Humaniq

Why Buying a Paper Wallet on eBay is a Bad Idea

Paper wallets are often considered to be one of the safest ways of storing bitcoins offline. There is some merit to that statement, assuming one generates the bitcoin wallet himself. Some people are actively selling paper wallets on eBay, which pose an inherent security risk, as the private key is known to the seller. Stay away from these offering, as it is not worth the risk of getting your funds stolen.

Third-party Generated Paper Wallets Can’t Be Trusted

Although the offering on eBay may be perfectly legitimate, it is impossible for users to trust the seller right away. It takes a lot of trust between the buyer and seller to ensure the paper wallet in question is generated in a secure manner. Even then, all one has is the seller’s word, which should never be taken for granted. After all, it is easy enough to generate paper wallets these days, thus there is no need to buy these things on eBay.

It is rather interesting to see these kinds of products being sold on this platform, though. eBay has never taken kindly to bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, yet paper wallets seem to be the exception. Since no funds are stored on these wallets at the time of sale, there is nothing wrong with selling a paper wallet. To be more precise, it is not against eBay’s terms of service by any means.

The listing in question claims all paper wallets are generated in a safe environment. An offline computer was used to create these paper wallets, which is the way this type of activity should be done. However, nothing prevents anyone else in the world from using the same principle, thus there is no “value” in buying a wallet generated by someone else in who-knows-what type of conditions.

Moreover, if something were to go awry with this bitcoin paper wallet, the question is whether or not eBay would offer buyer protection. Considering the platform is responsible for the product in question, one would assume eBay is liable. However, since the product will work as advertised, even if someone steals your coins, the company will not do anything about it. Moreover, the platform is not keen on covering buyers when dealing with “digital” items or services, especially not when it comes to bitcoin.

What is rather interesting is how this particular seller has sold quite a few of these bitcoin paper wallets over the past few weeks. Some of the wallets are priced cheaper than others, which seems rather strange. Even though the seller has a 100% positive feedback rating, there is no reason for any bitcoin user to take the risk of having private keys exposed. After all, the listing says how a key file is printed and destroyed afterward. This particular statement brings us back to the trust factor.

In the end, buying a bitcoin paper wallet on eBay is perhaps one of the dumbest things to do. We have put together a brief overview of how users can securely generate bitcoin paper wallets on their own according, without having to rely on third-party sellers or platforms. Taking back full financial control also means users will need to take care of their own wallet solutions at all times.

If you liked this article, follow us on Twitter @themerklenews and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and technology news.