Piggy Ƀank: The Physical Bitcoin Wallet

Kyle Kemper is a long time Bitcoin enthusiast and artist. Recently hes started a campaign selling unique physical wallets called the Piggy Ƀank. Kemper got a lot of attention throughout forums and had also been working within the industry for quite some time. Bitcoin.com got to chat with Kemper about his new project and discussed a variety of topics concerning the great digital currency we all love Bitcoin.

Also read: This ‘KYC Solution’ Will Link Ethereum Addresses to Identities

Saving Bitcoin With Piggy Ƀank

Bitcoin.com Kyle when did you first get into Bitcoin?

Kyle Kemper (KK): I first learned about Bitcoin in 2011 when I was working on a video project with a friend. It’s funny because at the time we were running a computer 100% for SETI. I was intrigued but dismissed it as I didn’t really grasp the concept of it. Had we been mining Bitcoin at the time instead of searching for extraterrestrial life…oh what could have been.

Piggy Ƀank
Kyle Kemper, creator of Piggy Ƀank

Fast forward to 2013 I was working at my family restaurant (Clocktower Brew Pub) when a man came in and started talking about Bitcoin. I listened, and listened, and listened and asked questions until his ears couldn’t handle anymore…I then became hooked. I worked with him for about four months as he tried to launch a crypto-brokerage but ultimately he had some personal issues. After that we launched a Bitcoin ATM at the Clocktower, started the Bitcoin Strategy Group with Victoria van Eyk, presented on Bitcoin to the Senate of Canada, moved to CAVIRTEX, moved to ChangeTip, moved to Coinsetter after it acquired CAVIRTEX, moved to Kraken after it acquired Coinsetter, then started working on the Social Wallet at the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon and it’s ballooning into an enormous non-profit mission to digitize the physical wallet and bring bitcoin and blockchains to the masses by making a user-centric crypto-agnostic wallet solution.

BC: What gave you the idea to create a Piggy Ƀank?

Piggy ɃankKK: I first thought of this in December in San Diego with Sebuh when he explained that he has a piece of crypto-art in his hallway that he drops bits into every day. I was like “that’s incredible, it’s like a piggy bank…” so we talked about making it happen, but it didn’t go past talking stage.

In Ottawa, I work out of a place called MakerSpaceNorth, and my friends there have CNC machines, lasers, tons of wood, and all sorts of other stuff to make shit. I was with my buddy talking about the Bitcoin piggy bank and at 1:30 am I was like “fuck it, I’m going to put together an Indiegogo campaign for it tonight and have it launched by morning. I clicked launch at 4:20 am.

Initially, I wanted it to be a dual coin/cash Bitcoin solution, but the complexities of making a physical coin zone in the wallet would have really jacked the time and price of the unit. I could just order cheap plastic/porcelain piggy banks from China and put stickers or laser them but where’s the art in that.

BC: How do you feel about children learning about Bitcoin and money saving in general?

Piggy ɃankKK: I feel very strongly about everyone learning about traditional centralized money and learning about Bitcoin. Since I prototyped the first two and explained the public/private key relationship people get it…it becomes more real when there is something physical. For my daughter Amelia, when she saw her new Piggy Ƀank…or should I say horse bank…her eyes immediately lit up. She’s too young at 2.5 to understand bitcoin but as she grows up this will be an easy way for her to understand it.

The powerful thing about these Piggy Ƀanks is that they are truly savings accounts. If you generate a public key from your wallet, then it’s just a deposit address to your “chequing” account, but if you create a fresh wallet and put the key on the back under seal, then it becomes a savings account as you can’t move the crypto out of it. In this sense, the Piggy Ƀank can become a college fund, especially considering the upcoming price growth as the next wave of adoption hits.

When I think about the future and where we’re going there has to be a way for people to drop bits easily into accounts and physical, artistic wallets make it easy and fun.

BC: Can you explain the process of the Piggy Ƀanks creation? How long does it take?  

KK: First, pick an animal (or anything) design and put it in the program that works with the CNC machine (a CNC machine is basically a robot router that cuts according to the direction you give it). Second, sand the cutout. Third, use a laser machine to etch in the public key, name, and zodiak symbol. In total, it took about 90 minutes to make the first one and 30 minutes to make the second one. I think we can bring times down but it depends on how thick the wood is and how much lasering is required.

Also, before actually making I used a vanity address generator to create the wallet addresses offline, then used an offline QR code generator to make public and private key generators. Then used Photoshop to put the names and symbols together.

NOTE TO READERS: I don’t want to create the key pairs for you so if you’re thinking of getting one, please use password protected Private Keys…BIP 38 does that I’m pretty sure…then you don’t need to worry about sealing the private key on the back, and you can just send me the file.

BC: Is the QR etching part difficult?

KK: No. It’s easy, but you need a laser.

Piggy ɃankBC: How do you feel about the state of the Bitcoin space currently in 2016?

KK: I am amped beyond belief. In 2013, Bitcoin was like the Wild West. In 2016, it’s far more evolved and it seems like the plumbing for the mansion is ready and working…now we just need to make it MTV Cribs ready…lol. This is something I’m working on with the Social Wallet. I foresee mega growth happening faster than people expect, we just need a killer app that pulls it all together.  

BC: Can you tell our readers the process it takes to purchase a customized Piggy Ƀank?

KK: I’ve created an Open Bazaar Store (ob://f78f7b32eeac2c07f41c86ebe7f63b736be156d1/store) and this is my first foray into it, and so far it looks pretty rad…lots of work to go, but the concept and the MVP is pretty friggin awesome.  Also, I  have an Indiegogo campaign launched, and I am tweaking the campaign with the info gained and new product pics…but Indiegogo just updated their editor, and it’s broken, so I’m currently waiting on them to fix their shit which is frustrating.

BC: Have you seen any interest since announcing the Piggy Ƀanks you created?

KK: It made the front page of r/bitcoin and stayed there all day generating something live 15 views of the campaign. I put the First reward up for $1, and a guy from Australia snatched that in the first five mins. I wanted them to be on the lower end of the price scale but given the time and work going into them, i’m going to sell the light walnut piggy banks for $33 and the solid oak ones for $77. Considering how much parents spend on crap for their children (I know, I have two year old), I think, if used, these Piggy Ƀanks will be one of the best investments ever made.

Kyle, thanks for speaking with us at Bitcoin.com and let us know how your campaign does. We think the idea of teaching children how to save sound money is a great idea. Good luck.

What do you think about the Piggy Ƀank? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Piggy Ƀank and Kyle Kemper.