Killcord is a tool used to build resilient deadman's switches for releasing encrypted payloads. In its default configuration, killcord leverages ethereum and ipfs for censorship resistance. The killcord project owner hides a secret key from the world by checking in to the killcord smart contract on ethereum. If the owner stops checking in after a period of time, the killcord is triggered and the secret key that decrypts an encrypted payload is published.

The easiest way to get started with killcord is by watching an existing project and decrypting its payload. You'll need to install the killcord command line tool. You can download the binary here:

Download for


Download for



There are more installation options listed in the README

Unzip the file and move it into your /usr/local/bin/ directory

mv killcord /usr/local/bin/killcord
You may need to use sudo or change the ownership of /usr/local/ to your user account

Make a new project directory and change into it:

mkdir demo-watcher && cd demo-watcher

It's time to setup a watcher project, the hash after the watch command is the address of the killcord smart contract that you'll be watching on ethereum.

killcord watch 0x53cacca6fac1499eac058017027769de630ba65e

Your project has a copy of the encrypted payload in the payload/encrypted directory. This contract already has a published secret key that's been written to the killcord.toml file in this project. Now you can decrypt the payload by running:

killcord decrypt

Congratulations. You've successfully decrypted your first killcord payload. You will find the contents in payload/decrypted in the project folder. With just 4 commands, you've installed a new piece of software, created a project folder, started watching a killcord project, and even decrypted the payload. Not too shabby.

If you'd like to learn more about killcord, get instructions for testing out your first owner project, or want to give some feedback,

Learn more on Github