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Author Topic: Is there any interest for a new wallet that has a time-lock feature?  (Read 178 times)
eternalgloom
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May 12, 2019, 11:10:56 AM
Merited by paxmao (2)
 #1

I've been playing with the idea to pay for development of a new (open-source) wallet that has a feature to time-lock your Bitcoins, until a certain block-height or date is reached.
I'm wondering how much interest there would be for something like this.

Not looking for any investment or anything like that, I'd just pay for this out of my own pocket if the costs are bearable.

About the costs, I think I could actually get this done pretty cheaply, since I personally know a few experienced devs that would be willing to work on this.
Again, just wondering if it's worth it. I can create my own time-locked addresses pretty easily via a local version of coinb.in, but for beginners, this process is still a bit too much I think.

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May 12, 2019, 12:20:15 PM
Merited by paxmao (1)
 #2

This might be a scary idea for people that actually like to utilize Bitcoin for the freedom that it affords them. Although, I think there would be a multitude of applications and use-cases for what you're proposing. You could set up a college-fund for your kids, or do something similar to CD accounts that banks offer. You could say to yourself "I'm not touching this, and I won't be able to touch this until X". The only unfortunate part, would be when you realize that you miscalculated and now are stranded without your coin.

I would certainly be interested in this, but more on a hobby-level than actually utilizing it to it's potential; for example, I might lock away .01 BTC just for the fun of it and play around with the source-code.

Additionally, if you added any kind of incentive to store your coins for X amount of time I'm sure it would pick-up quickly. You would just have to think up a realistic way to implement that idea.
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May 12, 2019, 02:33:35 PM
Merited by paxmao (1)
 #3

@bill gator

Far future time-locks aren't really advised, so I'd personally put a limit of around 6 months, which could be broken by changing something in the advanced settings of the wallet perhaps.

The bitcoin wiki says this about far-future time-locks:

Quote
It is not advised to lock up bitcoins into the far future because it takes on risk of the bitcoin network changing. For example, if there were an ECDSA or RIPEMD160 algorithm break that made any coins spendable with a few months of CPU time, the network might need to to prohibit moving old unspent coins after some transition, but long locktimed coins could not make such a transition.

OP_CheckSequenceVerify allows locking for at most 65535 blocks (about 455 days) or for at most 65535*512 seconds (about 388 days). OP_CheckLockTimeVerify could be used to lock up coins for several centuries.

Source: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Timelock#Far-future_locks

In the end, it's really something for hobbyists, but it could also be quite useful for people who just have trouble with their spending in general.
I would make sure there are double or even triple checks before locking Bitcoins, so there's a minimal chance of user-error. (people accidentally locking coins for too long)

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May 12, 2019, 05:12:08 PM
Merited by paxmao (1)
 #4

If you search forum for hodler tech wallet they talked about is as well. Think they are opensource as well. Maybe some code to fork til get started if they have implemented it.

https://github.com/HODLERTECH

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May 12, 2019, 07:25:46 PM
Merited by paxmao (2)
 #5

@bill gator

Far future time-locks aren't really advised, so I'd personally put a limit of around 6 months, which could be broken by changing something in the advanced settings of the wallet perhaps.

The bitcoin wiki says this about far-future time-locks:

Quote
It is not advised to lock up bitcoins into the far future because it takes on risk of the bitcoin network changing. For example, if there were an ECDSA or RIPEMD160 algorithm break that made any coins spendable with a few months of CPU time, the network might need to to prohibit moving old unspent coins after some transition, but long locktimed coins could not make such a transition.

OP_CheckSequenceVerify allows locking for at most 65535 blocks (about 455 days) or for at most 65535*512 seconds (about 388 days). OP_CheckLockTimeVerify could be used to lock up coins for several centuries.

