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Author Topic: Physical Bitcoin Check Generator  (Read 7313 times)
error
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February 28, 2011, 01:13:53 AM
 #21

Having a QR-code plainly visible on the paper which turns out to be the private key needed to get the Bitcoins? That will NEVER give me peace of mind. It's far too insecure; there are way too many ways for somebody to scan the code before I give the paper to someone in exchange for whatever I might be buying, in which case I lose and have no way of ever getting the money back (unless the thief was dumb enough to send it to MtGox).

Before you go any further, you should clearly understand what checks and bank notes are, and what functions they perform. Here's the crash course:

A check is an order from you to a third party (bank) to take money from your account and give it to the person named on the check. There are plenty of variations, but that's what it boils down to.

A bank note was, before it was made fiat, essentially a warehouse receipt, which the bearer could take to the bank and claim whatever was being warehoused, in this case money, and specifically gold or silver. These traded freely based on the trust that the issuing bank would redeem the note when it was eventually presented.

(Eventually someone figured out that since few people actually redeemed the notes, they may as well not bother allowing them to be redeemed, keep the gold for themselves, and just inflate and deflate the supply of "money" at whim. This was the primary cause of the Great Depression, among many other financial disasters.)

Here I see a huge train wreck approaching: If these physical pieces of paper gain any real acceptance in the market, we'll again be in the situation where few people actually redeem them. Cashed out notes could trade for a long time before anybody discovered the fraud, and by then it would be practically impossible to do anything about it. And it would most likely be the person who understands these issues better than most people who is most likely to attempt to redeem the note.

Now putting the code behind a scratch label could work, if it's done in a way that prevents various well-known attacks on lottery scratch tickets. I think there's another thread about this on the forum. But then you're into card stock instead of paper, and lose some utility.

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February 28, 2011, 01:21:34 AM
 #22

error,

Each time I ear about the idea of "bitnotes" it gives me the creeps!
It's exactly as you said. Today's money, the money we carry on our wallets, worth zero, is just a printed piece of paper. So far we'd been using it and, as you said, the reason for this fraud to work for so long by now is because you can't redeem it, but eventually the fraud will surface and the outcome might be disastrous. Money not indexed to anything... creepy! But is what we have on our wallets.

Also the other issue of "bitnotes", it can be produced at will, so sooner or later you would have billions of BTC around even if there will never exist more than 21 million.

For those unaware of what "banknotes" can do for you, this video might help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGk5ioEXlIM&feature=related
Anonymous
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February 28, 2011, 01:27:10 AM
 #23

Having a QR-code plainly visible on the paper which turns out to be the private key needed to get the Bitcoins? That will NEVER give me peace of mind. It's far too insecure; there are way too many ways for somebody to scan the code before I give the paper to someone in exchange for whatever I might be buying, in which case I lose and have no way of ever getting the money back (unless the thief was dumb enough to send it to MtGox).
You carry the same risk with a check with it displaying your bank account number. The same risk is also associated with debit and credit cards. If you don't like it openly displayed, feel free to cover it with an envelope.

About the potential fraud, it's up to the people using our product. My idea is sound. The rest lies in the people. People have to choose to be aware.
Anonymous
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February 28, 2011, 01:31:38 AM
 #24

I would say you make the "simple" "complicated".
What for the QR code?! And Julian Assange's face?! Waste of color ink?! Or to make them look nice?

A simple version could be offered. As for me, if I am going to bother printing something with value, I want it to look nice.

Want a practical use for those "checks"? A and B will met in the coffee for trade BTC, A handles a 20 BTC check (code/pass) to B. B arrives home input the code/pass from A and transfers to his BTC client.

The average joe doesn't want that. They want print and go.

Want even less hassle to trade BTC in the real World? Fine! Open an account at MyBitcoin or create a similar service for the purpose, fund it with 20 BTC, pick some acrylic gray/silver ink, dishwasher detergent and thin tape. Print the user/pass you used with MyBitcoin in a card, cover both fields with thin tape, paint over the tape with a mix of acrylic/detergent. Sell the card to the buyer. Now all he needs is to scratch the fields with a coin or so, go to MyBitcoin or the service you created. Enter the given user/pass and withdraw it.

