Proof of Keys Day: Not Your Keys, Not Your Coins

Proof of Keys Day: Not Your Keys, Not Your Coins

Proof of Keys Day, initiated by Trace Mayer, is an annual event held on January 3rd to encourage cryptocurrency investors to move their assets from exchanges to personal wallets and take control of their private keys. This movement promotes the principles of Bitcoin and financial sovereignty and aims to expose dishonest exchanges while educating the community about crypto security.


Proof of Keys Day is an annual event celebrated on January 3rd, the anniversary of the first Bitcoin block. Its purpose is to encourage investors to take control of their cryptocurrency assets and move them out of exchanges, thus proving they have ownership of their private keys. The event was initiated by Trace Mayer, a Bitcoin advocate, and aims to remind people of the importance of holding their own private keys. It also serves as a way to verify whether the exchanges are holding enough reserves to honor their customers' withdrawals. The need for such an event arises due to the frequent occurrences of exchange hacks and scams, which resulted in huge losses for cryptocurrency investors. The Mt. Gox hack in 2014, for instance, led to the loss of approximately 650,000 bitcoins.

Leaving cryptocurrencies stored on exchanges is risky as the exchanges have full control over the private keys. The event aims to prevent investors' dependence on exchanges and reminds them that not having control over their private keys means not having control over their funds. The first Proof of Keys Day took place on January 3rd, 2019, the 10th anniversary of the Bitcoin network's genesis block. Although there are many types of cryptocurrency wallets available to store your keys, hardware wallets are often considered the most secure option for this purpose.

Philosophy Behind Proof of Keys Day

The concept of Proof of Keys Day aligns well with the principles of Bitcoin. It advocates for replacing third-party intermediaries with a trustless value-transfer system, allowing individuals to transact securely and confidently with each other without losing their financial independence.

Teaching New Investors How to Move Coins

For crypto investors, it's essential to be familiar with transferring cryptocurrencies. While this may seem straightforward to some, newcomers may struggle to comprehend the various types of wallets and their usage. The Proof of Keys Day serves as a reminder for investors to educate themselves on different wallet options and practice using them. It also highlights the decentralized nature of blockchain networks and how value transfer occurs within them.

Reminding Investors Who Own Their Private Keys

Trace Mayer initiated the Proof of Keys Day to urge cryptocurrency investors to own their private keys and not rely on exchanges to store their funds. By leaving their cryptocurrencies on exchanges, investors lose control over their assets.

While the day occurs once a year, it presents an opportunity for investors to reclaim control of their funds. However, the significance of the day is limited if investors fail to secure their assets. Therefore, investors must take necessary actions to safeguard their funds.

Exposing Dishonest Exchanges

Fractional reserve banking is a practice used by financial institutions to lend out more money than they have. This is risky for depositors since a "bank run" could lead to an institution going bankrupt. In contrast, Proof of Keys Day in the cryptocurrency space encourages investors to withdraw their funds from exchanges and reclaim their monetary autonomy. If many investors do this on the same day, it can reveal the exchanges that practice fractional reserve methods or lie about their reserves. However, the transparency of blockchain networks makes it easier for exchanges to make their holdings publicly verifiable, which can help ensure their solvency.

Celebrating the Bitcoin Genesis Block

The Proof of Keys Day also celebrates the genesis block, which is the first block ever mined on the Bitcoin network. The block includes a message encoded in it, which reads: "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks." This message is seen by many as a nod to the genesis of Bitcoin and its potential to disrupt traditional financial systems.

How to Participate in the Proof of Keys Movement?

The Proof of Keys Day is an easy way to celebrate financial autonomy, regardless of whether you are a new or veteran cryptocurrency investor. To participate, you need to withdraw all your funds from exchanges or third-party services. First, take an inventory of your funds stored on cryptocurrency exchanges to identify who owns what. Then, choose a secure cryptocurrency wallet that you're comfortable using and transfer your funds to it to own and control your private keys.

Although the Proof of Keys movement happens once a year on January 3rd, some active traders need to hold funds on exchanges to trade, so they participate for one day and move their funds back afterward. However, long-term investors who don't engage in short or mid-term trading are better off holding their funds in a personal wallet.


The Proof of Keys Day is a significant movement that emphasizes the importance of private key ownership for cryptocurrency investors. It encourages millions of enthusiasts to move their funds from exchanges to their wallets. This movement is not only important to educate the community about private key ownership, but it also promotes general security principles as the blockchain industry expands.

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