"People aren't good at protecting their keys," said Bryan Bishop, a bitcoin developer unlisted longtime. The idea of a bitcoin vault has been around since 2016. The original proposal required a hard fork that core developers have never implemented. But today, Bishop is launching a forkless prototype on GitHub and sharing it on the Bitcoin Core e-mailing list.
The basic idea is to store bitcoin (BTC) on-chain in a particularly secure way that allows recovery from security errors. The on-chain approach is one of those characteristics that distinguish Bishop's deposit from a common portfolio.
How it works
The problem with a cold wallet is that you only have your security model to protect yourself. If someone gets your private key, you can't appeal. Vaults, or vaults, as proposed by Bishop and others, offer a plan B.
Users of these deposits would actually have the power to limit the rate at which their bitcoins (BTC) could be withdrawn in the event of a breach. The proposal also includes a feature called a watchtower that would monitor deposits.
Whenever the watchtower observes a BTC shift, it notifies the owner. If the attempt to transfer the bitcoin had not been authorized, the user could activate a pre-signed transaction to move all the BTC capital to an off-chain cold wallet, before it unlocks to be withdrawn by the thief.
Under certain conditions, the watchtower may skip the notification phase and still start moving capital on the cold wallet. “To make this repository work and everything associated with it, you will need at least software. It's not a manual procedure, ”said Bishop. "I want to make it clear that all of this is experimental, it's a prototype," said Bishop.
Meanwhile, Bishop is not the only person working on deposits for the existing bitcoin code base. Since he proposed the project last year, Chainsmiths' Kevin Loaec has taken it and changed it to something "people-oriented ( actually: companies) that need to move funds often and relatively quickly ...
It's a completely different level from the "multisig" used by most companies today, "said Loaec. Chainsmiths called the Revault product and expects to collect money around it soon.
Bob McElrath, a former Fidelity, is working on a similar implementation with several collaborators, and he says it will soon be described in academic papers. His design also applies widely to Bishop's work.
"This type of wallet is terribly complex," McElrath wrote, "with at least three distinct portfolios: an" active "wallet (used to send and receive), a" vault "(timed storage) and a" recovery "wallet ( allocation of funds in case of attack).
"Ittay Eyal, a developer who was also part of the team that submitted the original vault proposal with Sirer, said:" We are actually developing a demonstrably secure implementation of a vault for Ethereum in collaboration with Certora. "