This product requires sharing private key material!
As part of our Methodology, we ask:
Does the device hide your keys from other devices?If the answer is "no", we mark it as "Leaks Keys".
Some people claim their paper wallet is a hardware wallet. Others use RFID chips with the private keys on them. A very crucial drawback of those systems is that in order to send a transaction, the private key has to be brought onto a different system that doesn’t necessarily share all the desired aspects of a hardware wallet.
Paper wallets need to be printed, exposing the keys to the PC and the printer even before sending funds to it.
Simple RFID based devices can’t sign transactions - they share the keys with whoever asked to use them for whatever they please.
There are even products that are perfectly capable of working in an air-gapped fashion but they still expose the keys to connected devices.
This verdict is reserved for key leakage under normal operation and does not apply to devices where a hack is known to be possible with special hardware.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.
But we also ask:
Is the product still supported by the still existing provider?If the answer is "no", we mark it as "Not functioning anymore".
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.
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.
The Analysis ¶
From the online store:
We bring to you our very first limited edition Bitcoin collector coin. This is a holographic cold storage wallet, allowing you to secure your digital Bitcoin and hold it in physical form.
Our holographic coins are cold storage wallets. This means you can store your private keys behind the hologram and it showcases your public key so you can receive crypto on your new cold storage wallet. We include detailed instructions that make it easy to put these together, as well as videos on our media page showing a visual step-by-step process of how to create your secure wallet and apply it to the coin.
From the website’s disclaimer:
If someone gets a hold of your coin and takes off the hologram, they own your private keys to this wallet. Real Crypto has no liability for your lost, stolen or hacked private keys. These instructions are here to help you stay safe but we make no guarantee that this will prevent hackers from obtaining your private keys. By making a cold storage wallet on a computer and printer that has or will ever be connected to the internet, you must accept a level of risk that your private keys could be compromised.
The webpage has instructions on how to generate QR codes for public and private keys. This involves downloading walletgenerator.net’s Github Repository and generating keys offline.
The site suggests that users encrypt the private keys:
You have the option of encrypting your private key with BIP38 encryption protocol but you will need to keep that encryption key somewhere off the coin. This is an option if you want further protection from theft or loss of your private keys.
It’s unclear how this coin is more secure than a regular paper wallet. The keys may not be prefilled as you’re meant to print them yourself but somebody could still steal the coin and easily remove the sticker, thus gaining access to your keys.
Bitcoin Holographic Coin is also listed as out-of-stock on the online stores selling this product. We’re assuming that it is now discontinued or defunct.
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