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Author Topic: A "real" Bitcoin  (Read 10934 times)
Mike Caldwell
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The Casascius 1oz 10BTC Silver Round (w/ Gold B)

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February 22, 2011, 10:16:37 PM

The token would have the only copy of the private key and not disclose it for any reason. If you wanted to remove the bitcoins you would send a receiving address to the token and it would return a transaction you could send to the network. At this point the token would assume that the balance was gone and change the built in indicator to show this. That way someone could not pass of the token as still having value.

For reloading you would have the token generate a new private key and send coins to its public address. Then once that was confirmed by the block chain you could go to a kiosk owned by the token manufacturer and reset the indicator to show that the balance was present.

This would allow you to be certain of the value of the token without any connection to the bitcoin network.

I still don't see why a token needs to be told its value, except perhaps at the moment you're asking it to sign a transaction.

If you're sending it an address to remove the bitcoins, why can't the amount be sent at this time?

If you need a reader to read out the fact that the token has any given balance, couldn't that same reader just tell from the block chain?  It would be more accurate that way.

Unless someone wants to make a closed proprietary system like Visa, and implement "security by obscurity" like the satellite companies do (which are constantly getting hacked), such a "token" would most likely be an industry standard smart card - which could be programmed to do anything, like lie about its balance.  I wouldn't consider it secure to believe a token that self-reports its own balance.    It is best if the smart card is "trusted" only to keep secrets, not to tell the truth.

If you want to experiment with smart cards - consider - which looks like an entry level system for user-programmable smart cards.

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 or hardware wallets instead.
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February 22, 2011, 10:33:47 PM

The token could freely disclose its public address for independent confirmation of the balance.(edit: it could also freely provide a 0 BTC sample transaction to prove it had the matching private key) However if you have internet access at the time of the transaction to confirm the balance there are probably better ways to transfer bitcoins than transfer of a physical object.

For simplicity of hardware the token would probably have a fixed face value in bitcoins and the indicator would just be a yes/no for the security of that balance, that could just be a led that lights red or green when a button on the token is pressed.

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August 15, 2011, 05:07:21 PM

I know this thread is old, but I just go through reading it and thought some of you might be interested in the physical bitcoins I've manufactured.

Check out the first physical bitcoin at
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August 15, 2011, 06:48:06 PM

Very nice!

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