Security concern is among the factors that have contributed to the rather slow pace of Bitcoin adoption. But efforts are being made to effectively put these fears to rest, going by a new security standard being proposed by a group of security professionals and developers.
The proposal for the new Cryptocurrency Security Standard was formally unveiled in the course of the DevCore bitcoin development conference that took place in Boston, Massachusetts on February 11. The new set of rules is aimed at creating standard security protocols to be used by bitcoin exchanges and wallet providers without fear of being compromised.
The group behind the security standard proposal is Cryptocurrency Certification Consortium (C4), which provides professional certification test for bitcoin. Members of the group include Bitcoinsultants founder Michael Perklin, CryptAcademy founder Russell Verbeeten, Ethereum originator Vitalik Buterin and Coindroids co-creator Joshua McDougall.
What’s special about the new security standard?
In the draft proposal, C4 suggests 10 standard approaches to diverse aspects of bitcoin use and exchange, including key and seed generation, security audits, storage and usage. Three security levels were proposed per section, with a higher level signifying better security.
Before now, individual bitcoin companies were in charge of providing their own security protocols, more or less, which means some might be well-protected while others are not.
“Every company has had to sort of ‘go it alone’ and do what they think is best with respect to securing their funds – and their customers’ funds – which had led to some good success stories, but also some spectacular failure stories,” Perklin said in a discussion with CoinDesk.
The C4 proposal is for developing an industry-wide security standard, which will help to safeguard against fraud and theft risks.
The new security rules are not just about providing industry-level security for exchanges and wallet providers. Perklin thinks the proposed security standards could also be useful to regulators who are currently battling to grasp the bitcoin phenomenon. But the Bitcoinsultants founder wonders if governments have any interest at all in regulating the industry.
“It’s one thing for government to mandate that the cryptocurrency industry takes care when securing public funds,” Perklin told CoinDesk. “But frankly they’re still scrambling to learn about cryptocurrencies in the first place.”
Interest of regulators in Bitcoin was a bit heightened in the aftermath of a number of events involving the cryptocurrency. A good example of such events is the collapse of the bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox.
After the unveiling of the proposed security standard, Perklin said the group of security professionals would be going over feedbacks received while also responding to them as necessary. He said feedbacks from major exchanges and wallet service providers have been encouraging, with some offering to help in improving the draft to make it better.
The Cryptocurrency Security Standard proposal was developed in partnership with bitcoin security outfit BitGo, supported by wallet service provider Armory. C4 hopes to launch a crowdfunding campaign later in February to help raise the necessary capital for the continuing development of the industry-level security standard.