December 17th, 2018
The campaign to see bitcoin withdrawn from third-party wallets to private wallets on Jan. 3 is gaining traction. Over the past week, hundreds of Twitter accounts, including those operated by prominent figures such as Nick Szabo, have appended “[Jan/3 ]” to their Twitter handle to show support for the operation, timed to coincide with Bitcoin’s 10th anniversary.
Your Keys, Your Coins
Last week, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Trace Mayer’s campaign to celebrate Genesis Block Day, which falls on Jan. 3, by withdrawing cryptocurrency to noncustodial wallets. “Not your keys; not your bitcoin,” is the mantra he invoked. “I want to start a new cultural tradition where we declare and re-declare our monetary sovereignty every Jan. 3 as a celebration of the Genesis Block,” proclaimed Mayer.
The vast majority of cryptocurrency holders are aware that they only truly own their coins once they’re stored in a private wallet. Due to laziness or a desire to have funds accessible for trading at a moment’s notice, however, many people store their coins with third-party services such as exchanges. It’s bad opsec, and it also violates one of the basic tenets of bitcoin: that it’s the currency you and only you control.
Mayer’s Genesis Block Day is in many respects a return to Bitcoin’s roots, when the only wallet available was the noncustodial Bitcoin-qt client, and there were no exchanges to rely upon for coin custody. It is one of Bitcoin’s many ironies that as the cryptocurrency has grown in value, so has the proportion of people entrusting their coins to third-party services.
Proof of Keys on Jan. 3 Gains Traction
Numerous figures within the Bitcoin community have now added “[Jan/3 ]” to their Twitter profile to show their support for the grassroots movement. They include Max Keiser, Caitlin Long, and Giacomo Zucco. Jan. 3, 2019, is shaping up to be a very busy day for Bitcoin supporters, with the 10th anniversary set to grab most of the headlines. Once the day has passed, and the mainstream media has expended its supply of thought pieces on “What Has Bitcoin Achieved in the Last 10 Years?,” attention can turn to the Proof of Keys initiative.
It’s a scheme whose success can be measured, crudely at least, through the number of on chain transactions recorded that day. A major upswell in BTC and BCH transactions can be taken as evidence that the Genesis Block Day campaign has resonated with the community. Regardless of how many takers the inaugural event persuades, Proof of Keys looks set to become a staple of Bitcoin’s unofficial calendar for years to come, and in doing so to return ownership of more money to the people.
What are your thoughts on the Proof of Keys campaign? Let us know in the comments section below.