An Israel-base blockchain security firm known as ‘Kirobo’ has introduced a new web-based service that piles a ‘logic layer’ onto the Bitcoin network to “[protect] users from human error”: it allows Bitcoin transactions to be retrievable.
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Asaf Naim, Kirobo’s chief executive, told Finance Magnates that the Kirobo’s service is the first-ever attempt to create something that resembles MyEtherWallet, but for Bitcoin: specifically, the service enables “the option of canceling [a BTC] transfer if sent to a wrong address” by “requesting a password from the [transaction’s] receiver.”
Naim also explained that there is no software download required to use the service–it can either be accessed through Kirobo’s website, or as an add-on for Ledger wallets; add-ons for other wallets will be developed over time.
Transactions senders set a passcode that recipients must use to collect their coins
Here’s how it works (according to a Youtube explainer video): the sender of the transaction enters the recipient address and the amount of BTC into Kirobo’s service, and then adds a passcode. The option to ‘retrieve’ the coins sent in the transaction is then enabled.
However, the coins can only be retrieved before the recipient officially ‘collects’ the coins.
To do this, the recipient must enter the correct passcode–which has been set by the transaction sender–in order to collect the coins. If an incorrect passcode is entered, the coins will not be deposited to the recipient’s wallet.
These passcodes, which are chosen by the transaction sender, can be entered via Kirobo’s wallet add-on (if the recipient also has it); they can also be entered through a portal on Kirobo’s website.
If the passcode is correct, however, the coins will be deposited, and the balance of both wallets will be updated accordingly; the sender’s ability to retrieve the coins is rescinded once they have been deposited.
Naim explained that the basic principle of the service operates on a partially-centralized escrow server model: “it is central[ized] from the recipient side and not central[ized] from the sender side, he explained. This means that even “if Kirobo disappears, the sender can always cancel the transaction, (as long as the recipient does not type the password [beforehand]).”
Naim also explained that all transaction information is stored only on the user’s browser in encrypted form, and that access to the information is possible only with the ledger itself. Therefore, “you can use it even on a random computer without fear,” he said.
Naim also said that while the add-on is “it is already on the main network,” it won’t be released to the public for another month or so.
Transactional reversibility could make crypto more adoptable
Transaction reversibility has long been one of the major obstacles standing in the way of large-scale cryptocurrency adoption.
David Gerard, author of Attack of the 50-Foot Blockchain, explained this in an interview with Finance Magnates conducted earlier this week: “consumers demand reversibility.”
“Like most people in Europe, I have a card in my wallet that contains pounds; that card is hooked to an account at my bank, and I just wave my card, and I can make small purchases,” Gerard explained. “But that’s actually got complete reversibility–if I don’t like any transaction that I see, at the end of the day I can contact my bank…and they’ll reverse it. They’ll eat it.”
However, as it currently stands, “if I pick your pocket from the other side of the world, those are my Bitcoins now.”
Kirobo’s platform wouldn’t offer transactional reversibility in the same way that a bank or a centralized payments company might–however, it seems that the retrievable transactions option could be a step towards making Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies more user-friendly.