Mobile Payments Company Square, Open Source Bitcoin Cold Storage Solution Now Live
A San Francisco based mobile payments start-up, Square, announced in a blog post on Tuesday that the documentation, code, and tools for the company’s “Subzero” bitcoin cold storage solution are now publicly available on Github.
Cold storage refers to a method of keeping cryptocurrency holdings and users’ private keys offline in order to safeguard against theft via a remote attack.
According to the blog post, penned by Square security engineer Alok Menghrajani, the company said that it chose to make the system open source to inspire further innovation in the cryptocurrency space and help companies in the fledgling industry fulfill their security needs.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin require private keys to access and move funds. Securing these private keys is important because transfers are irrevocable.
An unauthorized person who gains access to the private keys can move funds and due to the nature of cryptocurrencies, it would be practically impossible to identify the person or recover the funds.
However, Square’s solution, dubbed “Subzero,” uses a Hardware Security Module (HSM)-backed cold wallet for which the company has now released the code, documentation, and tools.
According to Alok Menghrajani, the HSM is programmable, the firm has built a technology which can transmit bitcoin from the hot wallet to a cold storage any time. To bring back the coins to the online hot wallet, the program would require multi-party signatures to begin a transaction.
Adding that “The hardware security module is programmable and permits to back bitcoin wallets at the moment. It offers us the flexibility to enforce other rules in the future.”
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