Detecting counterfeit crypto wallets and protecting your security

Veracity Protocol
4 min readApr 30, 2020

The counterfeit problem

Trezor is a hardware wallet that allows people to securely store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies. Unlike traditional data storage methods such as offline storage and paper wallets, Trezor secures payments without exposing private keys to potentially compromised computers.

Can you tell which device is authentic, hasn’t been tampered with, and is safe to use?

But what happens when the hardware wallet itself becomes the question of authenticity?

Only produced in Europe, the main issue Trezor has faced is counterfeit devices that are made in China. What’s most frustrating is that the fake and authentic versions are practically indistinguishable, making it impossible for customers to truly trust the wallets, especially when security and finances are involved.

Still, telling a fake device from an authentic one is only part of the whole story. Hardware hacks of these critical electronics present another kind of threat for the customers, and spotting signs of physical tampering or an unauthorized intervention of the device is nearly impossible with the naked eye. Although the probability of such security disruption is not high, the risk still exists and the potential consequences for the customer are serious.

Teaming up

With the goal of providing customers with a way to authenticate their purchases, Veracity Protocol teamed up with Trezor to protect their wallets. Our collective aim was to prove that adding this extra (and perhaps final) layer of security is possible, usable, and can be made available to customers starting tomorrow, if needed. We not only enabled accurate verification (i.e. distinguishing a fake from an authentic) — but also quick tamper detection (i.e. manipulation of an authentic).

The customer can distinguish an authentic device from a fake with confidence in a matter of seconds. Using only their smartphone.

Veracity Protocol is the new security standard for physical objects that allows anyone to verify an item’s identity, authenticity, detect anomalies, and check for tampering.

Our authentication solution

First, we focused on the Batch Protection of Trezor’s two available hardware wallets — Trezor One and Trezor Model T. We trained our algorithm to understand the characteristics of their authentic wallets and created a tamper-proof Physical Code™, based on their material structure.

Our augmented reality feature recognizes the device’s shape and automatically takes the photos needed for verification.

We then developed an end-user iOS application which employs this algorithm and allows customers to verify their device’s authenticity and if the hardware has been tampered with.

Making the actual flow intuitive is always our top priority. We never want to add any extra burden for the customer and are constantly working to improve the user experience. Technically speaking, checking the device’s security is as easy as one button-tap.

The customer initiates the verification process, and the augmented reality (AR) guidance leads them to the correct point of verification. Photos are taken and uploaded automatically, and all the customer has to do is wait for the verification result.

The user obtains a clear result about the device’s condition and security in a matter of seconds.

Pushing forward

What sets Veracity Protocol apart from existing solutions is that we protect the product as is — without chips, markers, or other embedded elements. For Trezor, all we need is the product and the smartphone app.

We look forward to expanding into new industries, as we continue to build the standard of trust for physical objects.

Connect with us

Veracity Protocol is an award-winning startup that builds a Vision AI Standard to protect people and products in the digital world. The standard guarantees the highest level of trust and security for verifying the identity, authenticity, and integrity of physical objects using a smartphone.

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Veracity Protocol

The Standard of Trust for Physical Objects • Protect anything with Vision AI / #traceability #trust #authentication #protection #security