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Author Topic: Bitcoin Security Holograms - Artwork Sample  (Read 9685 times)
casascius
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January 18, 2012, 06:12:17 PM
 #1

I'm pleased to present an artwork sample produced by the hologram company to be made available for a combined hologram order!



View in full resolution: https://en.bitcoin.it/w/images/en/9/9b/Bitcoin_hologram_proof.jpg

IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW HOW TO INTERPRET THIS IMAGE.  IT LOOKS GREEN, BUT THE HOLOGRAMS WILL NOT BE GREEN!  THE ACTUAL HOLOGRAM WILL LOOK LIKE GOLD OR SILVER FOIL (YOUR CHOICE).  The colors in the image are not the actual colors that will appear in the hologram.  The colors simply represent where the contrast will be - remember that holograms cycle through the entire rainbow of colors - other than silver or gold, no specific color is associated with any part of the hologram - only the contrast ratios.

Anyway, I simply need $3000 worth of commitment to start a combined order.  Everyone who orders will have the text of their choice lasered into the hologram (the sticker will be TRANSPARENT where the lettering is - so for example, if "..." - three periods - are lasered, that will be rendered as three see-thru dots on the sticker itself where there is no foil.)  This laser etching is done during production and affects only the foil - the plastic is intact over the lettering.  (Gold stickers will have the gold tint remaining on the transparent part, since the gold is done with a color layer over top of silver-colored foil)

A $500 commitment (plus shipping costs) will get you at least 1600 stickers, but most likely 2500 stickers (if you choose 1" or smaller), assuming this deal goes through.  Casascius Coins use a 1" round sticker, just for reference sake.

Plan on a percentage of the stickers being "bad" - up to 10% (just being conservative, it's really much less if you're careful).  They aren't bad, but the tamper sensitivity on these is so damn good that you'll regularly ruin a few without trying.  This is a feature!  They would gladly oblige if we asked them to reduce the tamper sensitivity, but having it hair-trigger-sensitive means a more secure product.  Anyone ever successfully gotten one off a Casascius Coin intact yet?  I didn't think so. =) Small price to pay for something that works right.

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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January 18, 2012, 06:14:01 PM
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Those are beautiful. I wish I'd have a use for them.
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January 18, 2012, 08:21:25 PM
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Hi Casascius, how will we be able to get private and public keys onto the hologram? Is that going to require that we have our own laser-engraving equipment?


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January 18, 2012, 08:27:25 PM
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Hi Casascius, how will we be able to get private and public keys onto the hologram? Is that going to require that we have our own laser-engraving equipment?


(the sticker will be TRANSPARENT where the lettering is - so for example, if "..." - three periods - are lasered, that will be rendered as three see-thru dots on the sticker itself where there is no foil.)  This laser etching is done during production and affects only the foil - the plastic is intact over the lettering.

It looks like if you had your own laser etcher that matched what the printing company does (and if it can be done to the final product and not exclusively as a mid-production step), you would be making the area transparent, not printing on it. Not good for private keys.

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January 18, 2012, 08:33:57 PM
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Hi Casascius, how will we be able to get private and public keys onto the hologram? Is that going to require that we have our own laser-engraving equipment?


(the sticker will be TRANSPARENT where the lettering is - so for example, if "..." - three periods - are lasered, that will be rendered as three see-thru dots on the sticker itself where there is no foil.)  This laser etching is done during production and affects only the foil - the plastic is intact over the lettering.

It looks like if you had your own laser etcher that matched what the printing company does (and if it can be done to the final product and not exclusively as a mid-production step), you would be making the area transparent, not printing on it. Not good for private keys.

So essentially, I'd be able to send people a public key, and they would imbed the private key on their own?

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January 18, 2012, 08:39:26 PM
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You can stick the tamper-evident hologram wherever you want, but the way it works on Casascius' coins is that top of the hologram is inkjet printed the "firstbits" of the address (so you can look up the balance), and underneath the hologram (inside the coin) is a little card with the mini-private key for that address. To digitally redeem the money in the address, you must remove the tamper-evident hologram to get to the private key.

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January 18, 2012, 08:42:54 PM
 #7

For example on Casascius Coins, the private key is on a piece of paper that faces into the coin.  The hologram simply indicates that the paper hasn't been accessed.

You won't put private keys on the hologram, you would use them to cover a private key.

As it turns out, I actually do own a laser engraving machine.  But I am not lasering the holograms, the factory is.  I am pretty sure they laser the foil layer before it gets attached to the plastic layer of the sticker.  The foil presumably requires a much higher temperature to vaporize that the plastic would never withstand.  Where they mark at the factory, you see a complete absence of foil with no side effects to the plastic.

