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Bcmint Physical Bitcoins

🔍 Last analysed 19th May 2022 . Provided private keys

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Do your own research!

Try out searching for "lost bitcoins", "stole my money" or "scammers" together with the wallet's name, even if you think the wallet is generally trustworthy. For all the bigger wallets you will find accusations. Make sure you understand why they were made and if you are comfortable with the provider's reaction.

If you find something we should include, you can create an issue or edit this analysis yourself and create a merge request for your changes.

What is a bearer token?

Bearer tokens are meant to be passed on from one user to another similar to cash or a banking check. Unlike hardware wallets, this comes with an enormous "supply chain" risk if the token gets handed from user to user anonymously - all bearer past and present have plausible deniability if the funds move. We used to categorize bearer tokens as hardware wallets, but decided that they deserved an altogether different category. Generally, bearer tokens have these attributes:

  • secure initial setup
  • tamper evidence
  • balance check without revealing private keys
  • small size
  • low unit price
  • either of ...
    • somebody has a backup and needs to be trusted
    • nobody has a backup and funds are destroyed if the token is lost/damaged

The Analysis 

Background

From their blog post.

COLD STORAGE WALLET Physical Bitcoins have the bitcoin address and QR code cleanly displayed on the reverse of the coin on a tamper-evident secure hologram. Opening the hologram sticker will reveal the private keys.

The secure key-pair process is supervised by our Managing Director; whereas the keys are printed and records destroyed using Casascius bitcoin address utility offline.

The plan for the BCmint is to produce a primary line of Physical Bitcoin and evolve this over time. Additionally a trustless two factor authorization coin will be available, as well as some custom coins whereas company logos or art can be included in the tamper evident hologram foil.

Security

Key-pairs are generated in a secure room from offline computers under supervision of the Treasury Director. All data is destroyed at the end of each Minting run, and all systems are reformatted. We are also pleased to offer trust-less advanced 2 factor authorization multisig option (P2SH).

Unfunded Coins

The Physical Bitcoin is an offline cold storage wallet. To fund your coin, you will need to purchase digital Bitcoin (BTC) from an exchange.

Analysis

Who is the “Managing Director” or the “Treasury Director” and why should we trust him/her? Nevertheless, it was not specified if their process adheres to BIP-38. So the private key may be in its raw form. At most, these tokens can serve as souvenirs.

(dg)

Verdict Explained

The device gets delivered with private keys as defined by the provider!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Are the keys never shared with the provider? If not, we tag it Provided Keys!

The best hardware wallet cannot guarantee that the provider deleted the keys if the private keys were put onto the device by them in the first place.

There is no way of knowing if the provider took a copy in the process. If they did, all funds controlled by those devices are potentially also under the control of the provider and could be moved out of the client’s control at any time at the provider’s discretion.

The product cannot be independently verified. If the provider puts your funds at risk on purpose or by accident, you will probably not know about the issue before people start losing money. If the provider is more criminally inclined he might have collected all the backups of all the wallets, ready to be emptied at the press of a button. The product might have a formidable track record but out of distress or change in management turns out to be evil from some point on, with nobody outside ever knowing before it is too late.