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New 'multisig' technology Could be Key to Secure Bitcoin

Kolin Burges, a self-styled cryptocurrency trader and former software engineer who came from London, holds a placard to protest against Mt. Gox, in front of the building where the digital marketplace operator is housed in Tokyo February 25, 2014. The website of Mt. Gox appears to be taken down, shortly after six major Bitcoin exchanges released a joint statement distancing themselves from the troubled Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange. Tokyo-based Mt. Gox was a founding member and one of the three elected industry representatives on the board of the Bitcoin Foundation. In a recent, Forbes column, Brookings non-resident senior fellow John Villasenor wrote about the potential of ‘multisig’ or multiple-signature transactions, to help address consumer protection concerns related to Bitcoin transfers. Traditionally, Bitcoin transfers only require authorization using a single private key. By contrast, multisig transactions rely on the collective agreement of two or more parties in order for a transaction to be completed. This has the potential to help provide increased security and consumer protection in association with bitcoin transactions. How does this approach impact the future of Bitcoin? What opportunities will multisig create for digital currency commerce? Villasenor discusses these issues in more detail in a recent Forbes article, “Could ‘Multisig’ Help Bring Consumer Protection to Bitcoin Transactions?”
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