Generating Bitcoin Wallet Image Will not Protect Your Private Key

JP Buntinx | February 17, 2017 | 3:00 pm
NewsBTC Bitcoin private Key

Generating Bitcoin Wallet Image Will not Protect Your Private Key

JP Buntinx | February 17, 2017 | 3:00 pm

Quite a few intriguing services have launched in the bitcoin ecosystem over the past few years. There seems to be an intriguing correlation between cryptography and steganography. One developer created a project that turns any image or document into a bitcoin private key and address. A great tool on paper, but not very practical by any means.

While this concept may have some appeal to consumers, it is not a secure solution by any means. Having to use an image or document to create a bitcoin wallet address sounds convenient. The process itself is very simple and straightforward as well. In a way, this can attract more people to the bitcoin ecosystem as a whole.

Not The Best Way To Secure a Private Key

Unfortunately, those who rely on this project have a big chance of losing their funds. Any amount of bitcoin stored in wallets generated through this platform is at risk. All it takes is for a different person to upload the same document or image. By doing so, they will receive the identical wallet address and private key

From a security point of view, the project is not viable by any means. Then again, the code is on GitHub, allowing anyone to make changes and propose improvements. It is evident this concept will need a lot of work before it is even feasible to try, though. Implementing a way to check for duplicate images and documents would be a good place to start.

Moreover, the idea of using a public image to create a wallet address and private key seems a bit ludicrous. There is no such thing as a unique image these days. Although chances are small someone else may have used it before you, there’s no reason to risk it either. Private pictures are a possible solution. However, that requires users to keep them private at all costs. In the real world, doing so is virtually impossible right now.

It is important to note this project is a proof of concept, and not something that should be used by anyone in its current form. It does take steganography to a different level, albeit there is no hidden information embedded in the image itself. It is an intriguing take on things, but lacks security to be considered a useful project right now.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

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