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Author Topic: Printing bitcoins : could it work?  (Read 14049 times)
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August 27, 2010, 07:28:38 PM
 #41

Um, no, they are not subject to the same risks.  The US FRN is physically the object of value.  With a bitcoin backed note, the paper note is simply data.  If the private key is on the note, that data can be used to take the value of the note without needing to take the note itself.  If we were to make a paper note that had the private keys, it wouldn't be long before some employee was stealing bitcoins from their employer by taking photos of the notes and using the keys to transfer the bitcoins before the company's billing department could do so.

You have an interesting idea of what value is.

It doesn't matter if there is a piece of paper there or not. Either way, the billing department is going to start asking questions and firing (or worse) the guilty parties.


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August 27, 2010, 07:40:13 PM
 #42

Um, no, they are not subject to the same risks.  The US FRN is physically the object of value.  With a bitcoin backed note, the paper note is simply data.  If the private key is on the note, that data can be used to take the value of the note without needing to take the note itself.  If we were to make a paper note that had the private keys, it wouldn't be long before some employee was stealing bitcoins from their employer by taking photos of the notes and using the keys to transfer the bitcoins before the company's billing department could do so.

You have an interesting idea of what value is.


Do I?  How is that?

Quote

It doesn't matter if there is a piece of paper there or not. Either way, the billing department is going to start asking questions and firing (or worse) the guilty parties.


Sure, but it will be too late, and the risks of such a thing happening will prevent businesses from wishing to deal in the paper trade, if not the entire Bitcoin trade.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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August 29, 2010, 05:52:48 AM
 #43

Maybe I'm dense, but I still don't get it.  The whole point in handling paper bitcoins is to do so without a central "issuing authority".  I want to print my own, and accept them from anyone's home printer.

I totally understand that "showing your bills" to someone gives them a chance to photograph, and "receive them" (steal them, intercept, cash in, whatever).

That's just part of the deal.  You're carrying machine-readable (2d barcode) bearer-coins.  Show them only to the party you are paying, who is expected to transfer them on-the-spot to another account.

The receiver needs a network connection, the payer does not.  Perfect for customer/merchant scenarios.

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August 29, 2010, 10:23:21 AM
 #44

But it was too late, the employee had already taken 8 days worth of wages....

Printing bitcoins is not all that compelling an idea to me, but it surely isn't because employees will finally have found a way to steal from their employers.

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August 29, 2010, 01:40:29 PM
 #45

Maybe I'm dense, but I still don't get it.  The whole point in handling paper bitcoins is to do so without a central "issuing authority".  I want to print my own, and accept them from anyone's home printer.

I totally understand that "showing your bills" to someone gives them a chance to photograph, and "receive them" (steal them, intercept, cash in, whatever).

That's just part of the deal.  You're carrying machine-readable (2d barcode) bearer-coins.  Show them only to the party you are paying, who is expected to transfer them on-the-spot to another account.

The receiver needs a network connection, the payer does not.  Perfect for customer/merchant scenarios.

Wht you want are bitcoin checks, then.  That is also doable.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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August 30, 2010, 03:31:40 PM
 #46

But it was too late, the employee had already taken 8 days worth of wages....

Printing bitcoins is not all that compelling an idea to me, but it surely isn't because employees will finally have found a way to steal from their employers.

I'm trying to figure out what the complaint is here.  Any employee who handles large amounts of cash is going to have access to that money.  It isn't that hard to play games at the cash register and I'm sure that any kind of fraud that a cashier can do toward their employer applies equally to fiat currency as it does to something like bitcoins.  I would say it is even easier with fiat bank notes... and I've known people who have been convicted of stealing money from their employer because they had access to the cash register.

If you don't trust an employee with cash, don't let them have access to the bank account.  BTW, that is also one of the reasons why the position of comptroller in a company (the person who signs the checks written by the company) is considered one of the key positions and usually ranks just below CEO in terms of importances within the company.  Sometimes CEO and comptroller are the same person, but usually are different to make sure you need permission from both people before money is spent.  Employees stealing from employers is quite common place, which is why finding people for these positions is usually a long process with a whole lot of vetting to make sure they won't rob the company blind.

Certainly any company worth their salt is not going to be putting a minimum wage employee on their first day in front of the cash register unless they are begging to be robbed.

