[bitcoin-dev] Proposal: Bitcoin Secure Multisig Setup

Hugo Nguyen hugo at nunchuk.io
Thu Feb 11 19:11:11 UTC 2021

Hi Pavol,

On Thu, Feb 11, 2021 at 8:25 AM Dmitry Petukhov via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> В Thu, 11 Feb 2021 05:45:33 -0800
> Hugo Nguyen via bitcoin-dev <bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > This scheme might be vulnerable to rainbow table attack.
> > >
> >
> > Thank you for pointing this out! Incidentally, Dmitry Petukhov also
> > told me the same privately.
> My thought was that if TOKEN has the characteristics of a password
> (short ASCII string), then it would be better to use key derivation
> function designed for passwords, like PBKDF2.
> The counter-argument to this is that this adds another code dependency
> for vendors, if the device firmware does not already have the required
> key derivation function.
> Maybe this could be solved by going into opposite direction - make the
> "token" even longer, use the mnemoic.
> The issue is that entering long data of the shared key into the device
> manually is difficult UX-wise.
> Hww vendors that allow to enter custom keys into their device already
> have to face this issue, and those who allow to enter custom keys via
> mnemonic probably tackled this somehow.
> Maybe the shared key for multisig setup can be entered in the same way
> ? (with maybe additional visual check via some fingerprint).

You just gave me a great idea! We can reuse the BIP32 seed words list!
Perhaps the encryption key can just be 6 words, but it'll be derived the
same way. BIP39 also uses PBKDF2 as a key derivation function, so it
matches with what you described here.

And all HWW should have this functionality already.


> Although we would then have another issue of potential confusion
> between two procedures (entering the main key and entering the shared
> key for multisig setup), and the measures has to be taken to prevent
> such confusion.
> The approaches can be combined - specify a key derivation function
> suitable for passwords; via secure channel, share a password and/or the
> derived key. If hww supports derivation function, it can derive the key
> from password. If hww supports only keys, the key can be entered raw or
> via mnemonic.
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