Started by Bitcoin, Mar 13, 2023, 08:33 am
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Bitcoin multisig wallets are a great security solution to help you keep your Bitcoin secure, private and as accessible as your require at all times
Your Bitcoin wallet is the access to your digital funds and should be kept secure and private at all times. Online threats like malware programs, hacks and phishing attacks are always lurking behind the screen, and so is the risk of losing your own private keys, which could lead to losing your funds with no way to recover them.
If this sounds too brutal, you should realize that the highlighted risks are real and people have lost money due to dramatic accidents. Such accidents may include leaving bitcoin in centralized exchanges that have gone bankrupt -- like the recent FTX -- or vanished to potential rug pulls, like the Canadian exchange Quadriga.
Bitcoin multisig wallets come to the rescue and represent a great security aid in a self-custody practice. Multisig wallets have existed in Bitcoin since 2012. More recently, they have acquired a stronger position in securing the digital asset with cutting-edge technology suitable for less tech-savvy bitcoiners.
In recent years we've seen DIY wallets emerging for extra security. With DIY devices, you can buy your own components and build your own device that leaves no trace and securely generates private keys. Such an approach also benefits users from countries where conventional hardware wallets are not allowed to be sold or have poor delivery services and are optimal for low-cost solutions.
For the purpose of this article, we have structured the content into two distinct sections:
In a collaborative multisig wallet, which is likely to offer 2-out-of-3 key management, you will likely have control over one private key. At the same time, the third party -- an exchange or a custodial company -- holds the second private key online and the third key offline in cold storage.
The advantage of such a solution is convenience and reliance on customer service to assist with managing the private keys if anything happens. This occurs at the expense of privacy because companies may require KYC procedures to allow customers to use their services. Another disadvantage of collaborative multisig wallets is their geographical limitation, as they may not be available everywhere globally.
Why we choose it
Casa storage solutions were launched in 2016 and provide a non-custodial, multisig wallet and tiered plans for some of the best security that you can find in the market for your bitcoin funds. In December 2022, Casa added support for ETH, a decision that displeased Bitcoin users, many of whom supported Casa due to their stellar reputation and because they were a Bitcoin-only company.
A fundamental aspect of Casa multisig is that it is seedless because the use of a recovery seed phrase is considered both a poor user experience and a weakness in the security model due to the burdensome processes required by users to back them up.
Casa supports Trezor, Ledger and COLDCARD hardware wallets. The multiple keys required to access your funds are held on different devices and locations, making it impossible for thieves or natural disasters to cause you to lose more than one key at a time.
Casa provides different recommended tiers depending on funds allocation. Higher amounts of bitcoin require extra security with higher costs in protection. The basic wallet is still considered secure but best for smaller holdings. Casa App works on both Android and iOS mobile phones.
Nunchuk is a next-gen multisig wallet that can be used for self-custody of bitcoin with multisig features. At least two keys are required for transacting and the loss of any one key will not compromise your funds.
To overcome an individual's burden to manage keys alone, the Nunchuk team has developed a collaborative wallet which is both multi-user and multisig. Such a solution allows users to co-manage bitcoin with the loved ones they trust, thereby reducing the burden of key management while trusting known people and not third-party businesses.
From the tech standpoint, Nunchuk offers the latest innovations in Bitcoin, including PSBT and the descriptor language that largely improve the ecosystem's interoperability. This is a necessary feature for hardware and other wallets like Core to be compatible with Nunchuk.
Nunchuk has also introduced an Escrow type of wallet for holding bitcoin temporarily and moving funds quickly.
For users' full control over their funds Nunchuk has added support for coin control, replace-by-fee, personal server and TOR support, to mention a few of the security and privacy tools available.
Austin-based Unchained Capital is a financial service company focused on Bitcoin only. One of its most popular services is its blockchain-based loans that do not require a credit check. Bitcoin-based retirement plans are also part of their unique offering, as is their trading desk that allows users to buy bitcoin directly to a cold storage wallet.
In 2019, they launched the Caravan wallet that replaces the previous collaborative custody solution and, unlike its predecessor, cuts out Unchained as a counterparty. Caravan is an open-source wallet that lives on GitHub and is available for everyone to make their own copy.
It provides a multisig option that can be completely trustless -- with only one single user -- or can involve multiple parties.
Unchained provides full support for Trezor, Ledger and COLDCARD hardware wallets. All their keys use hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallets that are cold-stored on hardware devices, including offline air-gapped machines.