Source: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Timelock#Far-future_locks

In the end, it's really something for hobbyists, but it could also be quite useful for people who just have trouble with their spending in general.
I would make sure there are double or even triple checks before locking Bitcoins, so there's a minimal chance of user-error. (people accidentally locking coins for too long)
Yeah, far future time-locks aren't recommended in anyway, at first no one knows when they'll have a need of money.
Sorry but personally I am against this idea, it's my opinion, right or wrong but money has to be in circulation, we don't have to stop it, this means stop of developing.
On another hand I would wish to see online wallet with price-lock feature where for example I choose a date and lock price (my 1 btc worths 3k and I chose to lock it, then for me price movement doesn't matter because I'll always know when I visit my online wallet, I'll have a bitcoins that will worth 3k usd).

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May 12, 2019, 07:31:11 PM
 #6

I would not like it. I want to have full control over my Bitcoins and whenever I like to. Being forced is just not my thing and your project seems to do exactly this to limit you in spending your bitcoins.

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May 12, 2019, 09:50:32 PM
 #7

Interested.

I'm using a banking app with a feature which could be compared to time-lock. But like with this app it's something I would set up for a period like 1-6 months since it's the average period I usually lock, I'm more interested based on a date rather than a block-height.

I would not like it. I want to have full control over my Bitcoins and whenever I like to. Being forced is just not my thing and your project seems to do exactly this to limit you in spending your bitcoins.

He didn't say users won't have full control, and you feel forced to use such feature it means you basically don't need it. Secondly he doesn't limit you on spending your bitcoins, YOU do it

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May 13, 2019, 08:17:50 AM
 #8

Would the goal and motive to use wallets like this be for people who do not have the self discipline to hoard their coins or is this specifically done for people who are goal driven?

Locking in "wealth" is risky, because you never know how your circumstances might change in the future. You might run into health problems or someone might pass away and then your income are halved. This is why I never deposit cash into fixed deposit accounts and rather prefer instant liquidity assets and investments.  Wink

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May 13, 2019, 09:44:19 AM
Merited by eternalgloom (1), paxmao (1)
 #9

In the end, it's really something for hobbyists, but it could also be quite useful for people who just have trouble with their spending in general.
You pointed out a sensitive point that many suffer from it. *including me.*
Often, I use a watch-only wallet to avoid spending my bitcoins but it would be nice if there is a wallet containing such a feature:

 - unlock after a certain condition: (not time) when the price rise up to 10000$, unlock my coins>
 - unlock after 1 week from the last spend>
 - unlock after 2 months after spending 50% of total balance>

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May 13, 2019, 10:56:54 AM
 #10

- unlock after a certain condition: (not time) when the price rise up to 10000$, unlock my coins>
 - unlock after 1 week from the last spend>
 - unlock after 2 months after spending 50% of total balance>
IIRC, all of that would require a third party to mediate if the conditions have happened. All someone can do directly from the Bitcoin protocol is set a timelock to only be able to spend the coins after X time or X blocks.

I’ve done that before and locked my coins for a few months because I had weak hands. Tongue

You can do it with Coinb.in

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May 13, 2019, 05:04:42 PM
 #11

What are the practical scenarios for which you want to lock your coins?

Will it increase security of my coin? like somebody hacked my account and tried to move my coins so It will give me alert and movement of coin will be failed. Maybe somebody having addiction also need to lock hid coins.

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May 13, 2019, 05:38:25 PM
 #12

It is not a bad idea nor could be called good. But those preferences feature could be useful for some user, and probably it wouldn't harm the network too much rather a good option for someone. We do acknowledge some kind of people that have an uncontrollable desire about spending Bitcoin. That feature could benefit them a lot for those who want to force themselves to save and control their expenses.



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eternalgloom
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May 14, 2019, 11:08:41 AM
 #13

What are the practical scenarios for which you want to lock your coins?

Will it increase security of my coin? like somebody hacked my account and tried to move my coins so It will give me alert and movement of coin will be failed. Maybe somebody having addiction also need to lock hid coins.

