Is it possible to collect bitcoins? (as a collectors item)



Is there any analogy to collecting BitCoins as there is in the physical world?

For example, some notriety was given to the Pizza for bitcoin transaction here, and one of the answers was able to determine how diluted their wallet was with "pizza coins".

Is it conceivable that a "Bitcoin collector" may want to horde or save those bitcoins for historical value?

How would those bitcoins be traded and sold, without affecting the underlying bitcoin?


Posted 2012-09-14T17:50:43.320

Reputation: 12 166



Well, first of all, there are the physical Bitcoins for one thing, which can be collected and traded neatly.

If you wanted to trade such historical Bitcoins, you'd probably need to follow some rules. For example, if you were interested in having pure Bitcoins and as close to the original transaction as possible:

  • Any Bitcoin that is a part of a given transaction, or a specific input is 100% pure and 0 removed.
  • Any Bitcoin coming from a transaction of purity p and removed status r is p% pure and r+1 removed.
  • Any Bitcoin coming from a set of transactions, one with purity p and quantity q1 and any others of total purity 0 and quantity q2, would be p*q1/(q1+q2) pure and again, r+1 removed.
  • You also have to take into considerations blocks that collect transaction fees for all of this, but I'd consider them to be 0% pure.

So, in the end you would be collecting your beloved Bitcoins to one or more addresses you own and not spend them, you'd value transactions that are closer to the source and less diluted. If you'd want to flaunt your collection, you'd just show the unspent Tx list and sign some message with your private key. If you'd want to sell any collected Bitcoins, you'd just create a transaction from one of the unspent transactions, and hopefully not spend any coins on transaction fees, as that would make them more and more scarce.

I hope that covers everything. It was an interesting food for thought.


Posted 2012-09-14T17:50:43.320

Reputation: 42 235

Or risk it by accepting that the seller will not use the private key you just bought to spend the funds. – Stephen Gornick – 2012-09-14T22:43:08.260

1@StephenGornick You can buy the Bitcoins onto your own Address, but this would make them slightly more removed. You can always weight your options in this case. – ThePiachu – 2012-09-15T01:32:53.537

Would it be possible to send someone the private key to the dedicated wallet? – halfbit – 2012-09-16T13:18:34.227

@makerofthings7 It would be possible to read a private key from your wallet and import a key to another wallet. Deleting a key from the standard client would be a bit more tricky but doable. But the problem is - can you trust the seller not to use the private key again? – ThePiachu – 2012-09-16T17:21:12.000