Full Bitcoin sovereignty with BitBox Base

If you really want to fully own bitcoin, then you need to be in complete control of the private keys. This is a core belief behind what we do at Shift Cryptosecurity and our BitBox hardware wallet where we work hard to combine usability, security and privacy.

When we dig deeper, we also believe that controlling the Bitcoin private keys is only part of the equation to gain full financial sovereignty. The other is a personal Bitcoin node that allows you to use and audit the peer-to-peer network in a secure and private manner. We don’t believe that you should trust a third party to tell you the truth about your own financials.

We are therefore excited to share our work on the BitBox Base, a professional Bitcoin & Lightning full node. Our goal is to create a solution that anyone can use; from limited technical know-how to full blown crypto geek like myself and many of my colleagues.

The BitBox Base will allow you to:

  • Run your own full node, no technical setup required
  • Receive bitcoin and fully validate the transaction yourself
  • Send Bitcoin payments privately
  • Receive and send Lightning payments directly from the BitBox App
  • Ensure your privacy by exclusively using the Tor network
  • Help the Bitcoin network becoming more resilient

The free and open source BitBox App will be the interface for the BitBox Base. This approach allows us to cover all angles, from discovering the device, providing an intuitive user interface, to directly using it for Bitcoin and Lightning. The communication between BitBox Base and BitBox App is authenticated and encrypted, without opening a complex web stack to the world. This further increases the security level.

One of the main innovations we are striving for is to enable private and secure connectivity that “just works”, without the need for any technical configuration. But no one solution can cover all use-cases, so we plan to build the following options:

  • Local network: auto-discovery using mDNS, direct communication
  • Tor networking: connecting using a Tor onion address, needs Tor to run client-side
  • Shift Connect: access proxy run by Shift, where devices connect using Tor (no privacy leak) and get a regular, public internet-address (like https://*****.base.shiftcrypto.ch) for clients to connect

As all communication is end-to-end encrypted via the Noise Protocol Framework, all options above are secure and minimise private information leakage.

Best-in-class components such as the Pine RockPro64 board will allow for high performance and resilience with ample memory and fast SSD storage.

Our primary goal is to create a tightly integrated solution built on open-source components, focused primarily on personal use. As makers ourselves we don’t believe in locking down a device, so all our software is open-source from the outset. The BitBox Base will not be a locked-in vendor solution so we will provide “advanced settings” and full root access.

This is a live project for us at Shift Cryptosecurity and it is evolving rapidly. We want to build it in the open, and invite the Bitcoin community, the many Makers in particular, to collaborate, provide feedback ideas and code.

If you want to join us, please take a look at our GitHub repository: https://github.com/digitalbitbox/bitbox-base.