I have experimented with my machine... if I laser the stickers, I melt the plastic and create a sort of glittery effect as the plastic and the foil sort of melt together.  There is no feasible way for me to have any effect on the foil without having a much greater effect on the plastic.

My laser equipment is particularly handy for cutting pages of private keys into little circles that precisely fit the hollowed out portion of the coin that holds them.  But a good oversize hole punch would do the same thing (and worked for me before I got the laser machine).  I suppose with a hole punch, you play a guessing game on getting a perfect fit, where with the laser, I can cut any size I want.  (That is why, for example, I now put 30 characters in my coins instead of 22 - more precision means more usable printing room.)

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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January 18, 2012, 08:44:11 PM
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So essentially, I'd be able to send people a public key, and they would imbed the private key on their own?

If you're doing a coin like mine, you would generate your own keypairs, sell the coins, and load the value yourself (by sending BTC to the bitcoin address you generated).  Assuming you properly destroy your copy of the private key, the value stays entirely within the coin until someone peels the hologram and is able to re-import the private key into a wallet.

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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January 18, 2012, 08:47:08 PM
 #9

You can stick the tamper-evident hologram wherever you want, but the way it works on Casascius' coins is that top of the hologram is inkjet printed the "firstbits" of the address (so you can look up the balance), and underneath the hologram (inside the coin) is a little card with the mini-private key for that address. To digitally redeem the money in the address, you must remove the tamper-evident hologram to get to the private key.

Series 2 has a small transparent window so you can see the "firstbits" on the same piece of paper that the private key is printed on.  This completely cuts out the small possibility that the wrong private key gets put into a coin (e.g. one that does not correspond to the firstbits on the outside).  A small detail, but if someone were to use their coin as a bitcoin wallet and when they went to redeem their balance it contained the wrong private key, their loss would be catastrophic and unacceptable.

Windows will be available on these stickers (it's just factory lasering, just like text).

I actually have no qualms about other people creating Casascius Coins just like mine, as long as they don't say Casascius on them.  I would be willing to sell my token blanks for that purpose.

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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January 18, 2012, 08:51:32 PM
 #10

It looks like if you had your own laser etcher that matched what the printing company does (and if it can be done to the final product and not exclusively as a mid-production step), you would be making the area transparent, not printing on it. Not good for private keys.

The transparent part should be put in a region where the private key won't be visible.  On the bottom edge, for example (if doing a rectangle).  The purpose of this etching is to distinguish your holograms from somebody else in the same order.  So MyBitcoinMint's holograms are distinct from PrintCoins.com for example.

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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January 18, 2012, 08:57:13 PM
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It seems if you are doing a group buy, you MUST only do it if you laser the purchaser and/or unique BTC amounts in the perimeter of all holos. Otherwise I would be able to buy JoeBob's 5BTC coins, get the private keys out of the currency, and re-label them with my identical but un-identifiable group-buy holograms.

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January 18, 2012, 09:33:49 PM
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Sorry, I did not get it. The purpose of holograms is to prove (or at least indicate), that the thing is genuine. How will this work if anyone can order the same hologram from this combined order?

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January 19, 2012, 12:31:56 AM
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Sorry, I did not get it. The purpose of holograms is to prove (or at least indicate), that the thing is genuine. How will this work if anyone can order the same hologram from this combined order?

Because you can't order the same hologram that is factory-printed with somebody else's name, nor can you reproduce the unique transparent printing the way it is done at the factory.

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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January 19, 2012, 12:33:16 AM
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It seems if you are doing a group buy, you MUST only do it if you laser the purchaser and/or unique BTC amounts in the perimeter of all holos. Otherwise I would be able to buy JoeBob's 5BTC coins, get the private keys out of the currency, and re-label them with my identical but un-identifiable group-buy holograms.

Yes - having a lasered name on all holograms would be necessary and is intended.

Lasering the amount is optional and is up to the purchaser.  I lasered the amount in mine because I could do so at no extra charge (I was already lasering a window) but doesn't serve any urgent need.  I did it so that I could offer gold-plated bricks where I add the denomination after the fact by selecting the right sticker, while minimizing the opportunity for an attacker to add a bogus denomination himself.

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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January 19, 2012, 12:38:11 AM
 #15

Let me know as soon as we are ready to place the order, Casascius.

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January 19, 2012, 02:06:47 AM
 #16

I need $3000 in commitment - refundable up until the time I place the order.  As soon as I have at least $3k in commitment, it's a green light and the order will be placed right away.

