Not your keys; not your bitcoin.
January 3rd, 2019 was the first Proof of Keys event in the cryptocurrency world. Proof of Keys is an event where everyone who holds cryptocurrency on any exchange or custodial service withdraws their private keys, typically to a cold wallet in your possession.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are bearer assets and so the entity in possession of the private keys is the true bearer (owner) of the digital asset. It is important to be in control of your own assets and remind the institutions to behold their trust with their clients.
Proof of Keys Origin: Fractional Reserve Banking, Bearer Asset and Cryptocurrency Exchange Hacks
It is widely suggested that the cryptocurrency movement was partly born out of the financial crisis of 2008/2009 where there were many bank runs and, of course, the banks were physically not able to allow citizens to withdraw their fiat. This is because banks work on a fractional reserve system where they only actually possess a fraction of the amount of money they claim to hold.
Banks are able to “produce credit” and loan out money that they do not have, as long as they do not loan out more than a certain leverage percent of the cash they do have. I believe they are able to loan out 9 to 1 times, so if you have $1000 dollars in your account, they can loan out $9000 dollars.
The fractional reserve banking system was not able to supply their clients with their hard-earned money. The banks were entrusted to hold their clients’ money, just as cryptocurrency exchanges and custodians are entrusted to hold Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets.
Moreover, in the short lifetime of the cryptocurrency industry, there has been over $1 billion USD worth of Bitcoin, Ethereum and some smaller cryptocurrencies, hacked from exchanges and individuals through brute force attacks, phishing and sly theft. Having large amounts of cryptocurrency hoarded on exchanges creates a centralized honey-pot of reward for hackers. A cryptocurrency exchange literally has a target on it for hackers/thieves.
In the spirit of financial freedom, trust and individual sovereignty, the event Proof of Keys was designed. Everyone who owns cryptocurrency removes their private keys from the exchanges (and custodians) onto their own cold storage hardware wallets.
We’re going to withdraw all our bitcoin from any third party services just to prove that they’re there.Alyssa Herting quoting Trace Mayer, “Proof of Keys Explained: Bitcoin’s First Planned ‘Bank Run’ Is Today“, CoinDesk.
Proof of Keys occurs on January 3rd since that is the very same day the Genesis Block of Bitcoin was mined. The very first Proof of Keys event occurred January 3rd 2019, the 10 year anniversary of Bitcoin. Proof of keys is slated to become an annual event, with the second event happening January 3rd 2020. The Proof of Keys event is a reminder that cryptocurrencies are digital bearer assets and that they were designed as a way to take back your financial freedom and sovereignty, so it would be prudent to not trust third parties such as cryptocurrency exchanges or custodial services, and keep them on their toes to prevent fractional reserve banking of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency digital assets.
The Proof of Keys event is multipurpose: it is a unifying event for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, it is a social force representing the peoples’ value of hard money that is not held in fractional reserve, it is a reminder to the institutions (cryptocurrency exchanges and custodial services/’crypto banks’) not to break their trust with their clients.
Withdrawing your keys prior to January 3rd is acceptable, as long as you have your private keys in your possession on January 3rd.
Markshire Crypto Conclusion on Proof of Keys
While the original motto of the Proof of Keys event was “not your keys; not your bitcoin.” I have modified the motto myself to state “not your keys; not your crypto” to include all of the other digital assets, particularly the other open, borderless, peer to peer, censorship-resistant cryptocurrencies (i.e. Ethereum).
There is now a website all about Proof of Keys. Visit to learn more!
Not your keys; not your crypto.
As always, please comment with any thoughts, ideas, and/or questions!