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DCRM use cases and alternatives

Last week, I had Individual Pirate on the podcast to talk about Fusion and Chainge Finance. In case you missed it, we talked about a cool feature of Fusion: DCRM (Distributed Control Rights Management). Basically, it allows you to generate and use a private/public key pair without ever exposing the entire private key to a single person. It takes 3 or more people to create the key, and then at least 2 of those people working together to use the key and lock/unlock the box.

You can split up keys like this without DCRM, but the magic part is where no one person ever has the whole key.

So what can you do with this? Well, it's just cryptography, so you don't even have to use the key pairs for blockchain. If you want to distribute control of anything encrypted, DCRM can do that.

Within the blockchain context, this scheme is commonly known as multisig wallets. It requires multiple parties to sign transactions for the blockchain. Because DCRM isn't blockchain-specific, you can use it to distribute control of any account on just about any blockchain.

On smart contract chains, you can achieve a better UX for multisig by using a smart contract to manage the wallet. This allows the signers to just use their existing wallets. They don't have to keep a specific additional piece of information just for the multisig. Less to remember means less to forget.

What you lose with this approach is interoperability. If you want to distribute control across multiple chains, the smart contract approach won't be portable. If you want to build a cross-chain DEX (like Chainge for example) then having DCRM makes it much easier to manage bridged assets from anywhere.


P.S. Importantly, the D in DCRM is for distributed not decentralized. You pick who the participants are. It's not a permissionless network of shared owners that can come and go as they please. It's exciting tech, but don't confuse your D's.