If Bitcoin's motto is Be your own bank, then BitNotes' might be Print your
banknotes at home.
(And back them provably with bitcoin balance.)
Physical bitcoins can't preserve trustlessness but we believe their design might help prevent the issuer from defrauding the holder. How to achieve that?
We are going to sell sheets of semi-finished notes equipped with all common security features know from banknote production.
Each piece of note has its own bitcoin address and the corresponding private key secured by a tamper-evident seal.
The end user – first holder – will finish it at home. Using only the Internet, printer and a mobile app.
We provide one key – secured by tamper–evident technology. You provide the second key, the quality of which is up to you.
You charge the resulting 2‐of‐2 multisig address with bitcoins.
The final item is our digital signature, which we generate to confirm that the banknote is genuine and successfully loaded.
Print it on a sheet of BitNotes.
We act as a trusted authority, but we can't touch your bitcoins.
While paying, anyone with an appropriate mobile app can verify the digital signature, even if in the offline mode.
Then visually compare the serial number and check the other security elements – similarly to when accepting a banknote.
Any holder can scratch the tamper–evident field, scan both QR codes and redeem bitcoins.
Whenever you fear that the backing bitcoins might be endangered, just scratch the field and make a reissuance using your own keys and a new sheet of BitNotes. Or simply redeem the bitcoins and keep them in your electronic wallet.
The idea of physical bitcoins came up shortly after the birth of Bitcoin. A paper currency which cannot be depreciated is an attractive topic. Contrary to Bitcoin's main principles, it reintroduces the need for trust in a central authority - an issuer.
Apparently, a Bitcoin banknote cannot maintain trustless qualities, yet the whole concept can remain distributed and offer an added value compared to traditional cash.
Imagine physical cash which cannot be devalued or depreciated and the backing of which can be proven any time; cash which keeps its value over time similarly to gold; a bitcoin derivative which can be securely stored in a physical form, offline.
A hardware wallet is usually an electronic device storing many bitcoin private keys. Usually, it is not the only device containing those keys; on the contrary: the majority of hardware wallets make users do backups of those keys to protect bitcoins in case of losing the device.
You don't pay with it by giving it to somebody else.
A paper wallet is only a backup of a bitcoin private key. You can make as many copies as you wish. By making copies, however, you don't multiply the number of bitcoins underneath. Think of it as of a backup of a password to your on-line bank account.
You can pay with it but it's not designed as a means of payment; such payments are rather impractical and dangerous.
Physical bitcoin is an object which represents a particular amount of bitcoins. It should be produced in a way to guarantee that it is the only physical representation of these bitcoins.
You can pay with it by giving it to somebody else.
186 00 Praha 8
Czech Republic, EU
Reg. number: 03966178