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August 30, 2010, 05:48:17 PM
 #47

But it was too late, the employee had already taken 8 days worth of wages....

Printing bitcoins is not all that compelling an idea to me, but it surely isn't because employees will finally have found a way to steal from their employers.

I'm trying to figure out what the complaint is here.  Any employee who handles large amounts of cash is going to have access to that money.  It isn't that hard to play games at the cash register and I'm sure that any kind of fraud that a cashier can do toward their employer applies equally to fiat currency as it does to something like bitcoins.  I would say it is even easier with fiat bank notes... and I've known people who have been convicted of stealing money from their employer because they had access to the cash register.


And all the security issues with paper money also applies to paper bitcoin notes and a paper bitcoin note with the private key can also be stolen by remembering that private key in any fashion.  The last thing that we would want to do is add one more security issue with paper bitcoins than already exist with paper money, at least if we actually want businesses to accept them.  Simply put, the private key cannot be on the paper notes, period.  There is no way to make that workable.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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August 30, 2010, 09:24:40 PM
 #48

You seem pretty certain about it, creighto.
I'm not trying to change your mind, and if I and a merchant can find a system that works for "handing over" physical Bitcoins, I suppose it doesn't have to involve anyone else.

As a thought experiment, imagine the "scratch off" lottery tickets.  You can't see the receiving key until you scratch it, which makes it visibly void.  A drawer full of these ought to alert the shift manager than an employee isn't following SOP.  Smiley

I don't really get the difference betwen "checks" and printed coins, except that a check sounds like it involves an intermediate processor -- a cashing authority or bank.  No can do.  The whole point is anonymous payer, anonymous receiver.  I don't want to know who cashed the check, and I don't want them knowing who wrote it.

If I'm willing to divulge everything, might as well have a Bank Of Bitcoin MasterCard and leave it at that.

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August 30, 2010, 10:45:15 PM
 #49

You seem pretty certain about it, creighto.
I'm not trying to change your mind, and if I and a merchant can find a system that works for "handing over" physical Bitcoins, I suppose it doesn't have to involve anyone else.

True, and that is pretty much what your personal checking account is supposed to be, even though it isn't.  There is no hidding one's identity in a two party (or three party) arrangement, however.

Quote


As a thought experiment, imagine the "scratch off" lottery tickets.  You can't see the receiving key until you scratch it, which makes it visibly void.  A drawer full of these ought to alert the shift manager than an employee isn't following SOP.  Smiley


Now that's an idea, but it would still become void for the purpose of futher trade should anyone, honestly or not, scratch off the hidden zone to get to the private key.  But so long as each person continued to trust that the bitcoins behind the visable address, something checkable, there might not be any reason to scratch off the hidden portion of the note in order to claim the bitcoins themselves.  Eventually, however, someone will do so in order to buy something online, so the "lifespan" of such a note is still limited.  But it would certainly be as anonymous as cash, and never require that any person along the chain of trade walk into any kind of bank to redeem them.

Something to consider.  I wonder how much it costs to print something like that.

Quote


I don't really get the difference betwen "checks" and printed coins, except that a check sounds like it involves an intermediate processor -- a cashing authority or bank.  No can do.  The whole point is anonymous payer, anonymous receiver.  I don't want to know who cashed the check, and I don't want them knowing who wrote it.


Well, a bitcheck would have to be processed after only one trade, just like a normal check, but not neccessarily by an institution.  The receiver could, and probably should, process one on his own client immediately; because without the mutual trust of a third party (a bank) the receiver cannot be assured of the payer's honesty without doing so while he is still present.  Of course, as you said, if you have immediate access to a running client, what good would a check serve?

Quote

If I'm willing to divulge everything, might as well have a Bank Of Bitcoin MasterCard and leave it at that.


I've got bad news for you, there is a place for banking institutions within the future Bitcoin economy, and there almost certainly will be such banks.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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August 31, 2010, 02:20:26 PM
 #50

As a thought experiment, imagine the "scratch off" lottery tickets.  You can't see the receiving key until you scratch it, which makes it visibly void.  A drawer full of these ought to alert the shift manager than an employee isn't following SOP.  Smiley

Now that's an idea, but it would still become void for the purpose of futher trade should anyone, honestly or not, scratch off the hidden zone to get to the private key.  But so long as each person continued to trust that the bitcoins behind the visable address, something checkable, there might not be any reason to scratch off the hidden portion of the note in order to claim the bitcoins themselves.  Eventually, however, someone will do so in order to buy something online, so the "lifespan" of such a note is still limited.  But it would certainly be as anonymous as cash, and never require that any person along the chain of trade walk into any kind of bank to redeem them.

