Bitcoin hardware devices need improvements for complex transactions processing

Jameson Lopp, co-founder and CTO of Casa, a crypto custody firm issued a test result report on Bitcoin multi-signature hardware signing performance on the Casa blog.

The research result confirmed that hardware crypto wallet devices can process small, simple transactions well. Though, they have difficulties during handling complex transactions.  Based on the information from developers the Casa is built upon geographically distributed multisig, dedicated hardware devices to secure keys, designed user experience, and client services.

Lopp mentioned while the company has no control over the hardware devices, the main task is to support any device at the end of the day. Thus, he decided to make a research, make some thoughts and aid multisig software providers in better comprehension of the limits of hardware and improve wallet software performance.

Casa is currently compatible with six hardware such as Trezor, Ledger, Coinkite and Coldcard. The test had been conducted on all the supported hardware devices and BitBox.

Lopp has launched the test by using  Electrum’s 4.0.2 appimage on Debian Linux and made a great number of P2WSH (native segwit) multisig wallets which apply Bitcoin’s testnet and with the hardware devices connected via USB.

Lopp made a range of tests monitoring these hardware wallet capabilities when signing multi-signature transactions of varying complexity. He made these tests several times and came to the conclusion that it’s better and more reliable when hardware devices can show progress indicators for loading and signing. He mentioned:

“I came to really dislike hardware devices that don’t show progress indicators for loading and signing. As such, I highly prefer Coldcard and Trezor in this respect. BitBox and Ledger are anxiety-inducing because you have no idea if anything is actually happening.”

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