Help Center

MEWconnect

Does MEWconnect Store the Private Key in iPhone’s ‘Secure Enclave’?

2 min read

In short, the answer is no because it is not possible.

In fact, no Ethereum wallets store their keys in iPhone’s Secure Enclave. Some wallets will claim that they use a ‘Secure Enclave’, but what they really mean is just a ‘general secure location’ within the device. Apple has guidelines and restrictions in place that do not allow the use of their Secure Enclave technology for crypto purposes, intentional or not. This is for a variety of reasons.

The first reason is lack of support. The Secure Enclave of iPhones is a separate piece of hardware disconnected from the rest of the phone. This hardware cannot be accessed, altered, backed up, or upgraded by anyone, including Apple. And the current framework of the Secure Enclave does not host the capabilities of generating Ethereum keypairs. Therefore, it is not possible for any companies to use this hardware as a method of generating and storing Ethereum keys. Future upgrades to the encryption algorithms used by the Secure Enclave may change this, but it’s not likely to happen soon and would only apply to all future devices.

Even if they started offering this support with future versions, the second issue makes it very unwise to implement. This is mainly due to one reason listed in particular, no back-up services. Currently, MEWconnect gives 24 words for recovery, should a user get a new phone or break their current one. However, the inaccessibility of Apple’s Secure Enclave technology makes it impossible to design a recovery process, making each wallet generated by this technology vulnerable to being lost forever.

Instead, MEWconnect uses a local, secure keychain to encrypt and store the private information tied to one’s wallet. This information never leaves the device, so connecting to MEW and sending transactions is still just as secure. We believe transparency and honesty are important, so these distinctions have to be made.

Does MEWconnect Store the Private Key in iPhone’s ‘Secure Enclave’?

2 min read

In short, the answer is no because it is not possible.

In fact, no Ethereum wallets store their keys in iPhone’s Secure Enclave. Some wallets will claim that they use a ‘Secure Enclave’, but what they really mean is just a ‘general secure location’ within the device. Apple has guidelines and restrictions in place that do not allow the use of their Secure Enclave technology for crypto purposes, intentional or not. This is for a variety of reasons.

The first reason is lack of support. The Secure Enclave of iPhones is a separate piece of hardware disconnected from the rest of the phone. This hardware cannot be accessed, altered, backed up, or upgraded by anyone, including Apple. And the current framework of the Secure Enclave does not host the capabilities of generating Ethereum keypairs. Therefore, it is not possible for any companies to use this hardware as a method of generating and storing Ethereum keys. Future upgrades to the encryption algorithms used by the Secure Enclave may change this, but it’s not likely to happen soon and would only apply to all future devices.

Even if they started offering this support with future versions, the second issue makes it very unwise to implement. This is mainly due to one reason listed in particular, no back-up services. Currently, MEWconnect gives 24 words for recovery, should a user get a new phone or break their current one. However, the inaccessibility of Apple’s Secure Enclave technology makes it impossible to design a recovery process, making each wallet generated by this technology vulnerable to being lost forever.

Instead, MEWconnect uses a local, secure keychain to encrypt and store the private information tied to one’s wallet. This information never leaves the device, so connecting to MEW and sending transactions is still just as secure. We believe transparency and honesty are important, so these distinctions have to be made.

Customer Support
MEWconnect

Does MEWconnect Store the Private Key in iPhone’s ‘Secure Enclave’?

2 min read

In short, the answer is no because it is not possible.

In fact, no Ethereum wallets store their keys in iPhone’s Secure Enclave. Some wallets will claim that they use a ‘Secure Enclave’, but what they really mean is just a ‘general secure location’ within the device. Apple has guidelines and restrictions in place that do not allow the use of their Secure Enclave technology for crypto purposes, intentional or not. This is for a variety of reasons.

The first reason is lack of support. The Secure Enclave of iPhones is a separate piece of hardware disconnected from the rest of the phone. This hardware cannot be accessed, altered, backed up, or upgraded by anyone, including Apple. And the current framework of the Secure Enclave does not host the capabilities of generating Ethereum keypairs. Therefore, it is not possible for any companies to use this hardware as a method of generating and storing Ethereum keys. Future upgrades to the encryption algorithms used by the Secure Enclave may change this, but it’s not likely to happen soon and would only apply to all future devices.

Even if they started offering this support with future versions, the second issue makes it very unwise to implement. This is mainly due to one reason listed in particular, no back-up services. Currently, MEWconnect gives 24 words for recovery, should a user get a new phone or break their current one. However, the inaccessibility of Apple’s Secure Enclave technology makes it impossible to design a recovery process, making each wallet generated by this technology vulnerable to being lost forever.

Instead, MEWconnect uses a local, secure keychain to encrypt and store the private information tied to one’s wallet. This information never leaves the device, so connecting to MEW and sending transactions is still just as secure. We believe transparency and honesty are important, so these distinctions have to be made.

Does MEWconnect Store the Private Key in iPhone’s ‘Secure Enclave’?

2 min read

In short, the answer is no because it is not possible.

In fact, no Ethereum wallets store their keys in iPhone’s Secure Enclave. Some wallets will claim that they use a ‘Secure Enclave’, but what they really mean is just a ‘general secure location’ within the device. Apple has guidelines and restrictions in place that do not allow the use of their Secure Enclave technology for crypto purposes, intentional or not. This is for a variety of reasons.

The first reason is lack of support. The Secure Enclave of iPhones is a separate piece of hardware disconnected from the rest of the phone. This hardware cannot be accessed, altered, backed up, or upgraded by anyone, including Apple. And the current framework of the Secure Enclave does not host the capabilities of generating Ethereum keypairs. Therefore, it is not possible for any companies to use this hardware as a method of generating and storing Ethereum keys. Future upgrades to the encryption algorithms used by the Secure Enclave may change this, but it’s not likely to happen soon and would only apply to all future devices.

Even if they started offering this support with future versions, the second issue makes it very unwise to implement. This is mainly due to one reason listed in particular, no back-up services. Currently, MEWconnect gives 24 words for recovery, should a user get a new phone or break their current one. However, the inaccessibility of Apple’s Secure Enclave technology makes it impossible to design a recovery process, making each wallet generated by this technology vulnerable to being lost forever.

Instead, MEWconnect uses a local, secure keychain to encrypt and store the private information tied to one’s wallet. This information never leaves the device, so connecting to MEW and sending transactions is still just as secure. We believe transparency and honesty are important, so these distinctions have to be made.

Customer Support