Today in APIs: BlockCypher Claims MultiSig API Could Have Prevented BitCoin Theft

BlockCypher MultiSig API could have save saved $1 billion in Bitcoin theft. Expanding the Yo App concept. Plus: Google Play Services with Android wearable devices is out, and what is an SDN API?

BlockCypher Offers MultiSig API for Beefed Up Security

BlockCypher's new MultiSig API could have been used by MtGox, Silkroad and others to prevent nearly $1 billion in theft of bitcoin. The kicker is, they could have implemented the API in less than an hour.

Here's what it does: by requiring 2 out of 3 people to sign, the third party can play a verification role. And if one key gets lost, two authorized parties remain. So why didn't those BitCoin banks use it? It turns out that prior to the MultiSig API, multisig was complicated.

As the company explains, MultiSig removes the complications:

Using BlockCypher’s multisig API, all you need are the public keys, the amount transferred, and later on, the signatures. That’s it. We build the transactions, validate them and broadcast them over the network. Check our documentation and Javascript sample. You’ll see how simple it is. All bitcoin wallets, payment services, exchanges, storage, etc. can now greatly enhance the security of their application in less than an hour using BlockCypher's multisig API.

They end with what might be termed a billion dollar plea: let's use MultiSig to prevent this theft in the future.

Yo Read This Article

Not since the advent of fart apps has the iPhone debuted such a silly app that has been this popular. All it does is send the word Yo to a recipient. Now, Virginia Tech Entrepreneur Club President Hayden Lee and his brother Jarryd Lee, a student at Rochester Institute of Technology have tried to extend this with a message for developers: Yo server is down, an API handle notice when a server is off line.

As Molly Greenberg reports,

Basically, the app would send a yo notification to a subscriber whenever a server went down, hence the name. The user would create a Yo API handle like MyServerIsDown, email with their API handle to receive their API Key, subscribe by sending a Yo to their API handle, enter the website they want to check, submit their API key and then, after clicking Yo, get pinged once every five minutes if the designated server was down.

Sounds simple and... ridiculous, a passing fad not worth a passing comment. But given that the app hit #1 on product hunt recently, they may be on to something. Consider the creativity that gets released by a tight set of rules. Twitter, with its 140 character restriction was widely ridiculed at its start. Isaac Asimov's tight box created by his three rules of robotics led to countless stories and affected our assumptions about what robots can and can't do. Then there's the famous claim by Hemmingway that a story can be told in 6 words. And more generally, Noam Chomsky discovered the rules governing language, a structure that allows for infinitely creative communication. Structure can be liberating. How does this relate to Yo? Where once we had what seems the old and stiff expression, "Attention", now we have not just Yo, but the possibility of an app that allows users to create messages, all of which start with Yo. The Yo arms race is already on, if what Jonathan Schieber reports in Techcrunch catches on. An app called YOaster features an alert when toast is done; another called Yo Radio imitates Shazam and lets users bookmark songs they hear for later listening/purchase. Will this go viral in expanding forms? Yo.

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Be sure to read the next Bitcoin article: Winklevoss twins launch API for their Bitcoin price index