Self-hosted multisig wallets are for the ultimate security and privacy-concerned bitcoiner as such solutions let the users control their private keys and let them decide how and where to store them. Users of this type of wallet generally store their private keys in different devices and locations for ultimate security.
A thief would need to access and compromise all locations and devices to steal the private keys and the funds, so this is nearly impossible to happen. On the other hand, self-custody multisig wallets may be more suited for advanced users as they require some technical skills to assemble them or even just for the setup.
Specter Solutions was founded in 2019 and developed in Germany by Crypto Advance GmbH. They offer two types of wallets, the desktop solution and the Specter Shield DIY hardware wallet. The desktop wallet is compatible with all existing hardware wallets like Ledger, Trezor, COLDCARD, Seedsigner and, of course, Specter DIY.
The hardware solution requires the user to assemble the components; therefore, some technical skills are necessary. It provides a large display screen and a QR code scanner for fast transactions with an air-gap method that does not require being connected online to sign a transaction for extreme security.
Its multi-signature support requires users to set up 2 out of 3 signatures (devices) for verifying a transaction. This wallet is easily identified as the next-generation bitcoin wallet, which offers all the necessary features to grant the user the ultimate self-sovereignty every bitcoiner seeks.
Electrum was created in 2011 by developer Thomas Voegtlin and, with over ten years of operation, it can be considered the most secure hot wallet due to consistent support and review of its code. It's never had downtime because its servers are decentralized and have built-in redundancy.
It is a non-custodial wallet connected to the user's full node for complete control over their private keys. The lack of KYC requirements or storage of users' data on the project's servers makes it one of the most private wallets on the market.
Electrum offers a range of advanced functionalities like few free wallets do. It is compatible with hardware wallets for extra secure cold storage and provides an online watch-only functionality. It allows the creation of multisig wallets and the ability to set up custom transaction fees and use the replace-by-fee (RBF) feature.
The Lightning Network integration also makes the wallet great for fast payments. The Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) feature allows a lightweight client to verify that a transaction is included in the Bitcoin blockchain without downloading the entire blockchain.
The Sparrow wallet is one of Bitcoiners' favorites because it's free, open-source software with great perks and comes with a lot of security, privacy and convenience features. It is a desktop software application designed to be used with your own Bitcoin full node for extra security and privacy and it's the best alternative to Electrum and Specter desktop wallets.
Sparrow supports all the features expected of an innovative bitcoin wallet. It provides full support for the single sig and multisig wallets on all legacy and SegWit script types while giving users full control in the wallet creation and editing processes.
Sparrow supports all major hardware wallets (including air-gapped devices) but encourages integration with COLDCARD because it is bitcoin-only; it transparently displays the details of your wallet and transactions and contains a good set of privacy and security-related features. It supports partially signed bitcoin transactions (PSBTs), coin and fee control with coin selection and labeling for all transactions, PayJoin support and built-in TOR.
Sparrow is a tab-based desktop wallet, but it doesn't use browser technology, which is less safe than dedicated desktop applications because it has a larger attack surface potential. It also provides strong encryption for extra security.
Established in 2018, the BlueWallet has become one of the most popular and efficient bitcoin wallets for beginners over the years. It has gained a great reputation because it includes most features that make Bitcoin unique, like the use of multisig vaults against phishing attacks, on and offline thievery, malware infection, key or device loss or device malfunction.
A flexible number of keys and addresses can be used for multisig security, compatibility with most hardware wallets, watch-only setup and airgapped features are some attributes that make the BlueWallet a good option for advanced users also. The Lightning Network integration adds an extra benefit, making it simple to use for fast face-to-face transactions.
BlueWallet users can connect it to their own Bitcoin node via an Electrum server. The integration of Moon pay allows users to buy bitcoin, while the integration of peer-to-peer exchange allows users to execute non-custodial bitcoin trades.
This multisig and multi-device security wallet is another next-gen bitcoin tool to help users preserve their privacy and security while storing their bitcoin.
Built by the team at BitHyve, this wallet is compatible with most of the trusted hardware signers to hold your keys in an air-gapped and/or multisig manner. It offers all main features needed for securing your bitcoin: BIP 85 hot wallets, auto-transfer to vault, buy bitcoin directly into your cold storage, and much more.
It is free for all to download and use with no KYC requirements, the wallet allows users to connect their own node and to enable TOR for better network privacy. It is now considered one of the major competitors of Casa, as it helps with Inheritance providing users with the tips, tools and templates which work with their existing estate plan. It's currently available as a free test-net app but will offer different price plans in the future.
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