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Author Topic: Finally, a Paper Bitcoin Wallet  (Read 7333 times)
unk
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June 26, 2011, 01:56:43 AM
 #21

I could, but that raises the bar well above the target audience.  Lots of people without technical interest want bitcoins.  Running scripts sounds easy for me, but many people interested in Bitcoins can't be bothered to have to deal with installing the client, and are scared to swim in deep waters after hearing that hackers and viruses are after their wallet.dat's.  But most people can manage "buy now with paypal", as well as deal with a credible and provable assertion that the one guy who made their hacker proof wallet isn't going to stiff them.

the problem is that it's an unprovable assertion. nobody can tell whether you've kept the private keys. all a thief would have to do in your place is keep all the data, inspect the block chain periodically for a very large balance, and strike once many years from now in an entirely untraceable way.

i actually trust you, and i doubt i could name five other members of this forum i would say that about. but sadly i would not be able to recommend a service like this.

it wouldn't be much harder to set up a website that uses the right sort of handshake to prevent you from ever knowing the private keys, and then outputs a pdf that the customer can print. why would anyone prefer the physical post here, unless they don't know how to print a document? (the post adds an additional problem, which is that the document might be inspected by a post officer or any other 'man in the middle'.)
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June 26, 2011, 02:02:18 AM
 #22

I can't even begin to understand how you could think that this would be a viable business.

Why not?

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
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June 26, 2011, 02:11:17 AM
 #23

the problem is that it's an unprovable assertion. nobody can tell whether you've kept the private keys. all a thief would have to do in your place is keep all the data, inspect the block chain periodically for a very large balance, and strike once many years from now in an entirely untraceable way.

Of course.  YOu are 100% right.  But what is different here is my ass is on the line.  Thief should plan on his ass being kicked if he is giving out his real name and address like I am.  MtGox and MyBitcoin could stiff you any second, and your bitcoins could disappear if they get hacked  (as has already happened to some).  I also have enough personal assets that one could sue me for losses and actually recover them.  If you suffer a substantial loss at the hands of MtGox or MB, you're lucky to get the time of day.

i actually trust you, and i doubt i could name five other members of this forum i would say that about. but sadly i would not be able to recommend a service like this.

Just curious, would you also say the same for MyBitcoin.com?

it wouldn't be much harder to set up a website that uses the right sort of handshake to prevent you from ever knowing the private keys, and then outputs a pdf that the customer can print. why would anyone prefer the physical post here, unless they don't know how to print a document? (the post adds an additional problem, which is that the document might be inspected by a post officer or any other 'man in the middle'.)

The closest practical thing I can think of would be something in Javascript that generates the private keys client-side, so the server side never sees them.  That would be trivial to do.  But that doesn't really solve the problem - one must then trust that the website is being honest about the behavior of the script and that one's own machine isn't compromised by malware.  The typical person interested in a paper bitcoin wallet lacks the expertise to independently determine what such a website really does.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
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June 26, 2011, 02:11:53 AM
 #24

I can't even begin to understand how you could think that this would be a viable business.

Why not?

I guess we'll see what the market decides. Let us know how it goes.

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June 26, 2011, 02:20:42 AM
 #25

the problem is that it's an unprovable assertion. nobody can tell whether you've kept the private keys. all a thief would have to do in your place is keep all the data, inspect the block chain periodically for a very large balance, and strike once many years from now in an entirely untraceable way.

Of course.  YOu are 100% right.  But what is different here is my ass is on the line.  Thief should plan on his ass being kicked if he is giving out his real name and address like I am.  MtGox and MyBitcoin could stiff you any second, and your bitcoins could disappear if they get hacked  (as has already happened to some).


You run this for several weeks, months, years, and keep tabs on how much money is in the paper. You get bored and decide to take it all and move to another country. We have your thumbprint, woopty-fucking-doo.

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June 26, 2011, 02:21:09 AM
 #26

I can't even begin to understand how you could think that this would be a viable business.

Why not?

I guess we'll see what the market decides. Let us know how it goes.


