The crux of generating secure Bitcoin wallets lies in generating a Bitcoin private key and address with a method that is not predictable in any way. When the Mycelium Entropy is inserted into the USB drive, hardware-based entropy is harnessed to create a large, truly random, number. The random number is generated using a static RAM chip, which Holcomb, D.E.; Burleson, W.P.; and Fu. K. have proven is capable of generating “128-bit true random numbers.” This number is then used as the seed to generate a private key and corresponding Bitcoin address. The Mycelium Entropy then takes the Bitcoin information and converts it into a QR code within a JPG file. At this point, the paper wallet can be printed from the printer. The random number is generated when you first plug in the USB Device, every time the device is plugged back in, a “random random” number will be generated. Users will be able to create as many Bitcoin Paper Wallets as they want without worry of a duplicate being generated, an oft-misunderstood feature of the Bitcoin network. Mycelium has committed to keeping the source code 100% open-source.
Along with the classic Bitcoin Paper Wallet design (where you should still take care to protect your Private key), Mycelium Entropy will support “2-of-3 split private keys using a technique called Shamir’s Secret Sharing.” With this method, the generated Bitcoin private key is split up into 3 “paper shares,” with 2-of-3 of them necessary in order to obtain access to the stored Bitcoin. This type of feature, inherently possibly due to Bitcoin’s many technological advancements, make the Entropy a robust and never-before-seen unit. Multi-signature implementations of Bitcoin have always been too complicated for the average Bitcoiner to figure out. To a lesser extent, the same could be said for Bitcoin Paper Wallets and cold storage: The Entropy is here to change all of that.
Since Mycelium raised over $30,000 out of an expected $20,000, Mycelium will be implementing a promised “stretch goal.” At release, the Mycelium Entropy will also be able to generate Litecoin Paper Wallets. Due to the open source nature of the Mycelium Entropy, developers of other altcoins should be able to create updates that will allow any altcoin Paper Wallet to be generated by the Mycelium Entropy. The IndieGoGo page also has a list of compatible printers, thus far. The Entropy is Mycelium’s largest project since the launch of their local trader App.
If you’re interested in seeing the device in action, check out Mycelium’s Live Demo video:
Featured image from Shutterstock.
Last modified (UTC): August 25, 2014 23:10