Whether the need originates out of their recent arrival into the world of cryptocurrency, or caused due to having had a negative experience with a previous storage service, it can be safely said that finding a new solution that can not only make lucrative promises of security but also deliver on surefire solutions is a daunting task.
With that being said, there are numerous storage options for different cryptocurrencies whose users swear by their efficacy and ease of use, and Copay happens to be one of such solutions.
In addition to its efficacious security capabilities that are proven to be some of the safest methods of cryptocurrency storage, Copay uses a multi-signature mechanism, where multiple parties have to authorize a transaction before it could go through.
The system that is similar to a joint account or a business account provides its users with the option to manage mutually funded accounts without having to place their trust in a single entity.
The wallet is available as a desktop client for Windows, Mac, and Linux as well as a mobile app for iOS and Android. Therefore, if you, like almost every other user of cryptocurrencies, utilize one of these platforms, then you may easily go ahead and start enjoying the unique and secure features of Copay.
To provide you with more information, we have put together a comprehensive guide that takes a detailed look on Copay’s history, its functionalities and its overall deliverance on features that one would expect from a cryptocurrency wallet.
However, just for the sake of clarity, it needs to be explained that when you use a cryptocurrency wallet, you are not storing your cryptocurrency or digital coins into it as a physical wallet. All that you are doing is to keeping their information of that cryptocurrency safe and protecting it with passwords and security measures which ensure that no one else will be able to access those funds.
Therefore, a cryptocurrency wallet’s job is to keep the information of your cryptocurrency safe, which is why you need to pick an option which gives you the peace of mind of it being done in an optimal manner.
Now that we have cleared that up, let’s go ahead and learn more about Copay for you to determine whether it is the wallet of choice for you.
History of Copay Wallet
Copay was created by Bitpay, a U.S. based cryptocurrency payment facilitator which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
Considered the largest Bitcoin payment processor of its kind, the payment service was founded in May 2011 by Tony Gallipi and Stephen Pair. It facilitates cryptocurrency payments for large-scale businesses to small and medium enterprises, where it allows users to pay with cryptocurrencies at places that otherwise would not be accessible with digital asset payments.
During Bitpay’s tenure, it has seen partnerships with companies ranging from Microsoft to Warner Bros. Records, and from PayPal to Global Payments.
The reason behind these companies wanting to partner up with Bitpay was the payment facilitator’s proven demonstration of transparency, security, and reliability in its processed transactions, which is exactly what it brought to the table with its separate wallet service, Copay.
Intended to serve as just not a service but an all-around, secure and easy to use cryptocurrency wallet, Copay was made available on multiple platforms where it now provides its complete services as a desktop client on different operating systems as well as its apps for mobile devices.
The project’s code is completely open-source with the wallet being free to use for everyone.
Bitpay intends to supplement Copay’s development to the point where it would focus on its advancement by terming it as the “development head” for its own brand’s official Bitpay wallet, which would be leveraging Copay’s technological advancements in its operations instead of it being the other way around. This approach is commendable in its own right.
Companies sometimes use the prime technology for their branded use while leaving out their open-source projects to dry out without optimal support.
At the time of writing, the only difference between Copay and the Bitpay wallet is that the latter is integrated with the payment processor’s facilitating services as well as its offered Visa debit card, so users of Bitpay wallet could use its native app to enjoy the very services for which they joined Bitpay in the first place.
This approach actually makes it easier for new Copay wallet users to opt for the service, since they are only provided with the wallet service that they intended to use without having to receive Bitpay’s payment processing features against their will, just in case they didn’t want such a service to begin with.
At the moment, Copay supports both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, the same cryptocurrencies which are supported by the Bitpay platform to process payments for its users.
What Does Copay Wallet Do?
Copay wallet is built upon the notion of not just being a simple service but a complete cryptocurrency wallet for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Therefore, the wallet does not only act as a standalone application separate from Bitpay’s own services but provides complete capabilities of storing, sending and receiving Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash through its generated addresses without ever compromising on its security or quality of service.
Apart from offering a clean and simple yet aesthetically pleasing interface across all platforms, Copay ensures that it does not become a hassle for its users and only makes the process of storing their digital assets as easier as it can for them.
Copay is one of the first wallets that supported the full Bitcoin Payment Protocol from BIP 0070-0073, which means that whenever a user makes an outgoing transaction to a merchant that is enabled by the payment protocol, Copay will first verify that the transaction will culminate with the correct recipient before having it executed.
It also comes with native support for Bitcoin testnet, which means that any developers that are looking to test new applications or solutions through the testnet can use Copay to check if their project is coming together as nicely as they aspired it to be or if it needs any further tweaks to reach the level of perfection to be presented to a larger market.
In addition to this, Copay is built as a hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallet, which translates to it being capable of generating highly secure keys on its own that remain unpredictable by anyone.
All that users need to do is to note their keys at the time of setting up the wallet, and access their Copay wallet through the provided keys without sharing them with anyone.
Being an HD wallet also gives Copay the ability to be a backup-enabled wallet, where users can back up the information, and in case they ever forget the child key that would let them access the wallet otherwise, they can use the backup to restore the information securely.
This allows users to have the pace of mind that even if they forget their passphrase, they are not going to lose access to their funds due to a simple mistake as long as they have made a backup through a secure method.