To place your commitment, make a bogus order on my physical bitcoin website (submit real contact info, an empty shopping cart with nothing but shipping), put in the notes it's for a hologram deposit, ignore the total, and use the BTC equivalent of your commitment at the moment of payment (in multiples of 500 USD).  Your commitment is in USD, so if not enough commitment to place the order and refund is made, it will be converted back to BTC at the exchange rate at the time of refund.

After production, I will ask for a second payment to cover actual cost of shipping.  (they are not heavy, shipping will be reasonable)

Also specify:
- text to laser on your stickers and where
- round or square?
- size?  (affects yield... pick any size you want, you'll get 2500 stickers if using either of the sizes in the sample)
- gold or silver?
- window? (like series2 casascius coin)

All lots of $500 have to be identical.  So if you want two styles, commit to two lots.

If you want to make Casascius Coins, you'll probably want a 3/8" circle hole punch to cut private keys out of a page.  I searched high and low to find this size.  M.C.Mieth Manufacturing has one.

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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January 19, 2012, 05:00:55 AM
 #17

Status: $500 commitment received and paid, $2500 to go!

Be aware there is a 4-6 week lead time on production (since, as new artwork, it requires a new hologram master shim to be created), I'm basing this on my prior experience.  This 4-6 weeks starts when I pull the trigger on the order.

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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January 20, 2012, 07:38:14 PM
 #18

Update: 2 shares confirmed paid.  2 more shares I believe are paid for (I am accepting USD, just pending confirmation of payment).

Also, if I can get 8 shares worth of commitment ($4000), I can bump the order up a bit, and in the process, everybody can get 25% worth of yield added to their order at no extra cost (so, everyone expecting 2,500 holograms would get 3,125 instead).  The response has been good - from the looks of it, this might actually happen!

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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January 20, 2012, 08:00:13 PM
 #19

By the way, I have been thinking about how you guys will generate private keys if you are making Casascius Coins.

I would offer pre-printed private keys, but I don't want there to be any chance where there is any ambiguity as to whether or not I have kept a copy of them.  It doesn't bother me for my own coins - since if there any compromises, there's no doubt the blame is on me.  But I wouldn't be comfortable with a scenario where if I sold private keys to someone and they were compromised by the buyer, that 50% of the suspicion would be upon me.

So... here's a random proposal.  I offer to sell full service private key generation at a cost of 5 to 15 cents per private key (depending on the quantity, but should be in the thousands or tens-of-thousands).

This would be on the condition that someone come here to Salt Lake City and spend a whole day here and assist with and witness the production of the key circles from start to finish, and be willing to swear a notarized statement that they supervised the whole run and that there's no chance I kept your keys.  The service would include laser cutting to absolutely any size of your choice - a task that is a pain in the ass if you have to do tens of thousands of them by hand with a hole punch.  I would also personally verify that there existed no more than one copy of each key, and that they all properly corresponded from front to back.

We'd begin by formatting a brand new computer (a bare motherboard plugged into a monitor and hard drive) to generate the keys offline, and in the end, we'd zero the drive, and/or physically disassemble and destroy the hard drive.  Full source to the key generator would be compiled on the spot, you'll keep a copy of the source.

Any interest in this?  What does a short trip to Salt Lake City weigh, in comparison to the prospect of generating your own private keys and the concern for accuracy?


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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January 20, 2012, 09:20:26 PM
 #20

By the way, I have been thinking about how you guys will generate private keys if you are making Casascius Coins.

I would offer pre-printed private keys, but I don't want there to be any chance where there is any ambiguity as to whether or not I have kept a copy of them.  It doesn't bother me for my own coins - since if there any compromises, there's no doubt the blame is on me.  But I wouldn't be comfortable with a scenario where if I sold private keys to someone and they were compromised by the buyer, that 50% of the suspicion would be upon me.

So... here's a random proposal.  I offer to sell full service private key generation at a cost of 5 to 15 cents per private key (depending on the quantity, but should be in the thousands or tens-of-thousands).

This would be on the condition that someone come here to Salt Lake City and spend a whole day here and assist with and witness the production of the key circles from start to finish, and be willing to swear a notarized statement that they supervised the whole run and that there's no chance I kept your keys.  The service would include laser cutting to absolutely any size of your choice - a task that is a pain in the ass if you have to do tens of thousands of them by hand with a hole punch.  I would also personally verify that there existed no more than one copy of each key, and that they all properly corresponded from front to back.

We'd begin by formatting a brand new computer (a bare motherboard plugged into a monitor and hard drive) to generate the keys offline, and in the end, we'd zero the drive, and/or physically disassemble and destroy the hard drive.  Full source to the key generator would be compiled on the spot, you'll keep a copy of the source.

Any interest in this?  What does a short trip to Salt Lake City weigh, in comparison to the prospect of generating your own private keys and the concern for accuracy?



I am hugely interested.

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