The value isn't in your hand. MyBitcoin has it. I want it to be mine and mine only.
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February 28, 2011, 01:33:05 AM
 #25

The value isn't in your hand. MyBitcoin has it. I want it to be mine and mine only.

As I said; or your own similar service.
And you can print those cards to look nice.  Smiley
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February 28, 2011, 01:39:57 AM
 #26

The value isn't in your hand. MyBitcoin has it. I want it to be mine and mine only.

As I said; or your own similar service.
And you can print those cards to look nice.  Smiley
Technology is volatile, especially when connected to the internet. High-quality paper can be preserved safely in your own eyes.
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February 28, 2011, 01:45:57 AM
 #27

You carry the same risk with a check with it displaying your bank account number. The same risk is also associated with debit and credit cards. If you don't like it openly displayed, feel free to cover it with an envelope.

About the potential fraud, it's up to the people using our product. My idea is sound. The rest lies in the people. People have to choose to be aware.

I don't use checks.

You say your idea is "sound" but... I wonder how much credit you give to people; if they have to be "aware" (of what?) and they are not (they won't be) then the system falls apart.

I don't know if any defense of your system that you can provide will make up for its inherent weaknesses. Feel free to attempt to prove me wrong, but just claiming your idea is "sound" without any reason is unbelievable. Especially here. It would be better for your reputation (not to mention the people who use it!) if you spent more time designing it to address the problems.


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Sultan
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February 28, 2011, 01:48:21 AM
 #28

The average joe doesn't want that. They want print and go.

I would have to disagree with even that. If you are talking about the average-joe, they would rather get some physical cash, go to a local shop, browse, and then pay money to receive good.

This is much more preferable to going into a shop, seeing what you like, rushing back home to print out a check, rushing back to the local shop to exchange the check for the good, the shopkeeper then rushing back home or to a computer to cash in the check, but then a percentage is taken off as a fee.

This is where phone-apps would be best for this sorta thing.

http://images.onbux.com/banner.gif
I then use the money to buy BitCoins. You can too!
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February 28, 2011, 01:48:50 AM
 #29

You carry the same risk with a check with it displaying your bank account number. The same risk is also associated with debit and credit cards. If you don't like it openly displayed, feel free to cover it with an envelope.

About the potential fraud, it's up to the people using our product. My idea is sound. The rest lies in the people. People have to choose to be aware.

I don't use checks.

You say your idea is "sound" but... I wonder how much credit you give to people; if they have to be "aware" (of what?) and they are not (they won't be) then the system falls apart.

I don't know if any defense of your system that you can provide will make up for its inherent weaknesses. Feel free to attempt to prove me wrong, but just claiming your idea is "sound" without any reason is unbelievable. Especially here. It would be better for your reputation (not to mention the people who use it!) if you spent more time designing it to address the problems.



If you want a fool-proof physical transaction system, you can go elsewhere. There is always risk when you deal with money and in this case the risk is left completely up to the individual. In my eyes, that's as close to perfect as you can get it.

There's my reasoning.

If people can't handle the responsibility my system requires, so be it. Let it fall; however, I believe that won't be the case with the right information.
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February 28, 2011, 01:51:01 AM
 #30

The average joe doesn't want that. They want print and go.

I would have to disagree with even that. If you are talking about the average-joe, they would rather get some physical cash, go to a local shop, browse, and then pay money to receive good.

This is much more preferable to going into a shop, seeing what you like, rushing back home to print out a check, rushing back to the local shop to exchange the check for the good, the shopkeeper then rushing back home or to a computer to cash in the check, but then a percentage is taken off as a fee.

This is where phone-apps would be best for this sorta thing.

You could have pre-printed checks.