As explained earlier, Copay wallet also supports multi-sig, which allows authorized users of a single wallet to execute transactions through mutual consensus, just like they would do for a joint account in a bank.
Furthermore, the wallet generates new addresses automatically whenever a receiving address is used once so that user information remains untraceable on the public ledger of Bitcoin where all transactions are posted on the network by default.
This allows users to ensure that their identity remains safe despite them using the same wallet to make incoming and outing transactions through the same account.
The same level of security is prevalent whether you use Copay through the desktop clients or decide to utilize its functions through your mobile devices.
How to Setup Copay Wallet?
The app is easy to install both on desktop systems and mobile devices, and once the installation process is complete, users can go ahead and start setting up their new Copay wallet. By choosing options such as “Create Wallet”, one can set up the new method of storing their digital assets very easily.
The functions to include multi-signatures can also be set up from here, which can be availed by the “Create Shared Wallet” option. From here, you can enter the information of the other users that you would like to have as co-signers on your transactions.
Copay offers multiple options for its multi-sig wallets, the most popular of which is a 2 of 3 wallet that means you need 2 out of 3 signatures to approve a transaction from Copay.
This way, even if one of the signee’s information gets compromised, it does not affect the available funds and users can also create backups to ensure that they reset any information in case the signee information needs to be updated.
However, there are precautions that need to be taken even during the use of multi-sig wallets.
For instance, it is imperative that users balance the share ratio of keys controlled by each user.
According to advice shared on the Copay Github, accounts that have a larger control over the shared keys are termed as Boss accounts, which can upset the security ratio of the shared wallet.
This is why it is important to follow these security measures in order to keep your account safe and for your funds to be accessible to you at all times.
Apart from the multi-sig capabilities, Copay also offers its users the benefits to create multiple wallets from within the same device and application. This way users can maintain different wallets for various purposes such as personal and business use, or even create their Bitcoins to “hodl” separate in a different wallet address than the ones they keep to spend on transactions.
These additional wallets can be set up through the same features and remain free of any cost. Any user can create as many wallets as they would like to keep their digital assets not just safe but organized as well.
In order to allow users to sign transactions, export their wallet and create backup phrases, Copay requires them to make use of what it calls the “Spending Password”. This spending password is key to performing the aforementioned functions and thus remains as one of the core functional elements of the app.
However, the procedure to obtain a private key is a bit more intricate.
In order to set up a private key for the Copay wallet, users first have to set up a password from the app, download the export file, and then visit another URL which leads them towards the process to generate their xPrivKey.
Alternatively, users can generate their xPrivKey through their BIP39 passphrase through another URL. Both options have been detailed by the Copay team on their Github page, which can also be viewed here.
Setting up Copay for Bitcoin testnet can be achieved by any of the desktop client or mobile apps. All that users have to do is to enter the details of their test wallets, and the native support of Bitcoin testnet that is built within Copay does the rest.
Once users have created the wallet(s) of their choice, they can start using the Copay features right away.
There are no charges for storing, sending, or receiving Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash in a Copay wallet, but the network fees apply to the wallet holder for any transaction that they send from their wallet.
Similarly, the network fee applies to the sender who is transferring Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash from their wallet to a Copay wallet.
This network fee gets paid directly to the respective blockchain and Copay remains clear of levying any kind of service charges on its users.
How is the Ongoing Support for Copay Wallet?
As noted earlier in this piece, Copay is completely supported by Bitpay, where the company focuses on having the wallet spearhead the development of its own brand app of Bitpay wallet.
There have not been any reported instances where users have lost their funds through Bitpay to malicious hacking attempts. On paper and to the best of the web’s knowledge, Copay remains a very secure option to store the information of one’s Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash with its features.
However, it is imperative for users to create a backup of their wallet, since in the unfortunate possibility that they lose access to their keys or not remember them, it is impossible to access their stored funds that are secured through Copay again in case they do not have a backup created.
Should Copay Wallet Be Selected as a Primary Wallet?
Copay is a very good choice for those who use Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash and would like to safeguard them in a wallet that is not provided by an exchange.
With the way that it is built with features such as HD, multi-sig, backup, multi-wallet and testnet support, Copay establishes itself as a tremendous option within its target market.
When you add the fact that is wholeheartedly supported by an organization such as Bitpay that is known for its reliability and credibility in the cryptocurrency industry since around 7 years, Copay simply stands in line with some of the most revered apps that are currently available as storage options for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
However, where the wallet lacks in features is perhaps its limitations to perform trading directly through the app that many exchange wallets such as Coinbase and Binance and even third party wallets such as Coinomi provide to their users.
Another area which leaves a lot to be desired is Copay’s support for limited cryptocurrencies. At the time of writing, the wallet only supports Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, whereas, its other counterparts are known for providing support to various cryptocurrencies at once.
With that being said, anyone who wants to use their wallets solely to keep their cryptocurrency – namely Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash – safe and nothing else can count on Copay’s offerings to deliver and fulfill those requirements in spectacular fashion.
Furthermore, if Bitpay ever decides to add support for additional cryptocurrencies through its platform, then it’s a very likely possibility that Copay will also see the addition to support those digital assets.