Something to consider.  I wonder how much it costs to print something like that.

I really like this idea. It turns out you can buy clear stickers with scratch-off material applied to the top fairly cheaply. A quick search turned up these, which are 1.5 x 2 inches, and cost between 5 and 8 cents each, depending on qty: http://www.easyscratchoffs.com/rectangle-scratch-off-stickers.html

I wonder how big an area would be needed to print a private key in a 2d barcode of some sort?
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August 31, 2010, 02:34:33 PM
 #51

Scratch-offs are an amazing idea. They could have qrcode to a mybitcoin address, and the password be used as 'PIN code' like in an ATM machine, thus loosing the card would not mean loosing the coins.

Also, you could pair a bunch of same address cards that you hand off to (physical) merchants, and have another scratch off with 10 BTC worth codes, each one single usage. you could easily see if someone used your codes as they would be scratched off. So you hand out one qrcoded scratch off, and you use your own multi pin card and scratch as many as as 10BTCs you need. If they where those 'easy rip apart' things you could actually hand over the codes too Smiley

You would then carry only as many pin codes as you wanted to carry around, reducing the possibility of loosing them. But if you did loose them, you could completely cancel all unused address/pin code pairs.
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August 31, 2010, 02:42:04 PM
 #52

Scratch-offs are an amazing idea.

Or you could just fold it over and staple it.
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August 31, 2010, 06:03:25 PM
 #53

Scratch-offs are an amazing idea.

Or you could just fold it over and staple it.


The receiver could never be certain that the private key hasn't already been copied by other means.  Same with an evelope, before anyone mentions it, because the receiver cannot be certain that the evelope is the original. 

It's a great deal more tricky to put the grey coating back over a scratch-off, which is exactly the reason that the lottery commisions use them.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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August 31, 2010, 06:13:33 PM
 #54

Scratch-offs are an amazing idea.

Or you could just fold it over and staple it.


The receiver could never be certain that the private key hasn't already been copied by other means.  Same with an evelope, before anyone mentions it, because the receiver cannot be certain that the evelope is the original. 

It's a great deal more tricky to put the grey coating back over a scratch-off, which is exactly the reason that the lottery commisions use them.

Although with this sticker style coating thingies, it gets much easier Smiley

But I was only considering an online transaction, as in debit card style. For offline usage, I'm not sure I have read of thought about a single system that would work, without some central issuer and physical material that is hard to counterfeit and/or more expensive to copy than the actual value it holds.
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August 31, 2010, 06:16:58 PM
 #55

[But I was only considering an online transaction, as in debit card style. .


Uh, Why?

This entire thread has been about using bitcoins in person and IRL.  You can already use bitcoins online, that's the point.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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August 31, 2010, 06:36:37 PM
 #56

Scratch-offs are an amazing idea.

Or you could just fold it over and staple it.


The receiver could never be certain that the private key hasn't already been copied by other means.  Same with an evelope, before anyone mentions it, because the receiver cannot be certain that the evelope is the original. 

It's a great deal more tricky to put the grey coating back over a scratch-off, which is exactly the reason that the lottery commisions use them.

It still is technically possible to find out what is underneath the grey paint with the scratch-off paint/ink used to cover over the numbers/barcode.  The question would be if the cost to do so would be more (aka using an x-ray machine to take a photograph or some other similar system) would be worth the effort to find out.

I presume another "home printing" option would be to use a silk screen with the ink in question to cover over the code used to transfer the coins electronically.  A simple home screen can be made for roughly $50-$100 (with print-quality screen material) and the ink itself can be purchased for relatively minimal cost.  A link for the ink can be found here:  http://www.iicink.com/si_scratchoffsolvent.html  Another link that discusses some of the technical problems for doing this can be found here:  http://printplanet.com/forums/ink-substrates-consumables-discussion/15180-scratch-off-inks

The costs involved with making these bills, even with the scratch off area, is largely dependent upon what kind of volume and how much effort you as an individual want to put into them.

