Bitcoin note generator
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Bitcoin Note Generator

This is an offline Bitcoin note generator based on the work here:

It produces notes in ten denominations: 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 mBTC. Each is printed in its own distinctive color. Adding more denominations is a simple matter of generating a differently-colored note (or reusing one of the existing colors) and adding a couple of lines to the main shell script.

Internally, the script renders six notes at a time to PostScript, which is then immediately converted to PDF. The note design started as SVG, so this will allow you to print notes at as high a quality as your printer can deliver. Unique addresses and private keys are generated and rendered as both QR codes and text; text is wrapped around the QR codes to minimize space used. The private keys can be covered with 1.125" tamper-evident labels to protect them until they are redeemed.

I chose to use the design within The SVG file from this archive is included in this project. I've also included the back pattern from I've converted it to billback.eps for inclusion in the output file; if your printer supports duplexing, you can crank out notes in one step.

Black squares will also be printed on the back of each note opposite the private key. It probably wouldn't be 100% wise to rely on these squares to secure the private key, but you can at least use them to line up the tamper- evident labels on the back.


This should run anywhere you can get all the tools above running. The program itself is a bash shell script. I tested and debugged it on one of my Gentoo Linux boxen; anything vaguely similar should work as well.

I've also done some debugging work on Windows with Cygwin. Ghostscript and NetPBM are provided by Cygwin; the other prerequisites are native Win32 command-line apps that need to be somewhere in your PATH. Binaries are available at the following locations:

Cygwin: (make sure these packages are installed: ghostscript, ghostscript-fonts-other, ghostscript-fonts-std, netpbm) Vanitygen: QREncode: (copy qrcode.exe to qrencode.exe somewhere in your PATH)


./ denom1 denom2 denom3 denom4 denom5 denom6 denom[1-4] = 0.1|0.2|0.5|1|2|5|10|20|50|100

This produces a PDF named job#.pdf, where # is the pid of the script when it ran. Load into the PDF viewer of your choice and print. If desired, apply tamper-evident labels on both sides of the private key; protect the private key with the 3/4" squares printed with each note. These squares have the human-readable private key on them, which should face the QR code so it'll still be readable when the tamper-evident label is removed.


The top part of notes.txt describes how I produced note designs in different colors from one master design. Load graphnote-original-colors.png into the GIMP, tweak the hue, lightness, and saturation to produce the colors you want (the numeric values I used are in colors.txt), then follow steps 3 and 4 from notes.txt.

If you want to use a different note design, the PostScript code within the script is modular enough that you should be able to adjust the placement of design elements without too much difficulty. Note that the note design needs to be in Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) format. NetPBM can convert most bitmap formats; to convert SVG, I used the svg2pdf tool provided with svglib ( and then ran the output of that through Ghostscript.