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Goodbye Private Keys? Aptos Labs Unveils Passkeys for Hassle-Free Blockchain Transactions

Aptos Labs has introduced innovation in transaction security on its Layer 1 blockchain network: passkeys, eliminating the need for cumbersome passwords.

Avery Ching, co-founder and CTO of Aptos Labs, explained to The Block the significance of this development. “We have made changes on the blockchain and created a novel passkey authenticator on Aptos that will take a transaction, the passkey signature, the passkey public key, and validate the transaction with that information,” said Ching. “This effectively enables a user to sign transactions with their passkey.”

Traditionally, users generate a long code or private key when creating an account in a crypto wallet, which needs to be safeguarded. This key is typically encrypted with a user-set password. However, forgetting this password can lead to losing access to the wallet unless the key is stored elsewhere. Passkeys, on the other hand, offer a password-free login experience, often utilizing features like Touch ID or Face ID.

Ching emphasized that passkeys are designed to enhance user experience, akin to the seamless convenience of services like Apple Pay or Google Pay. “Users will be able to store the private key for a passkey account directly on their device and sync their private key with their backup provider,” he explained. “Then, when they want to sign a transaction, they can use the passkey directly to do so, rather than sending the request to a service to be signed.”

While other crypto projects, such as Dynamic Wallet and Turnkey, also offer passkey authentication, Aptos’ approach stands out. Unlike systems where the private key is stored on external platforms like Amazon Web Services Nitro Enclave, Aptos users retain control by storing their private keys directly on their devices.

The development of Aptos’ passkey authenticator began in early 2023 and has since been open-sourced, allowing broader adoption beyond the Aptos ecosystem. Leveraging the WebAuthn standard and public-key cryptography, Aptos ensures robust security measures for its users.

Founded in October 2022 and backed by prominent venture capital firms like a16z and Tiger Global, Aptos Labs has raised a total of $350 million in funding. While the Aptos blockchain covers a Total Value Locked (TVL) of around $176 million, Ching declined to comment when asked about the potential growth challenges or ongoing initiatives.

As Aptos continues to innovate in blockchain technology, its introduction of passkeys represents a significant step towards enhancing security and usability, driving forward the evolution of decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystems.

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