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August 31, 2010, 07:21:44 PM
 #57

[But I was only considering an online transaction, as in debit card style. .


Uh, Why?

This entire thread has been about using bitcoins in person and IRL.  You can already use bitcoins online, that's the point.

Well, it might just be me, but walking into the (insert favorite large surface store here), standing in line for 10 minutes and, already having 10 other people behind me I head to the counter and they say: "that will be 5461BTCs please, sir" to which I reply:

- Wait, I'll just log in in my android phone, how was that 64 random characters address again? 'T' or 'D' again? Can you write that down, thank you.
- It will just be 10 minutes now, sir...

Ok, maybe it doesn't have to be this way, but this check / note/ scratch ticket thingy will still need to be confirmed online, or else there's really little you can do to avoid fraud, and that will do more hurt to bitcoins that one initially imagines. Sure, completely offline secure transactions would rock, but I just thought this would be a great middle ground solution. Easy to create, hard to copy without physically stealing, easy to assert if used before. I personally think it would rock Smiley

And it would make it much easier to sell this idea to local shops, while also allowing offline transactions between parties with some trust level, as in the 'neighbor kid moans the lawn' scenario.
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August 31, 2010, 10:50:21 PM
 #58

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as in the 'neighbor kid moans the lawn' scenario

Your neighborhood sounds pretty fun.  Shocked

Is it possible that 'testing' a bitcoin bill for double-spend could be done much faster than confirmation?

After all, you just want to know if the coin has been previously spent.

SO the cashier takes the bill with the 2D barcode, scans it, and the register confirms that the coin hasn't been previously spent (ie, the balance is real).  The confirmations can come later if the merchant wants to extend some trust.  Seems this wouldn't take any longer than a Visa authorization.

In a nutshell, my goal is to pay for something
1) Anonymously (thank you sir, you have no idea who I am.)
2) Spontaneously (I wasn't planning to spend bills at lunch, but here I am)
3) Off-line (I didn't bring my gadgets)
4) Minimal trust required (Give me physical goods, and you have reasonable confidence my bill is good.)

A completely separate discussion would be valid for discussing a quick way to share BTC addresses, IRL.  Cut & Paste works fine.  "Read your number to me" would not.  A standard 2D sticker on the back of a register would be the ticket here.  "BTC Accepted @" with a phone client that scans and pays.

Bitcoin accepted here: 1HrAmQk9EuH3Ak6ugsw3qi3g23DG6YUNPq
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September 01, 2010, 01:18:38 AM
 #59

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as in the 'neighbor kid moans the lawn' scenario

Your neighborhood sounds pretty fun.  Shocked

Is it possible that 'testing' a bitcoin bill for double-spend could be done much faster than confirmation?


Certainly, if the receiver is willing to trust that his own client is up to date.

At least as well as the credit card companies can promise that the person who is holding the card didn't steal it.
Quote


After all, you just want to know if the coin has been previously spent.

SO the cashier takes the bill with the 2D barcode, scans it, and the register confirms that the coin hasn't been previously spent (ie, the balance is real).  The confirmations can come later if the merchant wants to extend some trust.  Seems this wouldn't take any longer than a Visa authorization.


Quicker, actually; since the Point-of-sale system within the store could check that address against it's own client in milliseconds.  Credit cards are usually assumed to be good for orders under $50 anyway.


Quote

In a nutshell, my goal is to pay for something
1) Anonymously (thank you sir, you have no idea who I am.)
2) Spontaneously (I wasn't planning to spend bills at lunch, but here I am)
3) Off-line (I didn't bring my gadgets)
4) Minimal trust required (Give me physical goods, and you have reasonable confidence my bill is good.)

A completely separate discussion would be valid for discussing a quick way to share BTC addresses, IRL.  Cut & Paste works fine.  "Read your number to me" would not.  A standard 2D sticker on the back of a register would be the ticket here.  "BTC Accepted @" with a phone client that scans and pays.


Bluetooth in the register.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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September 01, 2010, 02:54:02 AM
 #60

or you could just hand them a $20 bill... Cheesy

QR codes that you can print on your computer is the way to go.

http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator  
(I also mesaged them and asked for bitcoin to be added to their list of services)

I put a btc address in the following qr code lol



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