[bitcoin-dev] On-chain vaults prototype

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Mon Apr 13 15:50:00 UTC 2020


High-security protection against theft depends on multisig and timelocks,
but more tools are possible. Last year I discussed one method where
would-be attackers are discouraged by specially designed vault covenants
[1] allowing re-vaulting transactions, where a watchtower can override a
proposed delayed-spend transaction during a public observation delay
period. Splitting coins into multiple timelocked UTXOs can give a user time
to react to theft of a much smaller portion of the total amount.

If better and better cold storage designs can be shared openly, reviewed,
and used easily, this can increase security for all bitcoin users. When the
understanding among the general public includes "bitcoin is extremely
valuable" then it becomes more urgent that the understanding in the general
public also includes "bitcoin cold storage security is impenetrable".

Today I would like to announce the release of an open-source prototype for
on-chain bitcoin vaults using pre-signed transactions and secure key
deletion. I am hoping for feedback and discussion around these concepts. To
be very clear, this is a prototype and not fit for production use.


During the delay period, this design allows initiation of a recovery or
clawback which triggers funds being moved to deeper cold storage.

Reviewers: Generally interested in your feedback about the concept. My hope
is that the prototype and its source code helps answer some questions about
how this might work. I would suggest to also pay close attention to the
script templates for both outputs and witnesses.

Also included is an implementation of this same bitcoin vault using bip119

I have also been working with Spencer Hommel, Jacob Swambo, and Bob
McElrath on two related manuscripts, one addressing the topic of bitcoin
covenants and the other addressing the topic of vaults based on pre-signed
transactions. As part of that project, there is a separate vault
implementation that is already available on Fidelity's github account [2].
A more bare bones implementation of python vaults can be found at [3].
Also, Kevin Loaec has an unrelated implementation using pre-signed

Thank you,

- Bryan

[2] https://github.com/fmr-llc/Vault-mbed
[3] https://github.com/JSwambo/bitcoin-vault
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