Written by: Jess Lin
Contributor: Andy Chen

A Secure Element, or SE for short, is a vital component used to store and protect sensitive data. In this day and age when online hacks and scams are rampant, one can only imagine the crucial role Secure Element plays in keeping our digital assets and information safe. It offers plenty of security features to the rest of the device it’s embedded in. Let’s take a look at why a Secure Element is so imperative.

The SE chip is meticulously designed to incorporate both software and hardware protection measures. It ensures robust security through a combination of encryption for all software data and the integration of numerous sensors within the hardware. In the unfortunate event of deliberate destruction of the SE chip, an automatic data deletion mechanism promptly erases the information stored in its memory, preventing unauthorized access or misuse.

Table of Contents

Why Have a Secure Element Chip?

A Secure Element component makes the entire device tamperproof. Not only that, but it also extends tamper detection as well. As for crypto wallets, the secure element chip is what’s responsible for storing your private keys. The secure elements within devices have to be in compliance with industry standards.

The Infineon Secure Element, which SecuX uses in all our wallets, not only has secure storage and tamper detection capabilities, but it also has Secure Boot, which is a feature that only allows trusted software onto a device. There is also malware protection and Secure Boot can also be used to only give system access to authorized users.

How It Generates a Private Key

How It Generates a Private Key

The Secure Element component generates private keys by coming up with numbers randomly in a cryptographically secure way. There are typically four steps involved:

  1. Entropy collection: Entropy in cryptography refers to the measurement of randomness in a data set or system. The number generator collects entropy from various sources, to ensure the randomness of the result.
  2. Conditioning: The system then uses conditioning algorithms on the entropy to further enhance the randomness of the keys.
  3. Key Generation: After the first two steps, the random number generator then creates a series of bits that will help create a private key.
  4. Key Storage: Once you have it, the private key is securely stored in the SE, thanks to encryption and other security measures to prevent unauthorized access.

Use Cases for Secure Element

Use Cases for Secure Element

What can we use the Secure Element for? Here are some real use cases for the Secure Element.


SEs can be used to store information needed to log into online services, which include cryptographic data and other sensitive data. The SE can stop unauthorized access and other types of security threats.

Crypto Wallet Security

Crypto wallets, like the ones in our lineup, take full advantage of the Infineon Secure Element to not only store your public and private keys but also to keep them safe.

Mobile Device Payments

Contactless payments via mobile devices are another useful application. This is a vital example of how the Secure Element stores payment information within the chip for various payment terminals. With applications such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and the like, Secure Elements are the hero behind the curtain, making sure we never sacrifice safety for convenience.

Digital Identification

SEs also have a role to play in digital identification. This includes storing your e-signature, digital credentials, and other personal info to protect against identity theft and other malicious uses of personal data.

Secure Storage

You won’t be too surprised to find SEs in IoT (Internet of Things) devices in your daily life. IoT devices are ones capable of connecting to the internet to collect and transmit data without human aid. Such things include security systems, smart home devices and even transportation systems.

IoTs secure and store sensitive information within these devices to protect them from hacks. Can you imagine a world where rivaling governments have the ability to tamper with satellites, security, and transportation systems completely unhindered?

Secure and Encrypted Communication

Lastly, Secure Elements can keep communication private and encrypted. We’re talking about voice encryption and secure messaging functions that some apps employ.


Secure Elements provide a trusted and secure environment within devices all around us. We sometimes take for granted the convenience and security we enjoy thanks to these little components. The high level of protection they provide allows us to live our lives worry-free. Next time you’re reaching for your phone to make a quick payment, remember the SE within that keeps your information safe.

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