I need to explain to somebody step by step how to go through the process of signing a message to verify they own the private keys associated with an address containing funds. This is to ensure ownership before a sale is agreed.

What is the simplest and easiest way to do this (so that I can get them to understand my instructions and be able to follow through)?

I know this can be done a number of ways (bitcoin core, Electrum, Using a Ledger or Trezor, or a browser based tool .

I appreciate any input.


  • 1
    Most wallets include a sign feature (with the exception of some segwit wallets). Asking them to use that would be easiest, since forcing them to use any other method would likely involve export/import of private keys, which isn't always easy, and is definitely insecure – Raghav Sood May 30 '18 at 9:19
  • Assuming they have only a paper wallet, and the importing of private keys is a necessity, which wallet would you suggest is best for this purpose? Also is the same wallet needed by the verifying party or can they use any of the other wallets to verify a message signed via a different method? Thank you for your help. – John Murphy May 30 '18 at 9:24
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    You could also just have them send themselves an amount of BTC you choose from that wallet. Pick a number with lots of digits. – David Schwartz May 30 '18 at 12:54
  • Thanks David. That's something I think we will use as well. I want to have the most professional and thorough vetting possible for proving ownership and verifiying BTC before escrow sales. – John Murphy May 30 '18 at 13:44

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