How contract can receive, keep and send ether in an escrow service

Hi All
I am new to Ethereum and I apologize if my questions are silly.
I wish to use Ethereum to write an escrow service. I looked at some escrow tutorials but I didn't find answers to my questions.

Escrow services must keep the money (Ether) that is spent by the sender, until some conditions are met by the payee. When conditions are met ether leaves the contract and is given to the payee. So the contract must keep the money in a safe way in the mean time.

The questions :
1/ Does a contract have private/public keys to receive Ether from the sender and send Ether to the payee (sender and payee=external account) ?
2/ How the contract can retain Ether in a safe way ?
3/ Can the contract actually send ether to external account ?
3/ Can you give clues about the code that can do such a function (retain money in an intermediate storage ?)

Thanks a lot
GeekBot

Comments

  • GeekBotGeekBot Member Posts: 6
    Thank you tjade273, it makes things clearer, however, I still miss one part of the story.
    In the present Ethereum release, how Ether stored in the balance, can leave and go to an external account if the transaction is not signed by the contract ?
    Is it simply a kind of built in transaction that is recorded in a block and checked by the consensus without signature ? Is it a special kind of transaction ?

    Thanks a lot
    GeekBot
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