Glacier Protocol

The Glacier Protocol is a step-by-step protocol for high-security bitcoin storage. Find out everything you need to know about Glacier Protocol today in our review.

What Is Glacier Protocol?

The Glacier Protocol is a step-by-step protocol that allows users to enjoy high-security cold bitcoin storage. It’s being marketed as an alternative to online wallets and hardware wallets. It’s a free, open-source software available online. By following the steps – and running the software – you can give yourself a bitcoin wallet that is impenetrable to attack.

The Glacier Protocol solves a classic problem in the world of bitcoin storage: offline key generation is great, but it’s not bulletproof. Meanwhile, hardware wallets generally provide good security, but you can’t be 100% certain that an undiscovered vulnerability isn’t being used to grab your private keys over that USB cable.

With that in mind, the Glacier Protocol created a solution. It’s a free, open-source protocol that walks you through cold storage step-by-step. The beta was released onto the internet in February 2017.

The platform is built for people who store large amounts of bitcoin and are willing to invest time and money into a high-security storage solution. It’s not an easy-to-use piece of software you download today and setup in 5 minutes.

It’s a platform that requires several hours and several hundred dollars of equipment to execute (basically, you have to have multiple computers, including computers that have never been connected to the internet before).

Do you get nervous leaving your cryptocurrencies in an online wallet – but don’t feel totally comfortable having your tokens in a hardware wallet? The Glacier Protocol might be the right platform for you. As one website explained, it’s a protocol “for the rich and paranoid”. Let’s take a closer look at how the Glacier Protocol claims to work.

Glacier Protocol Features

The Glacier Protocol comes with the following key features:

Self-Managed Storage:

With Glacier, you don’t rely on online wallets or other third parties. Your bitcoins are entirely within your own control.

Cold Generation & Storage:

The electronic keys securing your bitcoins are created and stored entirely offline, which makes them “virtually invulnerable to electronic theft.”

Free Of Charge:

The Glacier Protocol is an open source protocol available for free online to the bitcoin community.

Multisignature Storage:

Like all good storage solutions, Glacier Protocol supports multisig. Multiple keys are required in order to access your bitcoins, which greatly reduces the risk of loss due to personal theft or destruction of keys.


Glacier makes heavy use of well-secured software – including Bitcoin Core. Glacier’s own software is limited in scope and is available open source for public review, which helps to limit security holes.

Costly To Implement:

This is advertised as a “feature” on the official Glacier Protocol website. The creator of Glacier wants users to know this is for people dedicated to serious bitcoin security. “Glacier is intended for security-critical scenarios, not everyday use. The protocol requires several hours and several hundred dollars of equipment to execute.”

How Does Glacier Protocol Work?

The Glacier Protocol works in a straightforward way: the goal of the protocol is to generate secure private keys in a completely offline, protected environment. That means creating keys in a place where no spy or hacker can watch you, then transferring the keys to an address.

Another key feature behind the Glacier Protocol is its multisig support. Multiple signatures means that the funds on an address can only be redeemed if the transaction is signed by several keys.

The recommended “two of four” script means that two of four keys have to be signed. This system is useful because you have a backup if you lose one or two keys. And, if a thief steals one of your keys, they’re unable to access your account.

Essentially, the Glacier Protocol relies on using multiple computers (including computers that have never been connected to the internet) to generate secure bitcoin keys. You transfer keys to a physical piece of paper (by writing them down). By following the specific steps, you give yourself a bitcoin vault that is impossible to penetrate.

What Do You Need To Setup Glacier Protocol?

The Glacier Protocol makes numerous mentions that it requires “hundreds of dollars” of equipment to setup. What exactly does that mean?

To implement the Glacier Protocol, you’ll need a “Setup System” (a computer connected to the internet) and a “Quarantine System (an unboxed laptop that has never been in contact with the internet – neither before nor after it creates the key).

But that’s not all you need: the Glacier Protocol requires the use of parallel hardware stacks. Every operation must be performed on two systems from different manufacturers, which means you have to buy everything twice. This is done to prevent attacks that subvert the process of sensitive data generation.

You’ll also need time to setup the Glacier Protocol. Glacier recommends you spend about one day to work carefully through the protocol, going step by step. If you can follow the steps carefully according to the instructions on the Glacier Protocol website, you’ll give yourself a very safe bitcoin vault.

Who Created Glacier Protocol?

The Glacier Protocol is a community-driven open-source project. The two key developers and maintainers include James Hogan and Jacob Lyles.

The organization also lists a number of security advisors who have contributed to the project.

To learn how to contribute to the project yourself, visit the Glacier contributions page. Alternatively, you can view GitHub project, GlacierScript, or get in touch with the developers by email at [email protected]

Glacier Protocol Conclusion

As one review website explains it, the Glacier Protocol is “for the rich and paranoid”. It’s a high-powered security protocol designed for those who want to protect $100,000 or more in bitcoins.

It takes a substantial amount of time, effort, equipment, and money to implement Glacier into your system. However, it’s a cold storage solution that can make your bitcoins virtually impenetrable to attack.

Those who hold a lot of bitcoins have suddenly watched their assets skyrocket in value. This high value makes them a bigger target. If you’re serious about protecting your bitcoins, and want to eliminate any attack, then the Glacier Protocol could be the right choice for you.

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