All posts by Anthony Di Iorio

Security Advancements and New Developments from the Mycelium Project

Post Update: December 18, 2014:
The Mycelium iOS Wallet is now available from the iTunes Store (free).


Since 2009, Mycelium has been developing a range of innovative bitcoin-related products: the Mycelium android bitcoin wallet; Entropy, an Indiegogo-funded, hardware-based paper wallet generator; and the secure Bitcoincard that can sign transactions offline or on a mesh-network. This past week, Dmitry Murashchik beamed into the Decentral Toronto Bitcoin Meet-up to discuss these projects and give us some insights into what’s coming down the development pipeline.


Some of you may recall that Entropy raised over $31,000usd on Indiegogo this year, a campaign that was notable in part because it also included the option to support the project using bitcoin. The Entropy device itself is a USB-based hardware module that you can plug into a printer to generate paper wallets, and includes the option to print 2-of-3 split keys using Shamir’s Secret Sharing algorithm. For security, it uses static-RAM (SRAM) cells to generate completely random states, and hence produces a high degree of entropy. How much entropy? Over 9000 bits. Of course, all of this is for naught if your printer stores a copy of what gets printed; choose a cheap printer (one you’re sure doesn’t store data), instead of a networked office printer to print your private keys.


Dmitry also gave us an update on the Mycelium Bitcoin wallet, which just received a 2.0 upgrade. The most notable new feature is Heirarchical Deterministic (BIP0032) address generation, a feature that improves anonymity and security by generating a new public address for each transaction; it also makes wallet backups a lot easier than with the previous version.


One of the features that has been retained in the wallet app, fortunately, is LocalTrader, a localbitcoins-like feature that connects buyers and sellers directly. Despite the impressive potential here, Dmitry mentioned that it hasn’t seen as much usage as he and the team would like. At the moment, LocalTrader charges a 0.2% fee per transaction, but Dmitry says that Mycelium is looking into lowering transaction fees in the near future, based on feedback from clients; hopefully that will help increase adoption.


Dmitry also touched on developments regarding the highly anticipated Bitcoincard. This type of “debit card” system is the cornerstone of the Mycelium project. This was the first project that the Mycelium team started working on, but their other projects jumped the queue and have been released before this one. Part of reason for the the delay, according to Dmitry, is that this card is “a technology ahead of its time.” He explained that this sort of innovation is very difficult in terms of development.


The goal of the card is to be a wireless and self-sustainable “stand-alone device that acts as an electronic wallet” without need for an immediate internet connection. When it’s released, each card will have a range of 300 metres and can be used as part of a “mesh” network, enabling users to sign and send bitcoin transactions without being directly connected to the internet. Aside from acting as a hardware wallet, this card should make using bitcoin possible anywhere on the planet and under any political or technical situation (such as in cases where there is physically no internet access or access has been blocked by a government regime). No projected price range for the cards was given, but it is expected to be quite low to allow for reasonably widespread adoption.


On the software side, we’ll also start to see many new features in future releases, including CoinJoin support, a plan to move the transaction broadcast servers to Tor, multi-sig options in the app, and 2-factor authentication. Their focus, quite clearly, is security and privacy — something we all welcome.

This Week’s Guest Speaker: Andreas Antonopoulos

Wed. Oct 29, 2014. 7pm

This week we are very excited to announce that Andreas Antonopoulos will join us via Skype. Andreas Antonopoulos is a public speaker, author, coder, entrepreneur, and one of the most prominent and well-respected figures in bitcoin. Of special note he recently appeared in front of the Canadian Senate and gave an exceptionally articulate and knowledgeable speech advocating for Canadian legislators “to resist the temptation to apply centralized solutions to this decentralized network,” and instead look into adopting decentralized regulatory tools like decentralized audits and algorithmic proof-of-reserves.


He is also the author of “Mastering Bitcoin”, currently available on github, and soon to be published in print by O’Reilly Publications.


Space for this event is limited to 50 people.

Buying Bitcoin at Decentral

At Decentral we have a convenient bitcoin teller machine that makes purchasing bitcoin easy. To use the machine at our location, simply follow these steps:


  1. Click ”Start” on the main screen when you are ready to begin. The price per bitcoin displayed at this point will be your purchase price. Note, of course, that you can always buy fractions of a bitcoin, but the minimum amount per transaction is $5 Canadian.
    Enter your phone number and then the verification code that you receive by SMS message.
  2. Choose “Buy Bitcoin”
  3. Next, choose “Yes” if you already have a bitcoin wallet. Choose “No” if you would like the machine to print a paper wallet.
  4. Place the QR code for your wallet’s public receive address in the scanner; it’s the top-right horizontal slot.
  5. Start inserting your Canadian cash into the bill acceptor, which will have a green light activated to indicate that it is ready.
  6. After you’ve inserted your individual bills, click “I’m Done” to complete the transaction.
  7. Congratulations, you now have bitcoin! A confirmation of the transaction will be sent via SMS to your phone. You can also print a paper receipt for your records.
    Note that the machine will read only the QR code for your public bitcoin address; you cannot type the address in manually. Fortunately, all bitcoin wallet systems on your phone or computer are able to display a QR code for the wallet’s public receive address.


If you have any questions about the process, please come by Decentral and we’ll help you get started. 64 Spadina Ave. Toronto, ON. Canada.