What Are Multi-Party Computation (MPC) Wallets?

What Are Multi-Party Computation (MPC) Wallets?

MPC wallets split secret keys between multiple parties using secret codes, making them safe from breaches. They use cryptographic methods to ensure data privacy and accuracy. Although they offer enhanced security compared to other storage methods, MPC wallets may slow down processes and require more communication.


Multi-party computation (MPC) is a technique that enhances the security of digital assets. This article explores MPC wallets, explaining their functionality, benefits, and drawbacks.

Exploring Multi-Party Computation (MPC)

Multi-party computation (MPC), also known as secure MPC (SMPC), allows groups of people to jointly calculate a secret without revealing individual details. This is particularly useful online, where privacy can be challenging to maintain. Here's a simple example to illustrate the concept of MPC.

Consider three blockchain engineers working at a Web3 startup. They want to calculate their average salary without disclosing their individual earnings. To do this, they use an MPC protocol with additive secret sharing, which splits the secret information among the three engineers. This way, they can compute the average without anyone knowing each other's exact salary.

MPC relies on two critical aspects: maintaining privacy and ensuring accuracy. Even if some participants don't follow the rules, the MPC process prevents them from compromising the integrity of the calculation or exposing confidential information.

The Evolution of Multi-Party Computation (MPC)

Multi-party computation (MPC), a branch of cryptography, emerged in the 1970s, with practical applications beginning in the 1980s. Unlike conventional cryptographic methods designed to guard against external threats, MPC focuses on safeguarding data privacy among participants within the same system. Today, MPC is utilized in various scenarios, including securing digital assets in MPC wallets and maintaining confidentiality during online auctions.

Understanding MPC Wallets

An MPC wallet employs multi-party computation to safeguard cryptocurrencies and digital assets. It achieves this by dividing a wallet's private key among several entities, which enhances privacy and mitigates risks of hacking, breaches, or loss. Some might confuse MPC wallets with multisig wallets, but there's a fundamental difference. Although both aim to boost security, their underlying mechanisms are distinct.

Comparing MPC Wallets With Multisig Wallets

A multisignature wallet requires multiple signatures from private keys to authorize blockchain transactions. In contrast, an MPC wallet breaks down a single private key into parts and distributes them among several parties. Although the concepts may seem alike, the technical differences between the two mean that MPC wallets offer greater flexibility and more straightforward implementation.

Comparing MPC Wallets With Other Cryptocurrency Wallets

Cryptocurrency wallets come in two main types: custodial and non-custodial. Custodial wallets are managed by a service provider that controls your private keys and assets. In contrast, non-custodial wallets give users full control over their private keys.

Many prefer non-custodial wallets for their security, as they don't require trusting a third party with sensitive information. However, this independence brings its own challenges, especially for novices. Users must ensure they don't lose or compromise their keys, requiring a certain level of technical know-how.

MPC wallets offer a balanced approach, combining security and convenience. This makes them increasingly popular as they aim to address some common issues with other types of wallets.

Here are the key benefits of MPC wallets:

  • Enhanced Privacy: The encryption used throughout the process eliminates the need to trust third parties with your data.
  • Higher Security: By splitting the private key across multiple parties and locations, MPC wallets reduce single points of failure.
  • Greater Convenience: Unlike traditional non-custodial wallets, MPC wallets can be used online, minimizing the need for cold storage solutions.

Drawbacks of MPC Wallets

While MPC wallets offer robust security, they come with a couple of notable downsides.

  • First, their performance tends to be slower because the enhanced security involves additional computational steps, particularly during key generation and when creating secret shares.
  • Second, the costs are generally higher. The requirement to share and process data among multiple parties, and occasionally across different networks, can drive up expenses considerably.

Applications of MPC Wallets

Large institutions seeking robust security solutions are turning to multi-party computation (MPC) technology for its array of benefits. Prominent financial firms are adopting MPC to protect their assets from risks posed by internal and external threats.


Multi-party computation (MPC) wallets are gaining traction as a cutting-edge method for safeguarding digital assets, providing improved security and privacy. Despite some limitations, they offer significant benefits like heightened security, enhanced privacy, and reduced dependence on conventional storage. As digital asset technologies progress, MPC wallets are poised to become increasingly vital for protecting assets and information in the digital domain.

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