ElectrumSV 1.3.0b1-multisig

Roger Taylor
Jan 25 · 5 min read

This is a cut-down release of ElectrumSV that allows people to switch their existing P2SH multi-signature wallets over to “bare” multi-signature, allowing them to continue receiving and spending coins in those wallets.

Who is this useful for?

Multi-signature wallet users. A multi-signature wallet is one where more than one person has to sign a transaction, in order to send coins out of the wallet. If you are the only person involved in sending your coins, then this does not apply to you. You know if you are using one, and if you have to ask if you are, you are obviously not using one.

P2SH was added to Bitcoin by Bitcoin Core for some reason or other, and it was forced to become the way people received coins in multi-signature wallets. It’s a mess and it creates a lot of problems. Disabling it and preventing it from being part of Bitcoin SV’s future makes a lot of sense. The existing P2SH coins can still be spent, however those multi-signature wallets will need a new way to receive multi-signature funds, given that after the Genesis upgrade P2SH can no longer be used for that purpose.

This version of ElectrumSV adds support for receiving coins using the bare multi-signature approach. Before Genesis, this can only have three participants, but after Genesis the number of participants will be effectively unlimited.

What is missing from this release and why?

There’s still a decent amount of user interface work to be done before we can release a full ElectrumSV 1.3.0 release. This pending work is related to making new wallets or accounts. However, the new bare multi-signature support is well tested and stable, and allows wallet owners to continue to use their multi-signature wallet past the Genesis upgrade when no-one will be able to send them funds using P2SH anymore.

Anyone using this should take their multi-signature wallet they already have and open it using this release, which will migrate it to the new database-based format, and then they will be able to choose whether and when that wallet uses P2SH or bare multi-signature for it’s transactions.

How do I use it?

By default ElectrumSV 1.3.0b1-multisig will use P2SH multi-signature for the payments it makes. The user needs to alter a setting so that it uses bare multi-signature instead.

Observe that the “Receive” tab offers standard P2SH “addresses” which can be given out by a wallet owner, so that others can send them funds.

Now, let us view and change the setting, open the “Preferences” window.

Then view the “Account” tab.

Observe that the wallet will by default be using P2SH for the “addresses” it gives out so that other parties can send funds into the multi-signature wallet.

Use the drop down list to change “MULTISIG_P2SH” to “MULTISIG_BARE”.

Now you will notice that the “Receiving” tab in the main wallet window, no longer shows an address. As “addresses” are a contrivance, and cannot be used for the many alternate ways of paying people that will come after the Genesis upgrade, we instead provide a BIP276-encoded payment destination. Once we have Paymail support, the necessity to give people addresses will become a strange techno-oddity of the past.

It should be noted that no other wallet or service as yet supports BIP276, so those who wish to pay you will need to use ElectrumSV to do so for now.

The display of the new form of addresses for bare multi-signature incoming payments is a useful indicator that the wallet will be making outgoing bare multi-signature payments.

What if I use a hardware wallet?

No hardware wallet we have support for, can do any form of multi-signature other than P2SH. Hardware wallet vendors do not support ElectrumSV, or anything other than superficial use of their devices with Bitcoin SV.

This means that all you can do with a hardware wallet is send coins out of your wallet using the hardware device. And you have to send whole coins, the wallet will be unable to make change, which will make draining it a little awkward. If you wish to continue to use those multi-signature wallets moving forward, you need to recreate them using the seed words that belong to each hardware device in lieu of using the device itself.

ElectrumSV will at some point integrate support that can turn a hardware device wallet into a seed-based software wallet, by allowing the user to enter the seed and verifying that it matches the hardware device.

How well tested is this?

It has been extensively tested, both with multi-signature wallets that use hardware wallets, and without. Any bugs that remain in related code are ones that exist in ElectrumSV 1.2.5, some of which will never be fixed because it does not make sense.

Final thoughts

Obtain this release from our official site’s download page.

A quick reality check

Remember, until the Genesis upgrade happens bare multi-signature wallets can only have three participants. If your multi-signature wallet only has two or three participants, then you should be able to start using the new form immediately. Otherwise, you may wish to create a test wallet with only two or three participants and verify for yourself how stable this release is going forward into the Genesis upgrade.

Limitations of this release

This release is not intended for people to create new wallets. In order to be able to make this release before the Genesis upgrade, it was done without finished and working wallet/account creation user interfaces. All the rest of the functionality is present however, and it should be ready to import and use pre-existing multi-signature wallets from ElectrumSV 1.2.5.

What this means is that if you need a new multi-signature wally, you need to make it in ElectrumSV 1.2.5, and import it into this release.

Roger Taylor

Written by

ElectrumSV developer

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