And now we are not 2018 which I think will be a big year for many forks and airdrops, especially for Bitcoin.
But as you know more my previous fork posts that all of these forked coins have their own unique agenda and features that they wanted to propose for Bitcoin. But when that didn’t work out they usually fork out as free airdropped coins.
This year also I am tracking more than 10 Bitcoin forks that will be airdropped to BTC holders. And like always you need not worry because basilpuglisi will be doing all due-diligence to help you claim your forked coins that are legit.
Also, I am noticing that as the number of forks being done is increasing so is their way of distribution is evolving. In 2018 majority of the forked coins will be doing air drops which will require you to sign a message using your private keys to prove that you are the owner of the bitcoins which you are actually claiming.
And that’s the very reason for me to write today and tell you about how to securely sign messages using your private keys via a Ledger Nano S.
Note: One can sign messages using other wallets too but for this tutorial, I will stick to Ledger Nano S only this article because other wallets are beyond the scope of this article.
- Ledger Nano S Review: Things To Know Before Ordering The Ledger Wallet
- Which Cryptocurrencies Are Supported By The Ledger Wallet?
So without waiting further let’s see how to sign messages using Ledger Nano S & Why to sign.
How To Sign A Message With Your Bitcoin Address & Why?
Signing a message with your Bitcoin address by using your private keys is called a Bitcoin signature. By signing a message this way you can prove that you control a particular Bitcoin address and hence demonstrate the ownership of funds.
You can use this feature to sign a unique message and can time-stamp it using your private keys. And then you can provide this signed message to any third party which can verify that you own the funds actually.
I know some of you are thing why not to simply give your public address to show to the third party that you have the funds.
But think for a moment. The public address is open for anyone to check, private keys are what determine that actually, you control your bitcoins or not.
So in a logical sense proving the ownership of private keys is actually proving that you own those bitcoins. But you can’t and should never give out your private keys, so you sign a unique message using your private key to generate a signed message which can be verified with the public key. This way, you don’t have to worry about handing over your private keys to anyone and you can prove that you are the owner of the said public key (Bitcoin Address).
So in short by providing the signed message and the public key you are able to prove the ownership of private keys of that particular Bitcoin address. How this happens is a quite complicated mathematical puzzle about which I will leave for some other day.
How To Sign A Message With Ledger Nano S Wallet?
1. Launch the Ledger Wallet Bitcoin application on your desktop.
2. Connect your Ledger device and enter your PIN code.
3. Now, when you have connected your Ledger device, open your Bitcoin application on the device. You will be promoted to select Bitcoin or Bitcoin cash. Select here ‘Bitcoin’.
4. Now once you select ‘Bitcoin’ you will see this screen. Select here ‘SEGWIT’ or ‘Legacy’ depending upon on which type of address you have a non-zero BTC balance.
5. For this tutorial let’s assume that you have a non-zero BTC balance on ‘Legacy’ and you have selected legacy to see this screen.
6. Now click on ‘settings’ and then on ‘Tools’ as shown in the above image to see this below-shown screen.
7. Now, click ‘Sign message’ option to see this screen. Where you can choose the BTC address and type in the message in the message field and click ‘sign’. I have taken this message for specimen sake “basilpuglisi-Simplifying Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency”. Generally, the message is given by the third party who is requesting you to prove your ownership.
8. Now, when you click sign you will see this screen.
5. When you see this above shown screen, go to your Ledger device and confirm ‘sign the message’ on your device.
7. After signing it on your Ledger device you will see this screen. Copy the text between Begin Signature and End Signature, this is your signed message.
In the above image, your signature is:
8. Copy this and save it in a file and provide this with your public address to any third party to prove that you really control this particular address and the bitcoins on it.
In my opinion, this is a much secure way forward for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency forks to distribute the forked coins because this doesn’t require one to import/export one’s private keys directly.
And also this is a safe way to prove the ownership of your private keys without directly revealing the private keys.
There are some other wallets also which has Bitcoin signature features. Such wallets are Bitcoin core, Electrum, Blockchain.info, and Coinomi etc. But for this tutorial, I have explained it for Ledger Nano S only because it is my go-to wallet.
So that’s all on my side in this article 🙂
Now its time to hear from you: Have you used this Bitcoin signing feature before? Have you claimed any forked coins so far by signing a unique message? Do let me know in the comments section below.
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