Paper Bitcoins Bank on Holography for Security

15 Sep 2021 | Press Release

The move from digital to paper-based bitcoins is creating opportunity for holography, says Dr Paul Dunn, chair of the International Hologram Manufacturers Association, who looks at a new development that heralds another phase for one of the most dynamic financial sectors.

 The bitcoin market could be considered as nothing short of a phenomenon, taking the financial world by storm in the last decade with unfettered growth, expansion and consumer acceptance. Currently, the  combined market value of the world’s bitcoins totals an estimated US $653 billion with predictions that its true worth is in excess of one trillion dollars.

Often seen as digital assets traded via online markets, bitcoins are now starting to move across to the paper-based world, where they are being ‘restyled’ in the form of money that resembles traditional banknotes but with the facility to load funds onto the customer bill and pay for it at places which accept bitcoins.

In this world, holographic technology is helping to provide authentication in the form of the  Icynote brand from SMD Security Printing Sarl. This bitcoin-style wallet, which works with any business or trade that accepts cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, allows the ‘banknote’  to receive funds directly from its customers. The buyer only has to scan the QR code and send the cryptocurrencies to the seller to complete the transaction.

A tamper proof holographic label – one of 29 different physical security features and techniques – provides the first level of security to guarantee the authentication of the banknote during the manufacturing process. Moreover, this can be scratched off to reveal the embedded key beneath, which can then be used to transfer the coins to another wallet. Special safeguards are taken in the manufacturing process so that nobody can view the private keys.

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 uniquely generated for individual notes. After completing this process, the printing machine applies the security label and the authentication hologram.

The Bitcoin Suisse Crypto ‘banknote’ is another development that sees a paper wallet that holds a public address key accessed by a QR code and a private key that is concealed by multiple security features. It has the ‘look and feel’ of a traditional banknote and includes a unique ‘Nanocrypt’ hologram alongside other security features, which incorporates the company name and logo, nano-optical structures, microtext, a decorative effect known as guilloche and spectral line patterns among other strong visual effects.

The applications reflect the capacity for holography to embrace and incorporate new applications despite its perception as a mature technology. With continued advancements, there’s no reason why the technology cannot continue to develop its role as an effective, reliable and adaptable anti-counterfeiting device – at the leading edge of one the world’s most innovative financial sectors.

The use of well-designed and properly deployed authentication solutions, as advocated by the ISO 12931 standard, enables examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from fake products coming from counterfeiting global hot spots such as Asia. Even those that carry a ‘fake’ authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if that item carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution.

*Credit to Holography News for the above information
** Image credit: cynote (© SMD Security Printing Sàrl).