Given the recent issues with exchanges either losing funds or shutting down, and malicious cryptocurrency clients hitting the web on a more frequent basis, wallet security becomes ever more important. Multi-signature wallets definitely seem the best choice from this point forward, and GreenAddress is providing exactly that kind of service.
A Brief Explanation of Multisignature Transactions
The main advantage of using a multi-signature Bitcoin wallet is the fact that you need multiple parties to agree upon a transaction being executed. For example, if I used a multi signature wallet through GreenAddress, both them and myself have to “sign” an agreement in order to actually send money to a third-party recipient.
Because of this implementation, your Bitcoins are secure in a far more safe manner when compared to using a regular or online wallet. On the other hand, you do need the approval of GreenAddress before you can actually send funds, which can be a bit of a downside. But there are some bright people running this project, and they have come up with a solution.
The implementation of nLockTime transactions are an excellent addition to the multisignature protocol. nLockTime lets deposits “expire” after a certain period of time, which in turn allows them to be redeemed without needing the approval from GreenAddress. nLockTime is enabled from the get go, assuming you have 2FA and email notifications enabled on your account. Redeeming of “expired funds” can be done by using a free tool called Gentle, of which you can find more information on GitHub.
GreenAddress : Unique Features
GreenAddress is not the first nor the last multisignature wallet for Bitcoin users, but they do bring some extra functionality to the table which you can not find in other clients for the time being. For instance, GreenAddress has a ‘watch-only mode”, which allows users to login to their account via Facebook, Twitter or a custom login with no compromise on security and privacy.
You might wonder what the use of such a “watch-only mode” might be. To put it bluntly, how often do you open your Bitcoin wallet, or even blockchain.info just to check your account balance? That is exactly what this feature is about, but it eliminates the needs for third party services such as blockchain.info (or similar services if you use any of those).
Speaking of social media, GreenAddress lets users send Bitcoin to anyone in the world via SMS, Twitter, Facebook and other networks. If the recipient already has a GreenAddress account they will be notified of the transfer, which is added to their balance immediately. Otherwise, they will receive a link to redeem funds requiring a password determined by the sender. Furthermore, the sender will remain in control of the funds while it has not yet been redeemed.
GreenAddress users can enable a feature called “quick PIN”, which lets you log in to your wallet from any device you own without ever having to use your passphrase. Cross-platform compatibility across any device you own is a notch in the belt for GreenAddress, and is a feature we will hopefully see implemented in other services soon.
Last but not least, not everyone is a big fan of the blockchain’s open ledger aspect, letting people trace back transactions quite easily. GreenAddress has countered this “issue” by generating a brand new address for every incoming transaction. As these addresses are not linked to one another, it makes it nearly impossible for prying eyes to see your past and future transactions.
GreenAddress : Tight Security & Improved Privacy
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how important Bitcoin wallet security really is. GreenAddress doesn’t make users choose between security and convenience, which is something most other “competitors” will do. On top of that, GreenAddress values user privacy on the same level as security, which is refreshing to see.
As a user, you are given unprecedented control over your transactions thanks to implementation of per-transaction 2FA combined with the aforementioned multisignature protocol. All of this is packaged neatly inside a hierarchical deterministic wallet (see the bit about new addresses for every transaction), creating a complete security suite for your digital wealth.
Last but not least, GreenAddress users can set up limits for the transactions per hour, as well as the amount of Bitcoin they can spend during a given time (daily, weekly or monthly). On top of that, payments are made instantly thanks to double spend checks. More information about ïnstant GreenAddress transactions, as well as a ton of other topics, can be found here.
GreenAddress : Available On All Major Platforms
We briefly touched upon the fact GreenAddress is available across multiple devices, which is where the “watch-only mode” comes into play. While there is a web version available, you can also install GreenAddress for Android devices, iOS devices and a Chrome App. Each of the applications has been open sourced, and can be found on GitHub.
GreenAddress : Supporting Multiple Exchange Sources
Instead of limiting exchange rates to just one or two sources (which is centralization in a way), GreenAddress supports BitcoinAverage.com, BitStamp, Kraken, LocalBitcoins, The Rock Trading , BTC-E, Cavirtex, Huobi, BTCChina and BitFinex. Plenty of sources to choose from, adding to the overall user experience.
While there are plenty more things to discover about GreenAddress, we have covered the most important aspects for the everyday user. Additional information can be obtained from visiting the GreenAddress website linked below.
Website : https://greenaddress.it/en/