After a year of beta testing, the first version of BitPay’s multi-signature wallet Copay was released on June 3.
Copay is a multi-signature wallet built on BitPay’s Bitcore, an open-source platform for bitcoin- and blockchain-based applications. Copay multi-sig wallet is a shared bitcoin wallet, in which each owner holds a unique private key and the ability to push out payments or withdrawals. A transaction initiated in a Copay multi-sig wallet requires the approval of multiple people – efficient for businesses and privacy-conscious users.
“With Copay, a small company can, for example, manage their bitcoin holdings by requiring 3 of 5 officers to sign transactions that spend funds," BitPay Chairman Tony Gallippi explained. "A household can use a 2-of-3 wallet to manage family funds (with one signer on a device tucked away in a secure, offline location in case someone accidentally loses their online wallet). A parent can use a 2-of-3 wallet with their child to moderate the child’s spending habits and ensure they don’t accidentally lose bitcoins to a virus. There are many more possibilities.”
The Copay multi-signature wallet provides a convenient flow for sending funds from shared wallets which small or co-owned business could greatly benefit from. For example, a small online business on e-commerce platforms such as E-Bay or Amazon could adopt the Copay wallet to combine the budget of the business into one shared wallet and then allocate the expenses through approvals from different departments of the company.Furthermore, the Copay multi-signature wallet brings the security of bitcoin wallet into a whole new level.
Even if a bitcoin wallet service provider or exchange were ever compromised, the private keys would not be, so the possessed bitcoin would not be affected.Copay wallet is also the first bitcoin wallet to support the bitcoin testnet on both iOS and Windows Phones. This feature allows developers to create / test new bitcoin applications across different platforms with ease. This may also pave the way for additional blockchains to be added to the Copay wallet, including altcoins or other blockchains built on top of the bitcoin protocol such as Counterparty and ChainDB, another BitPay project.
Security and Open Source
“We’re serious about security and privacy. Not only is the Copay app open source, the server is too,” BitPay’s development team announced on BitPay’s official blog.
The development of Copay began in 2014, following research of Gallippi which stated that not a single account from the world’s top 100 richest bitcoin accounts was secured with multi-sig technology. With a vision to ease the process of securing wallets with multi-sig technology and to increase the number of multi-signature wallets globally, BitPay created Copay on bitcore on July 9, 2014.“I’d like to see 10 percent of bitcoin in existence stored in multi-signature wallets,” Gallippi said.
Within a few days after its launch, over 1000 BTC has been stored on Copay already and the open source code on GitHub is being contributed by hundreds of bitcoin developers worldwide, offering improvements in the code s and new features that could increase the east of use of the Copay wallet.