Put a "fault" on Bitcoin? Developer: Transaction reversal through built-in time delay

If there is a mechanism to set the time delay when the user pays the bitcoin, what would it look like?


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This idea has been proposed for several years, and there are good reasons to believe that it will make it harder for the bad guys to steal money from Bitcoin users.

The basic principle is this: those who hold Bitcoin and store it as a value can store the Bitcoin in a cold wallet or save it offline, while setting it to be payable by code, but not immediately. The holder can pre-set a certain time delay for any attempt to move the bitcoin. If their private key information is compromised and someone tries to steal their cryptocurrency, the built-in delay allows the real holder to have time to reverse the transaction.

Developers Malte Möser, Ittay Eyal and Emin Gün Sirer proposed this feature in 2016 called "vaults" to better protect Bitcoin. Their proposal requires a fork in the protocol code base, but this fork has never happened.

But on Wednesday, Bitcoin Core contributor and cryptographic consultant Bryan Bishop sent a design to developers, hoping to do the same with existing code.

In an e-mail entitled "A Practical Bitcoin Vault with Theft Recovery/Recovery Mechanism," Bishop wrote:

“As a bitcoin cold storage security mechanism, this feature is particularly interesting because it provides a publicly visible lag period during which the holder will receive if the thief is stealing bitcoin. "Watchtower" issued a warning."

Token recovery chaser

According to Bishop's proposal, if the "unlock period" is activated, the Bitcoin holder can choose whether to respond to a transaction.

If the real holder initiates the transaction, he or she can do nothing because it actually transfers the bitcoin to an unsafe "hot" wallet as they wish. But if this is a malicious transaction, the legal holder can force the issued bitcoin back into the original cold wallet through another transaction that presets the same time delay. Bishop wrote in the email:

“The idea is to generate a series of pre-generated pre-signature transactions in some way. The basic components of such a transaction include a vaulting transaction that locks the token into the vault, and a unique consumable vault. A delayed-spend transaction for a medium-dollar coin, and a re-vaulting transaction that can recover/recover tokens from a deferred payment transaction."

Bishop's proposal also offers many options to solve other scenarios for more experienced users. He told CoinDesk:

“In my opinion, there are many people and many exchanges that obviously can't protect their keys. We have seen theft incidents again and again. Even in this limited environment, it is very useful to be able to revoke or cancel transactions. Value."

In fact, this year, there have been incidents of the theft of exchanges such as Bitpoint, Bitrue and Coin. Bishop added:

"I can't say that it can really solve the theft problem. This kind of guarantee is a bit too heavy, but it is definitely a very important tool."

Implement without fork

Bishop stated that his proposal does not require the use of any forks as previously proposed. It relies on the existing time locking feature already built into the Bitcoin code.

In other words, the software has not yet been written. Before exposing this code, he needs to get feedback from other developers, write the code, and then thoroughly test it. So real implementation will take a while.

In the process of communicating with other developers, issues that make security more complex may be revisited. When the previous proposal was proposed in 2016, a developer pointed out that such a proposal would give Bitcoin users more data they had to protect.

On the other hand, since the method does not require any changes at the protocol level, it is entirely up to the user to use it.

Bishop also realized that his strategy has brought new responsibilities to users. He said that if the construction is successful, his concept should be understood and accepted by the public, and a lot of popular activities should be done, such as how to protect these new tools and security measures.

However, the developer also said that once the software is ready, he will provide it to anyone who wants to use it for free, and he will use this method to protect most of his bitcoin.