How Ethereum’s Wallets Are Evolving

By September 17, 2016Bitcoin Business

Benedict Chan is platform lead at blockchain security firm BitGo and an advocate of bitcoin and ethereum blockchain technologies. He has designed and developed APIs and SDKs used behind a number of bitcoin multi-signature wallet implementations. Here Chan looks at the differences between ethereum multisig wallets and their bitcoin counterparts, as well as delving into their inner workings. Wallets are one of most basic applications on any blockchain platform. They provide the interface for users to interact with the blockchain. Some wallets, such as the one offered by Bitcoin Core, connect to the blockchain directly via a full node, while others depend on web services to provide access. At the basic level, a wallet seeks to serve users by receiving, sending, monitoring and listing transactions within a cryptocurrency. More advanced wallets enable users to gain better security or perform an extended set of actions on the blockchain, thus increasing their worth. This is particularly true in the case of the ethereum blockchain, where users need not only store value, but also perform various activities via contracts. Background on multisig Since their introduction in 2013, bitcoin multi-signature (multisig) wallets have been used to provide user redundancy and security when handling funds on the blockchain. Multi-signature accounts require that multiple keys must be signed to move a token, like a physical vault where more than one key is required for contents to be accessed. Multisig makes it more difficult for attackers to steal from a wallet, since the keys can be put on separate machines. With this additional security, users can have peace of mind when storing and using coins, or set up wallet structures where multiple users and approvals are required for transfers. Evolution from bitcoin to ethereum The potential of ethereum’s blockchain, coupled with the rapid rise of the […]

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