Bitcoin, year 12.
Alice: This year sucks. You know what’s almost as bad as 2020?
Alice: Multisig is still scary.
Nunchuk: Hold my beer.
It’s somewhat ironic that for a technology that reveres decentralization as its central operating principle, Bitcoin still heavily relies on single point of failure as the dominant method of ownership. This despite the fact that the unique risk profile of digital assets desperately calls against such a practice.
The highest barriers are technical challenges. Multisig is not for the faint of heart. Many pitfalls await around the corner.
Did you back up all your seeds? Do you need seeds? Are you sure the signing devices use the same derivation path? What about that change address? What do you mean you lost your device in a boating accident? Oops, some vendor has just made an update that bricks my setup. …
Money, in essence, is information. It establishes a common value system (a type of information), its distribution is a reflection of who has what (information), and the exchange of it signals which goods and services are valued in society (also information).
However, relative to other types of information, money is arguably the most impactful when it comes to moving the world. As the historian Harari eloquently put it:
“Money is more open-minded than language, state laws, cultural codes, religious beliefs, and social habits. Money is the only trust system created by humans that can bridge almost any cultural gap, and that does not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, race, age, or sexual orientation. …
Nunchuk’s mission is the proliferation of multisig. To that end, today we are excited to open source our library, libnunchuk, under the MIT license. This library handles all the heavy-lifting inside the Nunchuk desktop application.
Nunchuk’s architecture differs from other wallets’ for a number of reasons. But a major one is our decision to heavily reuse Bitcoin Core code.
Why is reusing Bitcoin Core code a big deal?
This slogan (perhaps coined by Bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos) has been popular among the Bitcoin community for some time. “Keys” here refer to the private keys, implying that those who are in possession of the private keys own the bitcoins controlled by those keys.
While this slogan was true in the early days of Bitcoin, it is less relevant today and doesn’t tell the whole story. The reason is the growing sophistication of key generation and smart contracts, including, but not limited to, multisig.
Since Nunchuk’s mission is the proliferation of multisig, it is crucial that the first step is to clear up this misconception. …