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An open-source protocol for teams looking for secure, low-cost bitcoin storage
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README.md

The Cerberus Protocol

Introduction

The Cerberus Protocol is a step-by-step protocol for companies to securely store bitcoin investments without the need for a third-party custodian.

The protocol combines both technical and procedural guidance for bitcoin storage:

  • Technical: Open source bitcoin hardware and software recommendations to securely distribute control, ensuring no single point of failure.
  • Procedural: Policies to ensure that any incoming or outgoing transactions are conducted under strict checks and balances.

Cerberus is a fully open source protocol, authored and reviewed by bitcoin industry veterans, taking inspiration from excellent open-source work such as the Glacier Protocol.

Cerberus is intended for:

  • Companies: The bitcoin are owned by a collective entity rather than a single individual. Usually this will be an incorporated company.
  • Bitcoin investments: Long-term bitcoin storage with a low transaction frequency (a handful of transactions per month).
  • Technically-unskilled users: No software engineering or bitcoin expertise should be required. Just follow the steps.
  • Fast deployment: Cerberus is designed to be lean and focused, so that your company can get going as quickly as possible.

Cerberus Minimum Requirements

Acquiring all the necessary items to setup the protocol is covered in Preparation, but to avoid any surprises, users should ensure they will have access to the following:

  • Three trusted employees
  • Three Trezor Ones (total cost less than USD 300)
  • Three Windows/MacOS computers
  • A printer
  • Access to safe deposit box providers near your home or office (e.g. banks or private vaults)
  • A free afternoon to follow the Setup section of the protocol

Why Cerberus?

"Not your keys, not your bitcoin."
- Bitcoin proverb

Currently, the vast majority of bitcoin storage guidance is written for personal bitcoin holdings. But a company investing in bitcoin has very different security needs compared to an individual.

Due to the lack of self-storage options, companies are commonly resorting to trusted custodians. This poses serious risks, as companies' bitcoin investments are concentrated in honey pots that are highly attractive to potential attackers. A bitcoin custodian represents an easily-targeted, well-known single point of failure.

Cerberus was produced as an easy-to-follow, quick-to-execute protocol to specifically address the unique requirements for companies self-storing bitcoin.

Thanks to the amazing work of the bitcoin industry's open source community and entrepreneurs, Cerberus is also inexpensive to set up, making highly-secure, industry-standard storage accessible to even the smallest of companies.


Contributions

The Cerberus Protocol is currently under development and we'll be releasing new sections periodically. We're hoping that releasing the protocol in this way will help generate some interest and give us time to gather feedback from bitcoiners who can suggest improvements or spot potential problems that we may have overlooked. When it comes to bitcoin security, there's nothing better than peer review!

To provide feedback, let us know in one of the following ways:

Email

Send us your comments and suggestions to storage@clavestone.io

GitHub

The Cerberus documentation is available on the Clavestone GitHub repo. If there's anything you'd like to see changed you can:

  • Submit an issue: Head to the Issues tab and provide us: 1) the section and heading your issue relates to, and 2) details of your issue.
  • Edit directly: If you have specific changes you think would benefit users of the protocol, you can make a pull request directly and we'll get to reviewing it as soon as we can.

Future chapters of the protocol will be published here on a regular basis and will be announced on our Twitter and Medium.

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