KeepKey says it will no longer support MultiBit, the bitcoin wallet software project it acquired in 2016. Users are advised to move their keys to another wallet, with KeepKey recommending Electrum as an alternative.
KeepKey took over MultiBit development when its original developers said they would no longer work on it. However, according to a post on the MultiBit.org website, maintaining it was a bigger job than expected:
“The reality is that Multibit is in need of a lot of work. It has stubborn bugs that have caused us and Multibit users much grief. Additionally, Bitcoin has gone through a fundamental change in regards to the way fees work. The addition of SegWit in the coming weeks will mean the Multibit software has fallen still further behind.”
“Multibit was a fantastic piece of software in its time, and we want to thank the Multibit developers for such an important contribution to Bitcoin’s history.”
KeepKey will devote its limited resources to improving its hardware wallet device, the statement said.
The company has recommended Electrum as a close alternative, and posted instructions on how to move the keys from either MultiBit Classic or MultiBit HD.
MultiBit an Old-Time Favorite
MultiBit was first announced in September 2011. At the time it was one of the first “thin client” wallets, meaning users didn’t have to download the entire blockchain to use it.
Users still controlled their own private keys, could set up multiple wallets, and see live BTC/USD exchange rates. Developed initially by Jim Burton and based on Mike Hearn’s bitoinj library, it had versions for Windows, OS X and Linux.
At one stage in 2014, MultiBit was the world’s most popular bitcoin wallet, according to CoinDesk. It remained a favorite for many long-time Bitcoiners, and has its own wiki page on Bitcoin Fandom.
Thin client (a.k.a. “light client”) wallets are far more common these days, especially on mobile. Rather than download and verify the entire blockchain, they verify the network state in other ways. These include checking block headers only, random block headers, or a network of trusted servers.
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Images via KeepKey, Imgur