What is Multisig Technology?

How do you keep your digital currency safe? Jerry Brito, Executive Director of the Coin Center, explains how multisignature technology provides increased security for digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.

Follow Jerry Brito on Twitter: @jerrybrito

Related links:

What is Multi-Sig, and What Can It Do?

The best multisignature wallets for 2016

The Wretched, Endless Cycle of Bitcoin Hacks

What is Multisig Technology?

15 Kommentare

  1. So, if I stop trusting the multisig service provider or if the company goes out of business , can I use my personal key and me safe key to move the money into another account? Do I just need 2 keys out of 3 no matter which key it is?

    1. Yeah, you need 2/3 keys, so even if the service provider goes away, taking the key with them, you can still move your funds using your 2 keys.

  2. Mulit-sig tech is only compelling if you actually achieve equitable, distributed trust. But here, it looks like you’ll still have to rely on the service provider to ultimately confirm every transaction. So which key has _most control_ during the transaction? How is this different from your credit union?

    1. tmaxon8 all keys have equal power but you need at least two of them to move your funds. Your bank has one key and can’t move your funds because they need two. You have one on your mobile phone and another in your safe. If your bank doesn’t approve a transaction for you then you can go to your safe box and get the backup key and then you’ll have two out of the three keys and can then move your funds. If however, you lose your phone which has one key on it, then you’re left with only one key in your safe box. Now if your bank decides to not give you their key (which is really your key that you gave them) then you’re fucked and won’t be able to move the funds, nobody can move them anymore cause two keys are needed and you have one and the bank has one (the third one was lost which was on your mobile phone). If you manage to find your mobile again, then you’ll have two keys again and can move your funds and the bank can’t stop you anymore.

    2. Exactly and in current system, the bank can freeze your money without asking you which will be difficult if you have the multisig mechanism

    1. Michael Hill no it’s not. You can go to your safe and get your backup key and then the bank can’t stop you anymore from moving your funds.

  3. I still don’t get it 100%. One key on lost or stolen phone, and the other with your service provider. It makes two out of three keys needed. Isn’t that right? Further more, couldn’t service provider get hold of your private key during transaction?

    1. As it says on 0:43, only 2 of 3 keys are needed to access the funds and perform a transaction.
      The service provider cannot intercept your private key because when using public key cryptography, the private key never leaves your device (it is used to decrypt stuff locally. only public keys are exchanged between parties).

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