More and more people are wondering whether bitcoin, a type of cryptocurrency, can be purchased physically. They install a bitcoin wallet Android app, and wonder whether they can somehow withdraw from that and have fiat currency in their hand. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, however, which means that it doesn't exist in physical forms. However, there are ways in which you can circumvent that, or at least to some degree.
Bitcoin Wallet Android Apps and Physical Cryptocurrencies
Two key options exist if you want to have physical possession of cryptocurrencies:
- Cascasius coins, which were invented by Mike Caldwell. Caldwell would mint physical coin, and print the private key for a certain bitcoin on the coin. Each coin has a hologram that can be peeled off, revealing the private key. Doing so will also make it obvious that the coin is a tampered coin. Caldwell tried to set up a trusted network to do this, but he has failed in that quite significantly. Hence, these coins are now no longer minted at all. That does mean, however, that if you can get your hands on one of them, you will have a valuable collector's item.
- Paper wallets, which means that you print the information held in your bitcoin wallet Android app and have a paper copy of the keys. You can store this wherever you like and it is actually recommended that you do this. This is because it gives you proof of the bitcoins that you have. However, should you lose this information, for instance if someone steals it, you will probably lose your bitcoins with no option to get them back. Plus, you can't spend your paper keys.
Printing Paper Wallets
It is actually possible to print your paper wallet so that the currency no longer exists online until you reenter the keys. Some things to remember, however:
- You must use the right software to do this and learn how to use this software first.
- The bitcoins cannot be accessed online anymore, but they are still there. Your paper wallet should be printed with a QR code to demonstrate this.
- Your printout should have a private key on it that must be used in order to access the coins. This means that anyone who gets their hands on that key, can get to your bitcoin wallet. Hence, only put as many coins as you can afford to lose into the paper wallet and keep it very safe, just in case.
- You must be very security conscious and be aware of the fact that it is still possible for people to hack into your information and access the wallet.
Last but not least, some people have started to buy bitcoin on eBay. While this is possible, the prices are much higher than what you should pay for them. Not just that, it is also very risky to do this. Hence, it is not recommended that you use the online marketplace for this.