The market is already speaking, which is why I decided to take this from a forum posting to an actual website.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
unk
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June 26, 2011, 02:25:26 AM
 #27

Of course.  YOu are 100% right.  But what is different here is my ass is on the line.  Thief should plan on his ass being kicked if he is giving out his real name and address like I am.  MtGox and MyBitcoin could stiff you any second, and your bitcoins could disappear if they get hacked  (as has already happened to some).

if you waited five years and stole from just one particularly wealthy address, your deniability would be quite plausible and even, very likely, convincing in context to many people. who could say it was you who stole anything, rather than someone who illicitly gained access to the customer's sheet of paper in the intervening five years?

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i actually trust you, and i doubt i could name five other members of this forum i would say that about. but sadly i would not be able to recommend a service like this.

Just curious, would you also say the same for MyBitcoin.com?

absolutely. indeed, given recent events, i trust them far less than i trust you. there's no good way for them to prove that the thefts that recently occurred at their site weren't at their own instigation or for their own benefit, just as you wouldn't be able to prove something similar the first time anyone anonymously stole money from one of your customers' addresses.

for similar reasons, the business isn't robust against that sort of bad publicity. if i were a competitor, all i'd have to do is buy one of your sheets, transfer 1000 btc to it, transfer that sum away, and then claim you did it. who's to know? getting rid of trust solves that problem too.
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June 26, 2011, 02:28:18 AM
 #28

You run this for several weeks, months, years, and keep tabs on how much money is in the paper. You get bored and decide to take it all and move to another country. We have your thumbprint, woopty-fucking-doo.

What would I do with the 25-employee software business I happen to be running in South Jordan, Utah?  Pack it up?  All so I can steal somebody's bitcoins?  This would make sense if I were a transient, but a little bit of Google and you'll see I'm not.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
Nescio
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June 28, 2011, 12:07:20 AM
 #29

You run this for several weeks, months, years, and keep tabs on how much money is in the paper. You get bored and decide to take it all and move to another country. We have your thumbprint, woopty-fucking-doo.

What would I do with the 25-employee software business I happen to be running in South Jordan, Utah?  Pack it up?  All so I can steal somebody's bitcoins?  This would make sense if I were a transient, but a little bit of Google and you'll see I'm not.

The payoff could be (much) larger than whatever the business is worth. Maybe you'd do it for the thrill. Maybe you would need a large/quick anonymous sum, which liquidating the business would not fulfill. Maybe you got into an accident that changed your personality. Maybe someone took your family hostage and made you do it. Whatever, there are a ton of reasons why this isn't something I'd bet my life on. And fingerprints can be lifted incredibly easily if you are as easy to find as you say.
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June 28, 2011, 12:39:36 AM
 #30

You run this for several weeks, months, years, and keep tabs on how much money is in the paper. You get bored and decide to take it all and move to another country. We have your thumbprint, woopty-fucking-doo.

What would I do with the 25-employee software business I happen to be running in South Jordan, Utah?  Pack it up?  All so I can steal somebody's bitcoins?  This would make sense if I were a transient, but a little bit of Google and you'll see I'm not.

The payoff could be (much) larger than whatever the business is worth. Maybe you'd do it for the thrill. Maybe you would need a large/quick anonymous sum, which liquidating the business would not fulfill. Maybe you got into an accident that changed your personality. Maybe someone took your family hostage and made you do it. Whatever, there are a ton of reasons why this isn't something I'd bet my life on. And fingerprints can be lifted incredibly easily if you are as easy to find as you say.

That and it's not incredibly hard to create a fake online persona. The whole point of Bitcoin is to keep it peer-to-peer. Why would I put all my trust in a single source that isn't backed by anything?

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June 28, 2011, 12:59:19 AM
 #31

Yeah thanks for the effort but there is no way I would trust this.  I would however happily pay a donation to someone who shares with the community a detailed method for creating and later using paper wallets ourselves.  I know there has been other discussions on the very topic but haven't had a chance to go see if maybe a semi-easy to use solution has already been contributed.
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June 28, 2011, 01:34:35 AM
 #32

Yeah thanks for the effort but there is no way I would trust this.  I would however happily pay a donation to someone who shares with the community a detailed method for creating and later using paper wallets ourselves.  I know there has been other discussions on the very topic but haven't had a chance to go see if maybe a semi-easy to use solution has already been contributed.

