In the modern world, traditional physical banknotes and coins are used less and less by buyers. In the middle of the digital age and in the midst of the rise of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC), most operations to acquire products or services are carried out through mobile wallets, computers connected to the Internet or using credit or debit cards.
This reality is what the Swiss company SMD Security Printing Sàrl seeks to change with its Icynote brand. It is a kind of cool bitcoin wallet in the form of paper money that resembles banknotes traditional. In theory, anyone could load funds onto the bill and pay with it at establishments that accept BTC.
In addition, any business or trade that accepts bitcoin as a form of payment could use the banknote as a wallet and receive funds directly from its customers. The buyer would only have to scan the QR code and send their cryptocurrencies directly to the ticket of the establishment.
The security of the banknote points to two fronts: the first is to guarantee its authenticity with holograms, the use of inks with magnetic and infrared properties and a security seal. The second seeks shield the protection of stored BTCs.
Bitcoin wallet manufacturing process
To learn more about the bitcoin “ticket”, CriptoNoticias spoke with Martín Demierre, co-creator of Icynote. The executive explained what the production process is like and how it is guaranteed that the funds are well protected despite the fact that each piece contains the private keys, although they are kept hidden.
“In the manufacturing process, nobody can see the private keys because the Swiss company that prints is ISO 27001 certified, that is, there is integrity of the information, just like the printing of passports, checks or credit cards. A quantum generator, which is not connected to the Internet, provides a random number that cannot be repeated, “said Demierre.
Martín Demierre, co-creator of Icynote, a cold banknote-shaped purse that is interchangeable. Source: Capture CriptoNoticias / Google Meet.
During manufacturing there are two people, from different companies, monitoring each other and who are monitored by video cameras. According to Demierre, in none of the stages no one can see the code, even people do not carry mobile phones with them.
Once the private key has been generated, it goes to the last part of the printout, which is where the barcode, the wallet and the private key itself are generated in each piece. After completing this step, the printing machine sticks the security seal (sticker) and the hologram.
«Each wallet has an electronic signature, we sign the bill with our private key. There is a code below the QR code that serves to certify the authenticity of the ticket, “added the manager, who referred to the Icynote mobile app that serves to validate that a piece is original.
On the official Icynote website, the company notes that the process also includes the destruction of all the material that has been used. According to the company, a Uniqueness Test is performed at the end of the process and there is no way to replicate the keys.
Targeting bitcoin at the Latin American market
The Latin American market is considered a priority by Demierre who sees Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina as potential countries that would have good acceptance of the product. The intention is to reach people who do not have as much knowledge in the handling of mobile devices or bitcoin exchanges, but who wish to invest in BTC and keep their assets off the Internet.
The Icynote is a banknote similar to that of national currencies with multiple security and durability measures. Source: Icynote.
“For these people there is the ticket since they would not have to worry about a possible hacking or having their bitcoins stolen. Furthermore, when it is moved outside the network, it does not leave any traces, which in many cases could facilitate the purchase or sale, ”Demierre told this newspaper.
Among the use cases that could be replicated in Latin America are those already implemented in Russia, for example. In this country, companies that sell products for digital mining also offer banknotes. Miners have two options: store their funds in these wallets as a savings method or save the BTC and then sell the parts already loaded in other markets.
In Spain, according to Demierre, there are use cases in which hotels and restaurants receive bitcoins as a form of payment directly on tickets. Then, the owners of the establishments sell the total of the accumulated BTC weekly.
CriptoNoticias has in the past reported the manufacture of physical bitcoins in the form of coins. In this case, the coins also carry the private keys to claim the funds they had. However, these types of coins have a collectible item approach, while Icynote notes point to an alternative for processing payments with the main cryptocurrency on the market.