BitPay announces Copay, a multi-signature, open-source wallet. Born from a need to secure Bitcoins in the safest way possible, Copay adheres to the idea that multi-signature technology will have an extremely important role in aiding people keep their Bitcoin secure from theft or loss. The creators of the multi-signature wallet believe that it's vital for wallet technology to be peer reviewed and open-source.
In the Bitcoin system, multi-signature is considered the hottest topic of discussion. Other wallet services such as Cryptocorp, Xapo, and BitGo are starting to take shape and employ genuine, multi-signature, blockchain technology. The community has already started to highlight the great importance of possessing bitcoins, rather than placing them in storage with the help of a third party.
The goal is to help customers maintain possession of their crypto currency in a genuine wallet, and Copay strongly believes that the future to making that happen lies in multi-signature technology.
Multi-signature technology requires multiple signatures for Bitcoin transactions. Miners will decline a multi-signature transaction if that transaction doesn't have a specific number of signatures. Each party has the liberty to sign a transaction independently, on a different device without having to use private keys. These private keys don't even have to be under a single person's control.
From a security perspective, this is extremely important as a thief would have to compromise more than one machine to gain access. By using this method, the risk of theft is greatly diminished.
"At BitPay, we’ve been working on a multi-signature wallet to help us manage our company funds and we decided that we should make it available to everyone to use and (we hope) build upon."
Copay was created on top of an open-source, highly successful Bitcoin stack, known as Bitcore. It makes use of a blockchain API and explorer - which is open source. Copay demands the use of a reliable Insight node for accessing the blockchain. To promote decentralization, the creators of Copay have tried to make the Insight server as simple as possible to run.
"With Bitcore, insight and copay, we’re building an easy to use open source technology stack that promotes decentralization. There are a number of bitcoin companies already building on these platforms and we will continue innovating on them ourselves."
By using Copay, start-ups can easily administer their Bitcoins by asking 3-5 people to sign transactions that use funds. Furthermore, a household may use Copay to manage family funds (with a single signer on a secure device in an offline location, in case one of the family members loses their online wallet by accident). There are endless other possibilities to use Copay.
Copay establishes peer-to-peer connections, through the use of WebRTC with each contributor. The contributor is in full control of their master key through the use of a personal device (BIP 32HD wallets); he may choose to share the public number of the key with his other wallet participants.
By making use of a key derivation protocol, each of the contributors may independently obtain new receiving addresses. When spending time comes, a transaction proposal will be crafted and distributed to the rest of the participants for signing over a connection peer-to-peer. When the transaction has added enough signatures, it will be transmitted and completed by the Bitcoin network.
At this point, Copay is in beta quality mode, and the makers are planning on simplifying the user interface to make it easier to use by newbies.