Decentralized, blockchain-enabled, cryptographically secure, general-purpose

Digital Dead Man's Switch

Decentralized, blockchain-enabled, cryptographically secure, general-purpose

Digital Dead Man's Switch

Dead man's switch - > wiki > Dead_man's_switch

A dead man's switch is a switch designed to be activated or deactivated if the human operator becomes incapacitated, such as through death, loss of consciousness, or being bodily removed from control.


For Developers, By Developers

Sarcophagus is decentralized, open-source and DAO owned + operated. We believe bringing dead man's switch functionality to the web3 ecosystem can empower and provide security infrastructure for an entire generation of applications, regardless of their size. We believe everyone, including individuals, should have the right to affordable, accessible, immutable secret storage and recovery.

Frame 324
Frame 319
Frame 321
Frame 323

Long Term Storage and Recovery

Sarcophagus is designed to allow recovery at custom intervals, when the payload is available for decryption based on a lack of response from the creator. A more complete backup system than traditional recovery mechanisms.


Use Cases:

Digital Asset Protection

As anyone who has created backups for their crypto, password managers, or any other type of highly valuable digital asset knows: The hardest part is keeping the backup system secure, while also making it accessible in a time of need. One could create an incredibly secure backup system by sharding their keys and storing them in safe deposit boxes all over the world, but this system would also require

  1. Traveling to those places to reconstruct the key, and
  2. Assuring that the physical spaces are maintained properly. 

That's a lot of work that will often fall to the wayside when there is an emergency! 

Sarcophagus, and dead man's switches more generally, can allow you to replicate the storage of keys or key fragments in highly secure locations digitally. By using a digital safe deposit box like what we have built, you can supercharge your security and recovery regime using the power of decentralization and strong cryptography. 

Will and Trust

In the context of estate planning, it is very valuable to be able to disseminate all of the data about your estate to your loved ones. However when detailing lists of account numbers, credentials, and other sensitive data like dollar amounts and bequeath splits, it is advantageous to keep some of this information private. So how can you share these essential documents with your loved ones now, without showing them every bit of information? We have an answer! 

Using Sarcophagus, you are able to upload a full version of your estate documents to a cryptographicly secure, permanent file storage network, and download a PDF containing access instructions to disseminate to your heirs. As long as you continue to check-in with the Sarcophagus network periodically, those access instructions you gave to your loved ones will not work, however when you stop communicating, the switch is triggered and those access credentials become live, allowing your heirs (and only your heirs) to download the full estate document package in its perfectly preserved digital form. 

Another novel benefit of using Sarcophagus in the will and trust space is that it is trivial to prove that documents have not changed since they were uploaded, and extremely easy to prove when they were uploaded. This can save thousands or even millions of dollars in the case of multiple wills being contested in the probate system.


Many whisteblowers collect data that they would like to disseminate to the relevant parties at a future date, but they want that data to remain private for a myriad of reasons. Sarcophagus allows whistleblowers to collect and store the sensitive data in a decentralized and censorship resistant way, only to be released when they stop communicating with the network. When the whistleblower stops attesting to the contract, the switch is triggered, and the relevant files become accessible to either the parties the whistleblower has chosen, or the general public. All files are preserved forever on the Arweave network in their originally uploaded form. 

Credential Passdown

When working in high-security environments, credential management is extremely important. These are not the type of places that share passwords among employees for any reason. However there are cases where an employee or employer would like to turn over credentials to another party within the organization if they fail to perform certain actions like logging into their system once per week. 

By loading the credentials into a sarcophagus (or multiple sarcophagi) and tying a login action to the attestation method in our SDK, an organization can be sure that if a user is removed from control of their station for any reason, their credentials will flow to the relevant party. 

This makes it possible for organizations to have ultimate control over their team's credentials, while still keeping the high-security methods of siloing credentials.

Emergency Communication

There are a many reasons that one might wish to send a communication to a given party only if they are in distress. Occupations in international relations and journalism are only a couple of the applications. Sarcophagus gives the ability to send a message to a designated party (or the general public) if one is in trouble, without sharing that message beforehand, while also allowing the message to be cancelled if the situation turns out OK.

If the party that creates the sarcophagus comes out of the other side of the situation in control, the message can be buried and never seen again, however if they are held hostage or otherwise removed from control, the message will be sent to the designated parties with cryptographic security. Since there is no positive action required to trigger a dead man's switch, the creator rest assured that the message was delivered to their recipient. 

Sign Up For Sarcophagus Updates

Once a month we send out a newsletter including updates on the progress of the development of Sarcophagus, reminders to vote on proposals, and incentives to participate in new initiatives.