Super m-of-n multisig wallet, brought to you by BitPay. This is the best multisig mobile wallet out there.
- iOS, Android, Desktop, Web
- M of N in a retail wallet!
- Beautifully designed product across all platforms
- Can easily set up multiple wallets
- Might be a bit much for noobs
Bitpay, the industry’s leading payment processor, now turns its attention to the end user with the launch of Copay.io, a lovely HD multisig wallet conveniently available in most any web or mobile app stores. Copay has succeeded in providing a product simple enough for entry-level users, but with additional features sought after by more experienced bitcoiners and merchants.
Getting set up
After downloading the app and agreeing to the fine print (namely, that copay is not custodian to your coin, and the user is responsible for safely storing their encrypted private keys and associated password), navigate to the settings tab to backup the copay wallet. The backup, which must be done once, consists of a 12-word mnemonic. These words must be recorded separately, after which a new screen appears showing each word as a clickable box, which must be tapped in the order in which they originally appeared. This is a convenient method of ensuring the mnemonic was accurately recorded, as it avoids going through the tedious Mycelium-process of writing each word in order back into the app. It is also, we would think, more secure as it guards against any mobile keystroke malware that might at some point become an issue.
You’ll notice that a return to the backup section of the settings tab will repopulate the 12-word seed. If you continue further down the settings selections, you will notice the ability to “delete seed words”, which will remove them from the app. After you’ve securely recorded your words, we recommend doing just this. You can also choose to record your fingerprint to secure access to the app, and you can “request a password” to encrypt your wallet key. Do both, and make sure again to record your password.
Adding and using a shared wallet
What separates copay from the wallet herd is its multisig functionality. Shared wallets can be set up by business partners, parents or partners to moderate spending and to add an additional layer of defense against malicious viruses.
To join an existing wallet or setup a new shared wallet, click on the hamburger and select add wallet->create new wallet->shared wallet, which will open the invite screen.
Select a wallet name and set up the m of n multisig – which can be from two of two to four of six. This will open an invitation QR code, which must be sent to copayers. After copayers are added, any attempt to spend funds will send a message to copayers, who will be required to sign off as well.
After the transaction is signed by all cosigners, it will be broadcast to the network. We would recommend, by the way, always having an additional signer, which may be kept offline securely, to mitigate against the loss of one of the keys. Of course, this requires a level of trust between wallet owners, as if one of the owners had access to the backup key they could transmit a transaction without requiring the other partner’s signature.
As one would expect from a deep-pocketed company such as bitpay, a company that apparently spent 12 months fine-tuning and testing copay prior to commercial deployment, the product is extremely slick. The wallet opens up directly to the activity screen, which is set to whichever wallet was previously used. Wallet holdings are displayed in bits and USD as default, but this can be changed to bits and any different fiat currency you prefer from the settings tab, via the hamburger in the upper left corner.
A click on the request tab opens up a QR representation of the wallet’s bitcoin address, which is automatically changed after each use, and the address may be shared via sms, email, twitter, whatever method of communication you’d prefer. You may also generate a “request bitcoin” QR code, useful for merchants, which contains the amount required within the message.
Sending bitcoin can be done via long address or QR code, and the user may include a note if desired. If you click on the wallet sign next to the “to” field, it opens the address book. Addresses can be added with either a QR scan or by inputting the long address, and each can be labeled according to user specification.
A click on the BTC icon next to “amount” will toggle between btc and your specified fiat currency, which will pay out in bitcoin equivalent. This equivalent is generated from the bitpay’s “best bid rate”, which is based on the exchange rates from multiple exchanges.
Under the hamburger tab, you have the option of adding additional wallets, tinkering with the global settings and, for US and Canadian citizens, buying and selling bitcoin through bitcoin broker Glidera. From the settings tab on the right hand side of the screen, administrative functions – like exporting the wallet or adding private keys to copay – are available.
Copay is a superior product. It has an excellent and intuitive user-interface while offering multisig functionality that can be tailor-made to suit a household or a small business. Sending and requesting bitcoin is a breeze, as is setting up additional wallets and compiling an address book. For those wanting to buy bitcoin and sell bitcoin from within the wallet, Copay’s integration with Glidera allows US and Canadian users to hook up their bank accounts for fee-free buying and selling (aside from the broker’s fee).
Whether a beginning bitcoiner or a more advanced user, copay makes a great case to be your go-to non-cold wallet.