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19th May 2022 > > Multi-party computation (MPC).


Can it be true that MPC removes the risk of losing private keys?

Market Snap (at time of writing)

Market Wrap

Stocks hurting again whilst treasuries rally, which is a return to the old days before politicians engaged in quantitative easing (QE), simply to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer.

In this environment crypto prices seem unlikely to make any headway.

Occasional Series – Rishi Sunak

Whatever your political opinions, it seems extraordinary to me that Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has been floating the idea of tax cuts in the autumn to help with the so-called cost of living crisis.

What is it with politicians and bureaucrats and the endless delays? Do it now, or not at all.

Occasional Series – Savers

And on that note, I couldn’t help but notice that in my local Savers on Stoke Newington High Street the shelves were beginning to resemble those of most high street stores not long into the self-induced pandemic supply chain crisis.

For those unfortunate enough not to have a Savers nearby, they sell basic cleaning and living goods at extraordinarily low prices.

One cannot be sure that everything has been sourced from official channels (cue Savers’ lawyers getting on me) but when it comes to detergents, washing up liquid, toilet paper, and the myriad of other stuff we buy to ease our daily lives, frankly it is an amazing shopping experience.

And the staff are lovely.

If Savers is having trouble getting stock, then that might be the proverbial canary.

Note to Larry (resident technical analyst at the CCC) and our inflation bet – milk is still at 70p in the shop opposite CCC towers. I must admit I am getting increasingly concerned that I am going to lose this bet soon.

Which will undoubtedly annoy me intensely.

Curious Cryptos’ Commentary – Coinbase

Coinbase has announced the launch of a new Dapp wallet for self-custody.

This wallet will facilitate access to ETH based DeFi applications such as Compound, trading on decentralised exchanges, and the ability to buy and sell NFTs at OpenSea amongst other marketplaces.

Rishi Dean, director of product management, had this to say:

“We want to enable everyone to seamlessly and safely participate in web3, and today’s launch is another step on that journey. We’re rolling out the new dapp wallet and browser experience in the US on Android first to a small subset of users, and plan to expand to all users and platforms soon.”

So, nothing particularly new and exciting there it seems.

Except for one thing.

Access to the wallet and the funds in the wallet are controlled not by the usual private key method, but by new technology known as multi-party computation (MPC).

For a more detailed and more technical explanation you do not need to look any further than this article by Coinbase:

The conclusion to this article states:

“In this approach, the user holds a share of the private key, and Coinbase holds another, and only when both agree … can transactions be signed.”

Richi explains that:

“This means if you lose access to your device, the key to your Dapp wallet is still safe and Coinbase can assist in recovery through our live support.”

I am not yet completely convinced by this line of argument, and until the wallet is rolled out globally and is available on Apple products, full understanding of how this new technology has been implemented will remain elusive, for me at least.

But one thing is for sure.

If this new development removes entirely the risk of loss of funds because of losing one’s private key, then it is a step-change in the crypto paradigm.

Curious Cryptos’ Commentary – Ledger

It seems that the wallet wars for accessing Web3.0 and Dapps are heating up.

Ledger is about to release its own browser extension for owners of Ledger Nano X, which remains my most preferred and trusted way to manage my crypto activities (see Module 1.9 of our free online training course

This will be a direct competitor to MetaMask and Kepler, two of the most popular hot wallets for interacting with DeFi.

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