What is FinalMessage?
Final Message is an implementation of a ‘dead man’s switch’ that uses bitcoin payments as the trigger mechanism with an emphasis on privacy and security. All payments use the lightning network to reduce fees and keep the cost of our service as low as possible.
What is a dead man’s switch?
Dead man’s switches are designed to require positive action or they will automatically deploy. They are ideal for situations where you are worried about unforeseen death, kidnapping, or memory loss. If you don’t engage the trigger for a certain amount of time, the switch automatically sends the desired message.
Final Message allows you to automate a message to a loved one, trusted friend, or business partner that is only sent if you stop responding. The message can contain whatever you want and as a result the possible use cases are only limited by your own creativity. For added security and privacy, all messages are encrypted in your browser before being sent to our servers but we still recommend you assume the encryption is broken or compromised and plan accordingly. Some examples include:
  • Sending 1 of 3 bitcoin multisig keys(you hold 2, recipient holds 1, we hold 1).
  • Sending a password to an encrypted usb drive the recipient holds.
  • Sending directions to access something of value or importance.
  • Sending directions/desires on how to handle your estate.
  • A love note or goodbye message.
Is it secure?
We cannot access your message by design, all encryption is handled client side in your browser using the Stanford Javascript Crypto Library.
  1. Choose a strong password. The message will be encrypted with this password, so the stronger the better. A good guide by the EFF for creating secure passwords with dice can be found here.
  2. Design your message in a way that it cannot be used against you if compromised. One good example of this is sending 1 of 3 bitcoin multisig keys to your recipient. If the message is compromised by a malicious actor, they won’t be able to access your bitcoin without a second key. A useful guide for creating a multi-sig wallet using electrum can be found here and can be used in combination with hardware wallets for additional security.
  3. If your message requires security, we strongly recommend encrypting it first on an offline computer, and then copying the already encrypted text to FinalMessage. In a world of Spectre and Meltdown level exploits, nothing is 100%, but doing so greatly reduces attack vectors. We recommend Tails OS for this, a guide for running Tails can be found here, here.
  4. You can also use Tails to create a LUKS encrypted USB drive, give that to the recipient ahead of time, and then send them the password through FinalMessage. A guide for that is here.
  5. Be creative. There’s ways to send a message that if compromised doesn’t put you at risk. Split your message. Include offline elements. All these choices can make this service more secure.
    • One example is to give half your password to a trusted person, and then have our service email the other half to a second person. Then you can even have a third person hold on to the encrypted USB drive the password opens.
    • In this situation, both of your trusted people and our service would need to be compromised or complicit for your data to be compromised.
How do I know you will be around when I need you?
We are known members of the bitcoin community and hope our reputation can speak for itself. You do not need to trust us with the contents of the message, only that we will send it. The service is designed to be as trust minimized as possible.
Do I need to give recipients anything?
Yes. Make sure you give your recipients the encryption password you chose when creating your switch and instruct them to store it securely. They will need that password to decrypt your message. If you are using a 2 of 3 multi-sig wallet, make sure you also give them the third key separately. They will need that key to use alongside the key you send using the switch in order to access the funds.
I lost my password, can you reset it?
No. If you lose your password we cannot reset it or access your message.
Can recipients confirm the message hasn’t been altered?
A SHA256 hash of the encrypted message is sent to your recipients upon activation of your switch so they can easily prove that the message hasn’t been altered when they ultimately receive it.
What is a SHA256 Hash?
A SHA256 hash allows you confirm that the message has not been altered by us. Every SHA256 hash is unique to the message that creates it so when you receive the encrypted message, you can use onlinemd5.com or another SHA256 hash tool to confirm that the encrypted message generates the same hash as your original confirmation email.
Can I use FinalMessage anonymously?
Yes, the reminder email address is optional. We take privacy very seriously and promise not to share any info we have with third parties. If you choose not to provide a reminder email, please make sure you store your unique URL so you can check the status of your switch and make future payments.
Seems expensive?
With free services, you are the product. Companies sell your information to advertisers rather than charge you directly. We’re a product focused on doing one thing really well and want to operate sustainably. Our goal is to be around for as long as possible. We think the price is fair and strikes a balance between paying for secure hosting, backup nodes, etc and keeping both parties incentivized.
I sent a different amount then shown on the invoice, is my switch active?
Yes. Your account will be credited accordingly at a rate of $50 per year.
Can I cancel my switch?
At this time we do not allow you to cancel a switch for security reasons. Setup your switch so that you can render its effect inert on your own. Example: Move your bitcoin to a new wallet.
Is there a Lightning wallet you recommend?
Currently we recommend Eclair, Joule, and Zap.

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