There has been quite a lot of buzz surrounding multisig (multisignature) and bitcoin. But what exactly is it? Many think it’s the future of bitcoin, and for a good reason.
In short, multisignature transactions are unique in that they allow for more than one private key to control a wallet address. At present, most users deal with one public address, and one public.
The issue with that is that it becomes incredibly easy to lose access to funds should the private key become compromised.
In a 2-of-2 multisignature transaction, a private key from your laptop is used to sign a transaction, and a private key from your phone must also be used to sign the same transaction. If you slip up and reveal the private keys on your laptop, your bitcoins are still safe because the private keys on your phone haven’t been compromised.
BitPay’s Bitcore team recently announced that a multisignature wallet, dubbed Cosign, was in development. It’s since been re-named to Copay, and all six of the software’s developers have come together in Tucuman, Argentina to create a prototype.
“Today we are happy to announce that we have successfully broadcast the first BIP32 P2SH multisig transaction using Copay,” the team wrote in their announcement.
The transaction can be viewed here.
It’s a noteworthy milestone, indeed. As one would come to expect, the Copay software is fully open-source, so it’ll be subject to community evaluation any time.
The work isn’t yet over, though. There’s still a long way to go in getting multisignature capabilities in more bitcoin wallet software. The Bitcore/Copay team are seemingly feeling optimistic, it seems:
“We believe 2014 will go down in bitcoin history as the year of multisig. May stolen bitcoins be a thing of the past,” they said.