Finding the right Bitcoin wallet to suit one’s needs is not a journey to be taken lightly. Dozens of applications can be of use in this regard, yet only one or two will be used in the end. mSIGNA is one of those wallets that is often overlooked, despite it being a very potent candidate.
Finding a Bitcoin Wallet
When a discussion regarding Bitcoin wallets breaks out, the name mSIGNA is not one mentioned often. That is a bit odd, considering how this wallet is more than user-friendly for both novice and experienced users alike. It is not necessarily the go-to for newcomers to Bitcoin, although the wallet can serve that purpose just as well.
Considering how this application is compatible with all major desktop operating systems – Windows, Mac, and Linux – there is no reason not to give it a try. Several crucial aspects of this wallet makes it stand out from others, although it also requires some extra technical “baggage” to be used optimally.
The Positive Aspects
Similar to most Bitcoin wallets, mSIGNA acknowledges users need to be in full control of their finances at all times. No third party can freeze funds or prevent users from sending or receiving transactions. While the wallet gives users all of the functionality they need, it is still up to the end user to take the necessary security precautions.
A second selling point of mSIGNA is how the project’s code is open source. Anyone can audit the code, copy it, and adjust it to their preferences with ease. This is a common practice among cryptocurrency wallet projects, but is still deserves to be highlighted.
mSIGNA is one of the few Bitcoin wallets that allows users to obtain a degree of privacy without much effort. This is achieved by using “rotating addresses”, although it won’t work unless the user generates a new address for every payment received.
The wallet also supports the Tor protocol as a way to remain private and somewhat anonymous while transacting on the Bitcoin network. Some users prefer not having their IP address associated with Bitcoin, primarily in regions where such behavior could be subject to government scrutiny.
Last but not least, mSIGNA is a secretive wallet of sorts. It does not share any information with Bitcoin network peers when sending or receiving a transaction. To most novice users, this might not be important. Given how open the Bitcoin blockchain is for analysis firms, every small fraction of privacy should be embraced regardless.
The [Potential] Downsides
No Bitcoin wallet is perfect, and mSIGNA has some aspects that many would consider shortcomings. The privacy features will not be to everyone’s liking, even though the use of Tor and rotating addresses is completely optional..
Perhaps the biggest drawback of this wallet is also a core strength. Experienced Bitcoin users will not mind running full node software to validate transactions when using the mSIGNA client. For novice users, this will be a bridge too far, as it requires some technical knowledge to set up. Combined with the storage requirements of running a full node, it might make this wallet less favorable for most.
One of the topics of debate is how Bitcoin wallets should let users choose their own fees. With mSIGNA, that is unfortunately not possible at this time. Nor does it provide a fee suggestion based on network conditions. As such, users may find themselves paying too much for Bitcoin transactions at certain times. Not an ideal situation.
Whenever a wallet is fully abandoned by the developers, however, one has to wonder how safe the software really is. Ciphrex, the team responsible for mSIGNA, ceased all development activity in late 2017. This further confirms it is not a wallet solution to store large amounts of BTC. The code itself is not reliable enough to use it for such purposes.
All in all, mSIGNA provides a more than viable alternative to most Bitcoin wallets out there. Depending on how much effort one wants to put in, however, there may be other options worth looking into.
Given how the wallet has not received development updates for 2 years now, it appears to be a solution best left to developers who can fix any issues on their own accord. Other users could still run it with ease, but preferably with minute fractions of BTC in case something were to go wrong.