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BhCoins

🔍 Last analysed 19th May 2022 . Provided private keys Not functioning anymore
11th September 2013

Jump to verdict 

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

BhCoins were first introduced in a BitcoinTalk thread on September 11, 2013. Production lasted from 2013 to the fourth and last product series in 2015.

Here is the introduction found in the earliest thread. This contains information on the coins’ technical specifications as well as on how the keys are generated.

We are yamaka and aEnima bitcoin long time users and we create bhCoins brand physical coins denominated 0,10 bitcoin.

Physical bills are the best way to do local, person to person transactions.

All un-needed keys are then shredded and burned. We use bitaddress.org script to generate public and private keys in a offline laptop with live ubuntu distro. We don’t keep copies of generated private keys, so if the coin is damaged, lost or stolen you will LOST ALL THE BTC on it !!! so be extremely carefully keeping the coins safe.
26mm Diameter x 2.15 mm thick brass metal coin with tamper-evident security hologram . 14.5 mm x 14.5mm QR code square containing private key is under the hologram. Also the paper have private key in WIF format to use in bitcoin clients with support as blockchain.info
Each coin has a sequential number printed on the hologram to refer bitcoin address in our Full list. Coin is loaded when buyer receives the coin and release escrow.

Series 2 did not have that big of a distinction from the first series and had little information in its thread. It was released on November 12 of the same year.

Series 3

Hi, we’re proud to introduce you the brand new bhCoin 2F Serie 3 (BIP38 compatible or Two Factor coin).
It’s a limited edition of 200 coins, and we reserve for ourself the first 20 of them. We generate the encrypted key (BIP38) and we assemble the coin and send it to you via registered letter mail.
Along with the coin we send you a certificate with the passphrase randomly generated so you can redeem the coin funds on a bitcoin wallet compatible with BIP38, as blockchain.info/wallet is. You contact us and we send you a custom payment address. After receiving the payment we ship you asap.
The coins are UNFUNDED. We can fund them if buyer send us the 0.1 btc for each coin.

While the key is still prefilled, Series 3 now states it uses BIP38 encryption and sends buyers the randomly generated passphrase on a certificate. The thread also included instructions on how to fund or redeem the coin.

Series 4

Hi, we are proud to introduce you the brand new bhCoins Serie 4 DIY (Do It Yourself) physical coin. Only 600 coins minted (150 of each finish).

  • 28mm diameter
  • 2 mm thickness
  • 20 mm hologram diameter -10x10 mm back square
  • 8.6 grams weight

Option 1 DIY kit includes:
1 coin assembled with numbered hologram and WIF private key, coin capsule, coin zip bag.

Option 2 DIY kit with:
1 coin unassembled, 2 printed WIF private keys, 2 holograms (without numbering), coin capsule, coin zip bag

Verdict

As quoted above, the private keys come prefilled and are generated by the providers. This means the owner of the coins would have to trust that the providers are being honest when they claim that “they don’t keep copies of generated private keys.”

All four of the series threads are closed and the providers haven’t seen activity since 2016. Due to this, we can qualify the product as defunct.

(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.

But we also ask:

Is the product still supported by the still existing provider? If not, we tag it Defunct!

Discontinued products or worse, products of providers that are not active anymore, are problematic, especially if they were not formerly reproducible and well audited to be self-custodial following open standards. If the provider hasn’t answered inquiries for a year but their server is still running or similar circumstances might get this verdict, too.