BitGo Releases Open Source Software to Ease Burden of Key Storage and Recovery

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BitGo, a leading digital asset security platform, is excited to launch the first-of-its-kind automated, open source Key Recovery Service (KRS) software for provisioning cold backup keys. BitGo’s new KRS offering is part of their relentless commitment to providing the most secure digital asset vault in the world while also ensuring wallet users maintain control of their digital assets.

Until today, the options for creating and storing backup keys were limited. BitGo wallets have employed a 2-of-3 multi-signature model, in which one of the keys was generated on BitGo’s server and the remaining 2 keys were created by the user. The advantages to this have been that users hold 2 keys themselves, giving them full control over their funds. This has traditionally put the burden of secure key storage on the user. In the event that the user loses a key or forgets their password, they would lose access to their wallet. BitGo’s new KRS solution offers the option to choose from a list of secure third party Key Recovery Service providers to instantly generate and secure new backup keys.

“As a multi-sig, trustless wallet provider, BitGo believes the user has to be in control of the funds. At the same time, many users don’t want the burden of securing keys or remembering difficult pass phrases at the risk of losing their balance. However, we didn’t want to create more than 1 key for our users, which is why we’ve open sourced the software so others can run it and provide keys for creating wallets on demand.”

Ben Chan, Platform Lead, BitGo

Key Recovery Services specialize in the secure generation, storage, protection, and backup of private keys for use with Bitcoin wallets. Highly desirable to large enterprises due to the appealing security benefits, Key Recovery Services have been around for several years and are seeing increasing demand. Many companies and individuals considered them to be premium products due to the high costs associated with their services. BitGo responded by creating automated, open source Key Recovery Service software which will reduce the cost to users and make KRS more attainable and prolific. This next generation 2-of-3 key model is configured to eliminate any single point of failure and devise a truly trustless ecosystem by providing the user with 1 key, BitGo with the second key and the third party KRS with the backup key. This is a significant security improvement compared to many of the current online wallet models, which involves multiple keys being created on the same machine.

BitGo takes security very seriously and vets each KRS thoroughly, from operations to policy. Keytern.al will be the first to incorporate BitGo’s new KRS software into their secure key management offering and BitGo is also in talks with Elliptic with plans to bring on additional KRS providers in the coming months. BitGo is encouraging other KRS providers to run their new software, vet the KRS code and begin integrations. You can access their fully functional KRS reference implementation guide on Github today.

“As longtime advocates for accessible and practical techniques to improve safety and privacy for end users, we are thrilled about the opportunity to work with BitGo to deliver these important services to customers of their multi-sig wallet. Our experience over many years of cryptography engineering as well as working with most of the world’s leading bitcoin exchanges showed unambiguously that multi-sig is the single best way to avoid many risks associated with using bitcoin, and expert, safe, and convenient key handling is key to the success of multi-sig deployments.”

Jeffrey Paul, Co-founder, Keytern.al

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Founder of Blockchain News and The Hackitarians Foundation, Richard Kastelein is an award winning publisher and editor, hackathon organiser and entrepreneur. He has written over 700 articles at Blockchain News, has a massive network in the Blockchain arena and is available as a speaker and consultant. (richard@the-blockchain.com) Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on technology at events in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Gdansk, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Oxford, Rio de Janeiro, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, and Zurich. A Creative Technologist & Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) his career began in the Native Press (Canadian Arctic) and he later spent a decade in the Caribbean media. Currently, he writes occasionally for Wired Insights, Guardian & Virgin and his articles have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German & French.