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So some generalisations on xpubs and current wallet providers.

  • Ledger and Trezor wallets can create xpubs which can show all transactions of a wallet
  • When a passphrase is added, this counts as a new set of private keys along with a new xpub
  • The children public addresses created from sending/receiving bitcoin are bound only to the xpub from the mnemonic phrase + passphrase i.e. if you create a new passphrased wallet it will have a new xpub
  • Children created by these wallets are not hardened
  • If an xpub is leaked for a mnemonic phrase + passphrase, if you have any of the children’s private keys, you can compromise the entire wallet linked to the xpub and all other children, hardened or non-hardened BUT the attacker will not be able to compromise any other meomonic phrase + paassphrase you have as it has a different xpub, and ultimately different children

My question, assuming the above is correct, it’s becoming more commonplace for 3rd parties (i.e. tax tools) to make use of xpubs – I want to know how it’s even possible to leak a childs private key on a trezor or a ledger as none of the outputs are able to leak these, unless I’m wrong.

Just want to make sure I’m not leaving myself too open.

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By pplny

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