Blockstream Reveals MuSig2; An Easy & Privacy-Focused 2-Round Schnorr Multisignature Scheme

As the Bitcoin Taproot upgrade approaches, a multi-signature solution is in development by Blockstream engineers, according to a medium blog post on Nov 4. Two engineers, Tim Ruffing and Jonas Nick said that they have already published a blueprint for MuSig2, an advanced version of the MuSig multi-signature scheme built to facilitate collective ownership of some Bitcoin and the creation of a single authorization signature.

Notably, Blockstream had debuted MuSig1 back in 2018 but is now seeking to solve communication shortcomings in the MuSig scheme’s initial version. MuSig1 brought in a privacy aspect that previously did not exist in the CHECKMULTISIG code; this version also reduced the transaction fees. However, this particular version had implemented multiple backs and forth signing process; something that Musig2 is designed to solve.

MuSig2 Non-Interactivity Signature

As highlighted, this MuSig scheme version introduces a less interactive signing process; to be precise, only two communication rounds are required. The initiative, which is currently undergoing a peer review, is set for presentation at the Real World Crypto Conference scheduled for next year. Per the blog, MuSig2 leverages a non-interactive signing approach to enhance the utility in MuSig1. It reads,

“As the name suggests, MuSig2 is intended to be the successor of MuSig1.

It offers the same functionality and security as MuSig1 but makes it possible to eliminate almost all interaction between signers.”

Basically, MuSig2 combines the best of MuSig1 and CHECKMULTISIG functionalities to provide an ecosystem with both privacy and efficient communication. With the Taproot integration around the corner, Blockstream is set to update the Schnorr signature code library by replacing MuSig1 with MuSig2. The blog also hinted that they might test MuSig2 on Taproot code earlier, in preparation for deployment on the Bitcoin Mainnet.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

SpaceChain Creates First Multi-Signature BTC Transaction From International Space Station

SpaceChain, a popular decentralized space agency, has made bitcoin history by executing a multi-signature bitcoin transaction in space. One of the researchers at the firm sent 0.01 BTC to two bitcoin addresses in space using the ground facility of International Space Station (ISS).

To make this transaction possible, Spacechain used a modified hardware blockchain located at the ISS. The blockchain used the hardware system to transmit the encrypted data using the ground station. Nanosatellites manufacturer GomSpace developed the hardware blockchain system. Niels Buus, CEO of GomSpace commented on their association with SpaceChain and the use of their hardware blockchain system in space and said,

“It’s an incredible honor to be selected by SpaceChain as the main supplier for its blockchain hardware wallet. The success of the first multi-signature blockchain transaction in space demonstrates the onboard computer’s capabilities in supporting decentralized constellations in space with unparalleled data processing performance.”

“This milestone has built momentum for the use of space systems and services in the commercial market, and we are excited to integrate our innovative technologies further to help SpaceChain achieve its goals in space and beyond.”

What is a Multi-Signature Wallet, and how Does it Work?

Multi-signature wallets work the same way as regular wallets, apart from the fact that they requires multiple signatures or approvals before a transaction can be processed. Multi-signature wallets ensure a higher level of security with a feature to create shared wallets so that numerous people have access to it, and the transaction is approved only if it is genuine. The co-founder and CTO of SpaceChain, Jeff Garzik commented on their recent feat and said,

“Executing the multi-signature transaction in space encapsulates our continuous efforts in building out an open-source blockchain-based satellite network that is secure and immutable. SpaceChain aims to be the one-stop solutions provider for the integration of blockchain and space.”

SpaceChain is supported by a European Space Agency under their “Kick Starr Activities” program and aims to create a new class of space products along with finding various use cases for future digital banks.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Crypto Custodian, Curv, Raises $26M Led By Commerzbank, Digital Currency Group, Coinbase Ventures

Crypto custody firm, Curv, which claims to enhance the multi-signature technology through a “secrecy computational model,” closed a $23 million Series A funding round. They will use the new capital to expand its business to global clients, improve its secrecy features, strengthen its technological infrastructure, and grow its team.

The funding was led by Digital Currency Group (DCG) and CommerzVentures, subsidiary of one of Germany’s leading banks, Commerzbank, which deals with the investments of the bank. Other participants in the round include Coinbase Ventures, Tokyo-based Digital Garage Lab Fund, and Team8, a cybersecurity firm headquartered in Israel.

Curv is a cryptography startup that raised $6.5 million in a seed funding round in 2018, launching its International Digital Wallet service providing users with security, independence, and flexibility in its digital asset storage. The firm uses the multi-party computation (MPC) cryptography system to keep funds safe.

MPC generates random private keys and shares them across a group of designated authorities instead of the multi-signature technology that secures the wallet through one fixed private key and hard computations.