Security-wise not so much I think. I mean if someone has access to your wallet, they would just write a script to automatically transfer your coins as soon as the time-lock expires.
People with addiction could really benefit from something like this, not just people with gambling addiction, but also people who have a problem with spending too much in general.

I don't really know much about the psychology behind addiction, but my gut feeling tells me that it could potentially help people to just get better at saving money.
Now, you might say that once the time-lock expires, they'll just spend it all again, but perhaps the prolonged inability to touch ones coins might 'train' them to refrain from spending if there is not such a safety mechanism in place.

In regular finance, you also have investment vehicles that disable you to touch your funds for x amount of time, i don't see why there shouldn't be at least an option for that with Bitcoin.
I mean, there already is an option, I currently create time-locks with Coinb.in myself, as Tryninja also mentioned, but the process is not really newbie-friendly.

Funny enough, I asked about this back in 2017 and Tryninja explained it to me in this topic:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2415595.0

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May 16, 2019, 06:04:41 PM
 #14

I think there are a lot of people out there that are interested in crypto but they would rather stick to a set it and forget it attitude. I have a bunch of family members and they were gifted some BTC for Christmas a year or so ago.  They are all just basically holding it and not even looking at until about 2020.  I have explained to them that they should probably have some kind of exit strategy or consensus on when/how they want to get out.  They aren't as versed in crypto as I am and I will probably be the one that is helping them.  I think having a wallet that has a timelock feature would be the perfect model for them.  Since it isn't something that they are as interested in as I am, it would be beneficial for them to just put it away and have it locked up so they don't have to worry about it.  I'd definitely investigate more if you come out with something like this.
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May 16, 2019, 07:13:50 PM
 #15

@bozzy

Yeah, it would definitely be cool if regular people who are not at all well-versed with crypto could use a wallet like this, but I do see one potential problem.
Their lack of knowledge would kinda make me scared to recommend something like this, just because there's no way back once you lock your coins.

Do you think they would accept a concept like that or understand what it means?

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May 18, 2019, 02:18:47 AM
 #16

The idea of safe-keeping is better than locking your coins for a period of time. Safe-keeping could be cashing out your coins to your preferred currency and put them in a bank or maybe if you have a friend that’s well-disciplined enough not to touch his coins, it’d be great to transfer to him. In that way, you won’t be tempted. Or you could also invest in other things, at least while you’re “safe-keeping” it, there’s also profit. Also, if you time lock your coins, you’d always just settle for that. There won’t be anymore “taking of risks” to see if the value increases or decreases. Overall, I think we all have our preferences and it’s best we consult with those more knowledgeable, in order to have a final decision we won’t regret.
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May 18, 2019, 03:51:51 AM
 #17

They are all just basically holding it and not even looking at until about 2020.
~
I think having a wallet that has a timelock feature would be the perfect model for them.

if they are already doing that themselves then why do they need to put an additional restriction on themselves for no reason?
the timelock features, as OP mentioned, is most suited for those who have a hard time controlling themselves and want to not be able to spend their coins even if they wanted to. but such restrictions are not good for other people because you can't predict the future and you may need those funds in an emergency.

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May 18, 2019, 08:40:42 AM
 #18

They are all just basically holding it and not even looking at until about 2020.
~
I think having a wallet that has a timelock feature would be the perfect model for them.

if they are already doing that themselves then why do they need to put an additional restriction on themselves for no reason?
the timelock features, as OP mentioned, is most suited for those who have a hard time controlling themselves and want to not be able to spend their coins even if they wanted to. but such restrictions are not good for other people because you can't predict the future and you may need those funds in an emergency.

Good point and indeed, it would be a little bit strange for his family members to use a feature like this, if they can already keep themselves in check with regards to spending.
The chance of doing something wrong and getting stuck with locked coins for longer than they anticipated wouldn't be good exactly.

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