Are there physical Bitcoin?

8

I have seen several folks selling "bitcoins" on Ebay and the like - but they are made of base metal and have no real connection with the bitcoin concept other than the symbol.

I'm wondering if some number of bitcoins could be permanently assigned to a coin (i'd plan on about 10 bitcoins impressed into a one ounce silver round). I'm thinking of having a public registry of bitcoins assigned permanently to individual coins. Said bitcoins could be reassigned only in the instance of the "surrender" of said silver round.

I appreciate the fact this reduces the portability of bitcoins, but it would be an interesting method of storing value.

John Burnette

Posted 2012-01-16T19:54:09.090

Reputation: 81

Welcome to Bitcoin SE :) I edited the title to be more specific - please try it yourself next time you ask a question. – ripper234 – 2012-01-16T20:07:05.700

Are you describing the scenario where you are selling a silver round that is backed by a certain number of bitcoins? Essentially what that would entail would be me selling my BTCs and buying your silver round but also getting the option to buy back those BTCs at some price in the future. For you to offer that means you would need to be trusted. A public registry only means I can audit to see if the coins have been transferred in the blockchain -- not necessarily that you still would honor the agreement where I could trade the silver round back in for the previously agreed upon amount of BTCs. – Stephen Gornick – 2012-01-16T23:04:26.810

Answers

6

There absolutely are. As a matter of fact, Casascius already offers a 10 BTC silver round in addition to his better-known 1 BTC brass coins and 25 BTC gold-plated brass coins. While not coins per se, the same principal allows for bitbills and other physical Bitcoins.

David Perry

Posted 2012-01-16T19:54:09.090

Reputation: 14 120

I believe he's offering a variety of coins, ranging up to a 1000 BTC gold bar. – ripper234 – 2012-01-16T20:07:32.390

There are a large variety of items available, yes, but the original question (before your edits) only specifically mentioned silver rounds, and so that's all my original answer contained. – David Perry – 2012-01-16T20:11:10.823

That's not how I understood it - I'm wondering if some number of bitcoins could be permanently assigned to a coin – ripper234 – 2012-01-16T21:20:38.323

(i'd plan on about 10 bitcoins impressed into a one ounce silver round). <- this is what he said, and this is exactly what Casascius sells. – David Perry – 2012-01-16T21:22:08.680

Well, it's just a comment inside a parenthesis. Anyway... – ripper234 – 2012-01-16T21:32:56.930

0

The Casascius coin could result in a coin with no value if the digital bitcoin is not transferred to the holder. It seems to work just as a collectable and may have value just as regular collectable coins do. So the owner of the silver round could have value and the owner of the bitcoin would have value. Interesting concept.

PDev

Posted 2012-01-16T19:54:09.090

Reputation: 1

3"The Casascius coin could result in a coin with no value if the digital bitcoin is not transferred to the holder. " They are trying to prevent this by means of a tamper-proof sticker that covers the private key whose supposedly only copy is written inside of the coin. – Thilo – 2012-01-17T07:39:26.703