Phone-apps are a possibility but a lot of people lack such technology at the moment. That's where I come in.
Anonymous
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February 28, 2011, 01:59:33 AM
 #31

You guys should take your arguments to the credit card companies. You are essentially arguing against the potential theft of credit card numbers. Tongue

The world is still turning, gentlemen.
Sultan
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February 28, 2011, 02:02:30 AM
 #32

Hold on a second, I think I misunderstood the process.

So basically you submit your BitCoins to you at an address you'll create. You then provide the user who submitted the BitCoins a QR code containing the private key to the BitCoins. Whoever you pay this to can then take it hope, scan it, have access to the money and send it to themselves.

That actually sounds ok, because they don't need to trust you to pay. They only need to trust that you won't shift the money around to make the check bounce, and unlike a normal check, there isn't a specific payee embedded in the note.

I see where you're coming from, pretty good, tbh, doesn't even need to be printed out, just keep it as an image on your phone or something which can get scanned and picked up. I would like to see this service used when BitCoin is accepted as a currency on a local level.

http://images.onbux.com/banner.gif
I then use the money to buy BitCoins. You can too!
theymos
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February 28, 2011, 02:07:57 AM
 #33

You guys should take your arguments to the credit card companies. You are essentially arguing against the potential theft of credit card numbers. Tongue

That's precisely why credit cards can be charged back.

There's no reason anyone would use this service when they can just print their own private-key-containing QR codes for free, without trusting anyone.

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Anonymous
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February 28, 2011, 02:11:33 AM
 #34

You guys should take your arguments to the credit card companies. You are essentially arguing against the potential theft of credit card numbers. Tongue

That's precisely why credit cards can be charged back.

There's no reason anyone would use this service when they can just print their own private-key-containing QR codes for free, without trusting anyone.
There is a reason. My service makes it easy for the public keys associated with these private keys to be verified easily. This is through the serial numbers that will be issued on the checks. That's we are charging for. You don't have to just rely on an individual's word when he gives you a QR-code.

If you just want to print QR-codes for your own personal back-up, that works too but I am not only catering to that type of individual. I will certainly make such a service (physical back-up) free.
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February 28, 2011, 02:18:45 AM
 #35

Also, if you want the ability to charge-back, Bitcoin isn't the currency for you. Haha.
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February 28, 2011, 02:19:56 AM
 #36

There is a reason. My service makes it easy for the public keys associated with these private keys to be verified easily. This through the serial numbers that will be issued on the checks. That's we are charging for. You don't have to just rely on an individual's word when he gives you a QR-code.

I suppose being able to verify that a transaction is still unspent without downloading the block chain is valuable. But you can already do that with Bitcoin Block Explorer...

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BCEmporium
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February 28, 2011, 02:20:22 AM
 #37

So let's see if I understand it right.

You handle me one of those "checks", I go to some address input its serial # and the site tells me how much is in that "account".
I scan the QR-code containing the PK and that's it.
So if it was already "cashed-out", the serial # will tell me "nill", "zero".

right?
Anonymous
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February 28, 2011, 02:21:43 AM
 #38

So let's see if I understand it right.

You handle me one of those "checks", I go to some address input its serial # and the site tells me how much is in that "account".
I scan the QR-code containing the PK and that's it.
So if it was already "cashed-out", the serial # will tell me "nill", "zero".

right?
Yessir. That's absolutely correct.

So, in that case, the merchant could deny purchase.
Anonymous
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February 28, 2011, 02:22:35 AM
 #39

There is a reason. My service makes it easy for the public keys associated with these private keys to be verified easily. This through the serial numbers that will be issued on the checks. That's we are charging for. You don't have to just rely on an individual's word when he gives you a QR-code.

I suppose being able to verify that a transaction is still unspent without downloading the block chain is valuable. But you can already do that with Bitcoin Block Explorer...
Yes, you can but a public key is a bit cumbersome. I wish to simplify that with smaller serials on the notes.
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February 28, 2011, 02:35:17 AM
 #40

Wait a second, why do you need the public keys on the checks?

http://images.onbux.com/banner.gif
I then use the money to buy BitCoins. You can too!
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