BlockCypher announced at the beginning of this week that it had created a multisig (“mulitple signature) API that could be easily integrated into cryptocoin wallets, payment services, exchanges and other applications.
“Using BlockCypher’s multisig API, all you need are the public keys, the amount transferred, and later on, the signatures. That’s it. We build the transactions, validate them and broadcast them over the network.”
BlockCypher was founded in California to provide a platform on which cryptocurrency apps could be easily developed and scaled. A key part of that is a library of low-latency APIs and other tools to make implementation of block chain infrastructure easier.
Typically, the company said, multisig is complicated and hard to implement.
Multisig works like this: For a transaction to go through, a certain number of people have to sign off on it. You know in spy movies where three people have to turn a key simultaneously to, say, activate a nuclear warhead? The concept is the same here, with the multiple signatures serving as those nuke keys.
Here is how that works at the nuts-and-bolts level with Bitcoin, according to BlockCypher:
“In bitcoin, a transaction funding a multisig address has an output that includes the M number of public keys involved in the transaction with the N number of required signatures. It’s similar to M-pubkey1-pubkey2...pubkeyN-N followed by the multisig operation itself. To spend that output, a new transaction must include at least M signatures that will check against M of the N public keys.”
BlockCypher hopes its multisig API will make something that complicated easily available to all developers working on cryptocurrency apps and platforms.
Documentation can be found here.