Polkadot Summit - Multi-Sig Solutions Notes

Polkadot Summit, Copenhagen 2023

Session: Multi-Sig Solutions

Estimated # of attendees: 25

Attendees/key participants:

  • Thibaut Sardan (Chainsafe)
  • Gabriel Facco de Arruda (InvArch)
  • Ricardo Rius (Parity)
  • Jon Dunne (Talisman)
  • Valentin Sergeev (Novasama)

High level discussion points:

The panel discussed and introduced various multisig solutions in the Polkadot ecosystem. Both technical challenges and business approaches were discussed.


  • Talisman is in the process of developing Signet
  • Invarch: Saturn is a multichain multisig that operates similar to a DAO on Invarch. The core objective is to enhance the UX for multisigs
  • Multix, developed by Chainsafe, is a tool designed to provide a better UX. It includes features such as rotating signatories
  • Nova: Specter is an application targeted at enterprises. A significant feature of this app is multisig capability. It also integrates with the Matrix protocol.
  • What are the main problems trying to solve and why started building the product?
    • Currently there are two options: using the multisig pallet or building own multisig pallet
    • Talisman is currently using the multisig pallet, but sees three main problems:
      • The requirement to share call data offline. With Signet, there’s a backend that facilitates this, and there’s an option to self-host
      • The inability to rotate signers
      • The need to use PolkadotJS to access the pallet
  • Invarch
    • Call data
      • Saturn is using it on chain
    • Cost and fractionalization
      • On Polkadot with the multisig pallet, it costs about 40 DOT to fully set up
    • Have wallet connect and the saturn connect extension
      • Full compatibility across the polkadot stack
    • The idea is to remove all the friction
  • Question about the role of multisigs in attracting institutional investors. They are deemed necessary to ensure high security for institutions investing in digital assets.
    • Nova: remove points of friction (call data, rotation,…), without compromising on security
    • Nova: Specter is not using any kind of indexer or private call data to avoid any security issues
    • Talisman: The comparison between Talisman and Fireblock is not fair since Talisman is self-custody and Fireblocks is semi-custody.
    • Invarch’s goal of being a full-fledged asset management platform offering excellent UX while retaining all the benefits of custody solutions.
    • Chainsafe’s approach to cater to diverse types of multisig users, some of whom are comfortable self-hosting their own database (e.g. finance users). They are happy to rely on existing pallets. Ultimately ChainSaif wants to go as trustless as possible, which has UX challenges.
    • Specter’s priority is to cater to enterprise users managing their Polkadot and Kusama assets.
  • Question about go-to-market strategies. How to make money?
    • Invarch, while focusing on larger holders in the ecosystem initially, plans to integrate enterprise solutions later. Their focus is on demonstrating that it’s a solid and safe solution for managing assets across the board.
      • Wouldn’t this better be a common good chain?
        • Noted that it is important to have teams outside of common good chains, have some separation and free market competition
  • Question about target audience. Are custodians a target audience?
    • Talisman: Yes
    • Invarch is also working on rules (similar to proxy), which has filters in the runtime. Rules describe what can be done, amount of swaps, etc.
    • The primary challenge when storing information on a chain with the proxy pallet is the need for repetition. It’s more effective to have it stored in one place. Similar to identity, ideally to have it in one place
    • Using multisig for some multifactor authentication is a good option. E.g. multisig â…” for personal fund management.
  • Off chain multisigs
    • Signature aggregation multisig
    • Can you a solution like Frost
    • Highlighted that users may not even realize the presence of multisignature functionality in the background
    • This feature holds potential for use in enterprise solutions
    • Entropy is going to use a threshold multisig
    • This approach has pros and cons
      • Invarch chose to go full on chain with Saturn, what they are doing would not be possible off chain. It doesn’t have the flexibility to compose bigger organisations
    • Which signature schemes are capable of performing signature applications?
      • Schnorrkel supports it. MuSig and MuSig2 as well.
        • Difference is Nr of rounds of communication you need to go through
        • EDDSA
        • Frost
    • One more audience:
      • Existential deposit, not all humans can afford
      • Privacy is not the only reason but also funds
      • Saturn working on feeles multisig participation