. Or if the person is nearby, ask them to simply scan the QR code for the same result. Then just wait until they send you some brand new tokens!
How Has The Wallet Been Received By The Community?
The IOTA Trinity Wallet’s public Beta released to mostly rave reviews. Users were almost unanimously impressed by the app’s beautiful UI and brilliant features, holding it up favorably to other leading wallets in the market. A few rare bugs and vulnerabilities were uncovered. These include the possibility of key-logging during seed input and the lack of background processing on mobile. However, the IOTA team has been quick to announce fixes to these bugs and have ensured the product is as good as it can be.
Effect on token price
The price of the MIOTA had fallen significantly since last December and is trading at a 90% discount from its all-time-high price. But the launch of the Trinity Wallet has infused new life into the project, displaying the rare feat of a product done right. The coin price has surged in response, as more and more investors return to the token (and find it much easier to hold).
Trinity Wallet Future Roadmap
While the Trinity wallet already gives tough competition to every other leading wallet out there, it is still just in Beta. This means there is an impressive slew of features still lined up.
The possibility of a rogue node compromising the integrity of transactions is always there. To combat this, the team plans to implement transaction verification by multiple nodes in tandem, greatly reducing the scope of such attacks. This feature has actually been implemented and is due to be released after review and testing.
Every transaction on the Tangle creates remainder addresses. By using them as inputs for a new transaction, multiple transactions can be carried out simultaneously.
Hardware Wallet Integration
All said and done, a digital wallet is not the most secure means of storing crypto. A safer method is to use leading hardware wallets like the Ledger Nano S or Trezor for large holdings. Support for hardware wallets is of paramount importance. Beware that due to the technical differences of the Tangle from the usual blockchains, IOTA was so far not supported in hardware solutions. However, this is an issue that the team is working hard to overcome.
Encrypted QR Paper Wallets
Currently, the app supports printing out the seed on paper as a back-up. This, however, exposes it to malicious elements who can copy down your seed with just temporary access to it. So the team is looking to print encrypted QR paper wallets instead, which would hide the seed more effectively.
To pave the way for IOTA’s adoption in the burgeoning e-commerce market, the Trinity team has developed a system for vendors to provide payment addresses directly on their web pages. Clicking on these web-pages takes the user to the wallet with pre-filled transaction details which greatly streamlines purchases.
Address Books and Messaging
IOTA’s need for new addresses for every transaction creates some unique problems. Businesses or individuals looking to accept payments cannot just give an address on to their clients, because once they spend the funds from that address, they will need a new one. To address the need for a more permanent address (pun completely intended), the Trinity team is looking into implementing Masked Authenticated Messaging (MAM). This is the second layer of communication built on top of the existing Tangle network. It allows the creation of ‘streams’ of messages, which can potentially provide not only an alias for sending funds but messaging too!
Randomized Virtual Keyboard
Many users had raised the possibility of key-logging by malicious programs to compromise the user’s seeds and passwords. The Trinity team is working to introduce a virtual, custom keyboard that randomizes its key layout, making it impossible for such attacks to work.
Transactions on Tangle can sometimes take more than just a few seconds, leading to users minimizing the app as they are waiting. However, at the moment transactions cannot process in the background which seriously hampers the experience for mobile users. This will be taken care of in further releases.
After the decidedly poor official wallet rolled out by IOTA, many had written off the project from ever achieving mass adoption. However, by showing surprising flexibility in working with and incorporating the views of the community at large, the IOTA foundation has once again gained the trust of users and investors alike.
The Trinity Wallet captures the best of what IOTA has to offer: An easy to use, scalable crypto ecosystem that is not dependent on restrictive fees and slow confirmations. The simplicity of the Trinity product is of massive importance and will be the key to whether IOTA is to be mass adopted.