On the significance of employing MPC over multi-signature technology, Curv CEO, Itay Malinger said,

“There is not any point in time or space where there will actually be a private key. MPC breaks that paradigm, so you don’t have additional layers of security like guards or cameras or World War II bunkers that can take 24 hours to get at.”

Real industry adoption

Curv is experiencing sustained growth in the number of clients, including top industry players such as Franklin Templeton (to secure and custody tokenized shares), trading platform eToro and trading desk, Genesis Trading, also owned by DCG. Itay declined to give too much on its future partners and customers but said Curv is speaking to several exchanges and institutional players on Wall Street.

The funding will also support tX, a group of engineers developing on Curv, to ensure the platform is ready for both crypto-focused and traditional financial institutions in the international markets.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Civic’s Hot Wallet to be Backed by $1M Insurance Policy Through Coincover Partnership

The non-custodial and multi-signature wallet Civic Wallet is now offering a $1 million insurance from Coincover.

Established as one of the biggest decentralized identity providers in the crypto industry, Civic Technologies (CVC), is the first non-custodial wallet company offering $1 million protection. At the moment, the wallet is in beta.

FDIC-Like Protection

The CEO and co-founder of Civic, Vinny Lingham, said the protection provided from the company is similar to the one from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Here are his exact words on this:

“This is the first time that both technical and non-technical users can feel safe about their holdings. Until now, people had to keep their coins in the cold storage, but now they don’t have to worry about it as their holdings are insured up to $1,000,000 just like a bank account with the FDIC.”

In the meantime, David Janczewski, the CEO of Coincover, said he’s not running an insurance company, but one for crypto security and protection.

Advantages of Multi-Signature Wallets and Civic

With Civic Wallet being multi-signature, the user stores 1 key, the custodian BitGo another one and Civic the third one, which will migrate to Coincover soon. This means that in case something happens with Civic, users coins won’t be lost.

Another great thing about it is that legal heirs can recover funds from the wallet, which only works for US residents at the moment but will expand at a global level and support all BitGo’s coins. The coverage offered by Civic is free for now, but Lingham said they may charge accounts with more than $1 million in cryptocurrency a fee.

Civic Wallet has to abide by strict Know Your Customer (KYC) rules by supplying user identification issued by governments and using facial recognition identification technology. Users won’t have to leave the wallet in order to buy crypto and connect bank accounts. The insurance couldn’t have had a better time to arrive, seeing cryptocurrencies held in wallets are growing day by day in numbers.

Users Will Automatically Qualify for the Insurance

The $1 million insurance will be automatically activated, so users won’t have to do anything in order to get it. The coins covered are Bitcoin (BTC), USDC and Ethereum (ETH), which will be stored and bought straight in the app, only with a bank account.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Renowned Crypto Custodian BitGo Now Supports EOS Multi-Signature Custody Wallet Services

Cryptocurrency custodian and wallet provider BitGo has announced the launch of multi-signature wallet and custody services for EOS, the eighth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

BitGo offers security, custody, and liquidity services that are built on multi-signature security. The company said that it now supports over 200 coins and tokens, allowing institutional clients to hold a wide range of assets.

EOS is the native token of the EOSIO network, published by Block.one which raised a staggering $4 billion via an initial coin offering (ICO) of EOS tokens as per a report by Business Insider.

EOSIO is a blockchain platform built for both public and private use cases. The open-source blockchain protocol has become quite popular with decentralized app (dApp) developers owing to the low cost of transactions and quick transaction times and has hundreds of dApps in active use on several EOSIO-based blockchains. BitGo’s chief technology officer Ben Chan said:

“The EOSIO software has some innovative differentiators like its high transaction capacity and fee model that required our engineering team to scale our platform. We were able to successfully create an experience for EOS users that is seamless and consistent with how we support other coins and tokens.”

Chan stated that his firm’s culture and approach has always been to build infrastructure and platforms to help drive the global economy and his firm was excited to extend this infrastructure to support EOS for the firm’s clients.

As per the press release, EOS custody is available through either BitGo, Inc. or BitGo Trust Company, a qualified custodian purpose-built for digital assets.

Earlier in June, Block.one announced a new blockchain-based social media platform which will reward and return control to social media users. Called “Voice,” the platform will be launched on the EOS Public Blockchain.

Cointelegraph reports that BitGo recently hired Pete Najarian as the company’s Chief Revenue Officer. Najarian joined BitGo from its rival Xapo, where he served as Senior Vice President of Institutions. BitGo was Founded in 2014 in San Francisco and looks forward to adding more budding cryptocurrencies in the future according to the company’s head.

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Author: Joseph Kibe