See my original post where I say "Q. Can't I just do this myself?"

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
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June 28, 2011, 02:12:32 AM
 #33

Yeah thanks for the effort but there is no way I would trust this.  I would however happily pay a donation to someone who shares with the community a detailed method for creating and later using paper wallets ourselves.  I know there has been other discussions on the very topic but haven't had a chance to go see if maybe a semi-easy to use solution has already been contributed.

See my original post where I say "Q. Can't I just do this myself?"

Fair enough, and thank you.  Donation address?
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June 28, 2011, 02:16:06 AM
 #34

interesting concept. a bank of sorts. i wish you the best of luck in this complex business.

I'm not storing any balances or handling any funds - I am printing randomly generated numbers on paper, mailing them out, and forgetting about them, promising not to keep a copy.  Once I send out a sheet, it's completely out of my hands.

We're to trust you not to keep them? Nope, not going to happen. No one in their right mind would trust an unknown 3rd party with full access. No offense, but this seems like a clear money-grab since the keys are a one-time use. Furthermore, this concept is not simple-for-grandma. A grandma isn't going to know what a private key is, how to use BlockExplorer, or know how to spend the money.
Or the modified bitcoin client.
Just seems like a half baked idea stolen from bitbills.

You guys are not being nice. This is really no different than bitcoin4cash or cash2bitcoin where people send envelopes stuffed with cash to complete strangers!
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June 28, 2011, 02:16:55 AM
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You guys are not being nice. This is really no different than bitcoin4cash or cash2bitcoin where people send envelopes stuffed with cash to complete strangers!

I would never consider doing that either.
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June 28, 2011, 02:44:42 AM
 #36

You guys are not being nice. This is really no different than bitcoin4cash or cash2bitcoin where people send envelopes stuffed with cash to complete strangers!

Or MtGox or MyBitcoin or anywhere else for that matter.

I concede they don't necessarily have to be nice - they are correctly pointing out that if they use my sheet, that I could be dishonest and stiff them.  And when they say they can do fine without my sheet, nine times out of ten they're right.

The other 1/10 who gets stiffed, or who will get stiffed in the future, and see their bitcoins vanish, will have absolutely no clue who took them.  The most they'll be able to say is "F*CK".  Same with funds disappearing from bitcoin4cash or mybitcoin or in transit via the postal service.  At least if someone gets stiffed with my sheet, they know exactly who to blame.


Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
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June 28, 2011, 05:37:00 AM
 #37

Neat idea.
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June 28, 2011, 07:50:38 AM
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interesting concept. a bank of sorts. i wish you the best of luck in this complex business.

I'm not storing any balances or handling any funds - I am printing randomly generated numbers on paper, mailing them out, and forgetting about them, promising not to keep a copy.  Once I send out a sheet, it's completely out of my hands.

We're to trust you not to keep them? Nope, not going to happen. No one in their right mind would trust an unknown 3rd party with full access. No offense, but this seems like a clear money-grab since the keys are a one-time use. Furthermore, this concept is not simple-for-grandma. A grandma isn't going to know what a private key is, how to use BlockExplorer, or know how to spend the money.

Have you ever heard of a bank?

People will trust this, eventually.

It may take 100 years to become fully accepted. But it is a sound business model.
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June 28, 2011, 09:23:53 PM
 #39

You guys are not being nice.

I don't think anyone has anything against casascius, this is a theoretical/practical discussion of the merits of his proposal.

Quote from: lonestranger
This is really no different than bitcoin4cash or cash2bitcoin where people send envelopes stuffed with cash to complete strangers!

Not quite, they receive/send you Bitcoin, which is a final transaction and should immediately be obvious whether it worked or not. The proposed scheme here could retain or lose in transit the private key, which can be used to control future balance in the associated account. It's like introducing the possibility of chargebacks, except on all of the balance as long as the account is in use Smiley
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July 13, 2011, 02:47:50 AM
 #40

check what Joric made: https://github.com/joric/pywallet
It makes exporting/importing keys easy without recompiling Bitcoin. It does it right to the wallet using a python script! Still new but pretty cool and easy!

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