[Bitcoin-development] Draft BIP for seamless website authentication using Bitcoin address

Mike Hearn mike at plan99.net
Fri Apr 4 13:08:57 UTC 2014

This comes up every few months. I think the problem you are trying to solve
is already solved by SSL client certificates, and if you want to help make
them more widespread the programs you need to upgrade are web browsers and
not Bitcoin wallets. There are certainly bits of infrastructure you could
reuse here and there, like perhaps a TREZOR with a custom firmware
extension for really advanced/keen users, but overall Bitcoin and website
authentication are unrelated problems.

On Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 2:15 PM, Eric Larchevêque <elarch at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> I've written a draft BIP description of an authentication protocol based
> on Bitcoin public address.
> By authentication we mean to prove to a service/application that we
> control a specific Bitcoin address by signing a challenge, and that all
> related data and settings may securely be linked to our session.
> The aim is to greatly facilitate sign ups and logins to services and
> applications, improving the Bitcoin ecosystem as a whole.
> https://github.com/bitid/bitid/blob/master/BIP_draft.md
> Demo website :
> http://bitid-demo.herokuapp.com/
> Classical password authentication is an insecure process that could be
> solved with public key cryptography. The problem is that it theoretically
> offloads a lot of complexity and responsibility on the user. Managing
> private keys securely is complex. However this complexity is already being
> addressed in the Bitcoin ecosystem. So doing public key authentication is
> practically a free lunch to bitcoiners.
> I've formatted the protocol description as a BIP because this is the only
> way to have all major wallets implementing it, and because it completely
> fits in my opinion the BIP "process" category.
> Please read it and let me know your thoughts and comments so we can
> improve on this draft.
> Eric Larcheveque
> elarch at gmail.com
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