Stake Capital sponsored the closing after-after party of EthCC 2019 in Paris: RaveCC. There, we used Austin Griffith’s Burner Wallet to accept Dai payments. It only took several hours to set up the whole system, and we wanted to share our story, hoping to inspire others as well.
Let’s start with a refresher on the Burner Wallet, bringing us back to February 2019, in Denver, and then we will jump right into the 5-step process we followed to set up Burner Wallets for RaveCC.
February 2019 — EthDenver, Denver
Let’s start from the beginning: EthDenver 2019, where Austin Griffith and his team introduced the Burner Wallet to 2,000 people — full recap by Austin here.
In brief, 11 food trucks served 4,405 meals for $38,432.56 worth of Dai costing $0.20 Dai in total transaction fees. 🔥
The Burner Wallet is a web browser app running on the xDai network, an Ethereum side-chain. There is no app to download, no seed phrase to secure, and transactions are cheap (payable in xDai) and fast (5 seconds).
Participants receive a physical QR code containing their private key and pre-loaded with a couple xDai. Then, payments are done from the web-app by simply scanning the QR code of your recipient (the food truck or another wallet holder).
This is obviously not the safest way on Earth to hold digital assets, but it is certainly the smoothest UX to introduce someone to the wonders of permissionless networks, and it is sufficiently safe to store small amounts. This is analogous to keeping small amounts of (digital) cash on you.
- Pro-tip #1: do not let someone else scan your private key 👌
- Pro-tip #2: power users can import their own private key 💪
March 2019 — EthCC, Paris
The next major event in the Ethereum community was EthCC in Paris, which we were proud to sponsor — read our full recap of the conference here.
We also sponsored RaveCC, the official after-after party, and we realised it would be great to let people use Dai at the party with the burner wallet. 🔥
It took less than 6 hours to set up the whole thing, thanks to Austin and his tips. We hope it will give others ideas for their own event!
Step 1: Github paper wallet set up
The repository is available here: https://github.com/austintgriffith/paper-wallet
Currently, running the script generates a single .html file containing the private key (QR code), which can easily be exported in .pdf to be printed. This process is then repeated for each new wallet.
Note: The .html file can have a custom template (see picture below).
There are a couple ways to pre-load these wallets. In our case, each time we ran the script, the new public address was appended to a .txt file, creating our list of airdrop recipients.
We ran the script 200 times, generating 200 paper wallets.
Step 2: Print 200 A4 Paper Wallets
Fairly straightforward, just find a professional printer nearby. Good thing we were in the centre of Paris. Turns out it’s not cheap to print paper: €55.68! 💶
At this point, you should realise we spent money to print money. Is Stake Capital going to become a Central Bank? Not yet … 🏦
Since the paper wallet contains the private key, it should only be scanned by its intended recipient, hence the paper wallets should be folded to hide the private key QR code👇
Step 3: Airdrop the dough
The party was generously sponsored by Stake Capital, MakerDAO (thanks Lenkla!), and Burner Wallet (thanks Austin!). We had a total of 1,200 DAI (the dough stack) to airdrop to 200 wallets (the dough recipients). 🚀
Austin Thomas Griffith and his team was kind enough to run that for us, airdropping the dough to each wallet: 6 xDai each. 🎯
Step 4: Set up the point of sale
With more time, we would have taken Austin’s advise and set up a tablet to show the bar prices and large QR codes for easy payments
Instead, we kept things simple (and last-minute). This was the menu, and each Dai price had a unique QR code to set up payments (amounts & recipient) and pay in seconds with a connected phone.
Step 5: Distribute the Dough, Educate and Party!
We deployed maximum security to bring the 200 paper wallets to the party 👇
and started distributing the fresh dough. This crowd was fairly familiar with QR codes and wallets, making the process simpler, but it was an intuitive process nonetheless.
iPhone owners had an unfair advantage as their camera app detects QR codes. A pretty cool feature that should be in all phones…
During the party, we found a couple paper wallets lying around, exposing their private key, despite some being full! It is possible that their owners either did not care, or did not realise that someone else could acquire their xDai. Regardless, we should have clarified the need to destroy or hide the QR code once scanned, as it can be re-scanned anytime to load the private key. One takeaway for next time.
Step 6 (Optional): Do not leave loaded private keys at the venue
Was in on purpose to educate people who would find the loaded wallets?
Was it a mistake by the team?
I guess we will never know, but it might well be the best way to teach people about digital assets. It is much easier to care about a private key when you receive free money with it 😄
We love the Burner Wallet. It is user friendly, but of course it is not the safest wallet. There is always a trade-off between convenience and safety: you probably don’t need a Ledger to secure $20, and you don’t want to use a Burner Wallet for $20,000.
For an event like RaveCC, throwaway private keys are ideal, and a side-chain is needed to avoid disproportionately large gas fees.
We look forward to a future where side-chains like xDai / Lightning Network ⚡️and good UX like Burner Wallet 🔥are widespread, and this might well be the future of vouchers and coupons, amongst other things! Instead of printing paper or physical items, participants give their public address and receive their airdrop ahead of the event.