Safe Recovery of EOS Genesis Accounts With Lost Non-Compromised Private Keys
This is a re-posting of a medium article available here: https://medium.com/@blaketlagarde/safe-recovery-of-eos-genesis-accounts-with-lost-non-compromised-private-keys-944d48a6dde6
In the weeks following The EOSIO Core Arbitration Forum’s (ECAF) first ever arbitration ruling and subsequent approval, a large number of critics have called for the defenestration of the ECAF, a group of volunteer arbitrators whose “power” is only granted by the individual claimants who opt in for arbitration. In spite of the meticulous detail provided in the ECAF’s order (including the fact that the victim provided trustless proof of original ownership of the account), these same critics have cast aspersions towards the top 21 block producers who approved the first ruling. The most commonly cited “issues” with the ECAF, are hypothetical scam claims which have never been successfully carried out in reality. Other critics insist there is a need for alternative avenues, or providers, for individual arbitration, or “legal solutions” based off of the free market demand. These same individuals have criticized the ability of block producers to verify the validity, or genuineness, of an ECAF order. It would seem obvious that the possibility of a fraudulent order would loom larger in a system with a multitude of sources for arbitration rulings, as opposed to a single base layer source. These criticisms aside, the purpose of this article is not to debunk the arguments put forth against the ECAF in its current role. Rather, we seek to point out the utility, if not necessity for base layer arbitration for the hundreds, if not thousands of EOS Genesis accounts with lost non-compromised private keys.
Arbitration of EOS Genesis account lost non-compromised key claims (referred to as lost key claims going forward in this article) may, or more precisely, has to start on an individual basis (and at the base layer), because these lost key claimants have had zero access to their EOS account or the blockchain. What these lost key claimants do have to offer is something unique to most all other claims: trustless proof by demonstrating ownership of the inextricably blockchain linked Ethereum (ETH) private key address associated with the EOS genesis account (via signature from the linked eth account). It is this same unique variable which makes a certain level of automation of lost key claims a real possibility in the future. Most importantly, signing from the linked ETH account to prove ownership of an EOS genesis account with zero user transactions since the migration does not provide a new vector for fraudulent activity.
From the jump, the EOS Lost Key Community (individuals who are locked out of their EOS Genesis Accounts because of lost non-compromised keys) has supported a means by which we may have our funds restored via a process or solution which does not undermine the integrity of the blockchain. We wish to reach out to the community and block producers to highlight the fact that our solution is a simple, secure one, based on the ownership of the ETH private key inextricably linked to its respective EOS genesis account. This unique circumstance brings to light the possibility of a trustless, automated system for account recovery for those of us with lost, or invalid, private keys. As of this moment, the ECAF is running the first few “test” lost key claims with the goal of mastering a procedure by which lost key claims could be increasingly automated in the future. We expect these first rulings any day now, and we look forward to opening the door to a more feasible, automated lost genesis key recovery system which will not bog down the base layer or the ECAF’s workflow.
Blake, On Behalf of The EOS Lost Non-Compromised Key Community