A ‘paper computer’ for Bitcoin checksums and Shamir Secret Sharing may seem absurd, but that’s what we’re talking about in this episode! This project is a scheme to generate, encode, checksum, split and recover Bitcoin secret keys, using pencil, paper and lookup tables (alternately, volvelles). We discuss codex32 and the motivation behind it with Andrew Poelstra (Director of Research, Blockstream). Note this is the first of a two part episode. In this first part we discuss:

  • Bitcoin private keys today
  • Multi signature and Shamir Secret Sharing contrasted
  • Where to keep shards or keys
  • Error correction
  • Risks with Hardware wallets (even though you should still use them)
  • BIP39 vs codex32
  • Limitations of the paper computer (Volvelles)



Stephan Livera links:

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