Casa’s Bitcoin Inheritance Solution Is Now Live
As we announced last month, in 2020 we’re focusing 100% of our efforts to make securing your bitcoin easy and anxiety-free. Covenant solves one of the largest and most painful problems in Bitcoin today:
"What happens to my bitcoin when I die?"
Right now, most Bitcoiners don't have a great answer to that question. More often than not, it comes down to four options:
- Nothing Happens. Because you made no plan, your bitcoin is inaccessible and your heirs lose out on the wealth you've saved.
- Theft. You’ve shared detailed recovery instructions with a family member or friend. Your bitcoin is recoverable, but unfortunately it’s too easily recovered. This can mean your coins are at risk of theft, or that you and your family member are at risk of theft or attack.
- Human Error. Out of fear of leaking your keys to would-be thieves, you’ve created a ‘treasure map’ recovery plan that’s so complex that your friends or family are unable to piece it together and recover funds. Even in a best case scenario, grieving family members are burdened with the task of sweeping funds from buried steel plate wallets, or reconstructing far-flung shards of seed phrases.
- Unknown. You’re using a custodian and not managing your own private keys, which has its own significant risks. Many custodians do not have an inheritance process.
Read on for full details on how Covenant works, and why inheritance is such a thorny problem.
If you’re a Bitcoiner interested in learning more, send us an email at email@example.com, or apply to be a Diamond member today, and we'll be in touch ASAP.
Are you an estate attorney interested in helping your clients with a bitcoin succession plan? Email us for more information—we’re steadily building out a network of attorneys to refer our clients to, and would love to discuss working together.
How does Casa Covenant inheritance work?
As a reminder, Casa Diamond and Platinum clients have 5 keys protecting their bitcoin. 3 keys are held on hardware wallets at different geographic locations. 1 is held on an Android or iOS device. 1 is held in reserve by Casa - for use in emergencies, or in case a client were to lose 2 of their keys.
Covenant builds on our existing 3-of-5 multisig setup, adding two important additions that enable you to distribute keys in such a way that allows your heirs - and no one else - to access your bitcoin after you pass away - but not before.
- Inheritance Key. Covenant adds an optional 6th key to our clients’ 3-of-5 Key Shield. This 6th Inheritance Key is activated after clients start the inheritance planning process with Casa, and it’s held by the client’s estate lawyer. Having 6 keys is optional, but enables clients to give one key to their estate attorney, while still retaining full control over a signing quorum of their keys.
- Safe Deposit Box. We also recommend 1 key be held in a safe deposit box. Bitcoiners are wise to be skeptical of safe deposit boxes - they can be perilous for a single hardware wallets or seed phrases. However, keeping 1 key in a 6-key multisig setup under the client’s name  ensures persistence of that key, and  allows his/her estate executor to access it with a court order after providing proof of death.
In a scenario where the client passes away, the following keys will typically be used to recover funds:
- Inheritance Key
- Casa Recovery Key
- Safety Deposit Box Key (“Safe Key”)
As you may have surmised, solving inheritance today indeed involves leveraging legal safeguards, and to some extent third parties (your estate attorney, or family members). In our year and half of research, we’ve found that purely technical ‘trustless’ solutions (i.e. dead man’s switches), were simply not robust enough to protect against many of the hazards in our threat model, which included not only threat of theft and threat of loss, but also legal issues and even disputes among grieving family members.
Covenant has been engineered as a meticulously-defined technical process (Casa Covenant is co-written by the co-creator of Glacier Protocol), which makes judicious use of these legal safeguards and third parties, while at the same time not relying on them fully.
Bitcoin Inheritance for everyone
Casa Covenant is the most robust inheritance solution available for Bitcoiners today. It's also designed specifically for clients securing large amounts of bitcoin. We're rolling it out to Diamond clients first for this reason, and because of the level of hands-on service we'll be providing to our clients throughout the process.
We’re also actively researching other forms of inheritance for other Casa tiers. It's important that everyone has access to the means to pass their wealth onto their loved ones, and Casa is here to provide that. Stay tuned for more details.
Get peace of mind that your bitcoin is safe - for you and your loved ones
Want to finally stop worrying whether your seed phrase will work if you lose your bitcoin key? Want a way to pass your bitcoin on to your loved ones that actually works?
Become a Casa member today, and start sleeping easier at night knowing your coins are safe.
To learn more about how Casa multisig works, check out our Wealth Security Protocol. We've analyzed every possible threat to your bitcoin and explained how we mitigate each.
Stay up to date
Interested in being up to date on news from Team Casa? Join the Casa Intelligence Briefing for Casa updates, as well as news impacting your personal security and digital privacy.