We’ve all been used to using money digitally for some time; moving digits around held by custodians is nothing new; it’s now become the norm, with physical cash making up a small portion of overall money. Since the invention of bitcoin, money has become truly digital. When we dematerialise wealth, it provides holders with the ability to self custody of their funds, and that means taking personal responsibility for how it is held and distributed.
Before bitcoin, if you passed on or were incapacitated, your family could gain access to your funds by legal means, or if you had physical wealth like cash or precious metals, all they would have to know was where to find it.
Do you have a backup plan?
The same would go for bitcoin; you should have a plan to help your next of kin access the money in case you die. Many haven’t, and it is likely that bitcoin is already lost forever; thanks to early buyers who have died without a clear plan for succession, we know what happens to that bitcoin, and we know it’s something many of us would like to avoid.
Sure, you’re working hard fiat mining now and stacking sats, locking it into the time chain, all with the knowledge that bitcoin will be fine even when you’re not, and the blockchain will outlast every one of us with limited time on this planet.
If you accept that bitcoin will outlast you and you’re stacking with your family in mind, you should consider having a bitcoin backup plan should anything happen to you or in the event that you pass away.
What is Final Message?
Having your wealth in bitcoin could multiply your fortune, and with great wealth comes a greater need for operational security. You could become a target for criminals; you could be injured or unable to provide for your family; having a way to pass on your wealth in these events is key.
One way to do this is to set up estate planning with a law firm or with a managed multi-sig service provider, the other would be to use something like Final Message.
Final Message allows you to automate a message that is fired off to a loved one, trusted friend, or business partner in the event you stop responding to the service. The primary use-case is using it to send 1 of 3 bitcoin multi-sig keys to your recipient in the event of death, memory loss, or kidnapping. You would send the keys or any message/set of instructions if you want increased security; its functionality is only limited by your creativity.
Final Message is an implementation of a ‘dead man’s switch that uses bitcoin payments as the trigger mechanism with an emphasis on privacy and security. All payments use the Lightning network to reduce fees and keep the cost of our service as low as possible.
How does a dead man’s switch work?
Dead man’s switches are designed to require positive action, or they will automatically deploy. They are ideal for situations where you are worried about unforeseen death, kidnapping, or memory loss. If you don’t engage the trigger after a designated amount of time, the switch automatically sends the desired message to the specified recipients.
How does Final Message work?
To set up a Final Message you will need to coordinate several operations, firstly decide on the recipients, and inform them of the Message, what it is and how it works. It’s pointless sending a Final Message if your next of kin has no idea how to use the encrypted message.
Once you’ve informed all parties and set up the bitcoin wallet, you can go ahead with the Final Message steps.
Create a switch
Any message you want. Any recipient you want.
Trigger with bitcoin payments
A bitcoin payment of $50 is the response mechanism, and it extends your switch for a year. A smaller payment extends your switch proportionally based on the same rate. Final Message accept both on-chain and lightning network payments as a response medium.
In case of no response
If you, don’t renew your switch we Final Message will assume the worst and send the message. Prior to renewal, the Final message will send you reminder emails (if provided upon setting up) as your switch nears expiration.
Decrypt with a password
When you create your switch, give your recipients the password you chose and instruct them to store it securely. Make sure you give your recipients the encryption password you chose when creating your switch and instruct them to store it securely.
They will need that password to decrypt your message. If you are using a 2 of 3 multi-sig wallet, make sure you also give them the third key separately. They will need that key to use alongside the key you send using the switch in order to access the funds.
Ensure that all passwords are stored safely, as Final Message cannot reset your password if it is lost.
Why use Final Message?
Life is about dealing with uncertainty and while wealth can help protect against it, it can’t eradicate it, our time on this planet is finite, so you need prepared for worst case scenarios. Injuries, murder, accidents, and natural disasters are a possibility? What if you fall and hit your head and your memory is compromised? What if you suffer a stroke and you’re incapacitated?
The list is endless, and I think you get the picture, safeguards in life are always needed. Using a tool like Final Message you can be have a layer of protection for whatever life throws your way.
We don’t track you, the only info we keep are the email addresses you give us
All messages are secured locally using the AES256 encryption standard, we can’t access them by design
By charging a small fee we are able to give you uptime you can count on
Is Final Message free to use?
No, you will need to pay annual fees to keep the dead man switch from triggering each year.
Can I use Final Message anonymously?
For all you nym bros who don’t want to give up personal details, yes, you can use Final Message without giving up any data. The reminder email address is optional. Final Message take privacy very seriously and promise not to share any info we have with third parties.
If you choose not to provide a reminder email, please make sure you store your unique URL and set your own reminders, so you can check the status of your switch and make future payments.
Alternatively, use a burner email instead to get those reminder emails.
Can I stop my switch?
Currently there is no way to cancel a switch for security reasons; if you stop responding based on the parameters the trigger will fire. You can keep pushing it off by responding, alternatively you can render the switch ineffective by moving your funds to a new bitcoin wallet. So even if it fires your recipients will only gain access to an empty wallet.
Get the app
There you have it, another bitcoin tool you can use to keep your stack a little safer and plan for events outside your control.
If you’d like to learn more about the app or give it a try, check out the links below.
Are you a bitcoin app affianado?
Are you using bitcoin inspired apps? Which app is your favourite? Do you have one you’d like us to cover? Let us know in the comments down below.