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Bitcoin becomes tangible

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If bitcoins are supposed to be cyberspace currency, why are they about to be issued physically?

If bitcoins are supposed to be cyberspace currency, why are they about to be issued physically?

By Richard Giedroyc

Aren’t bitcoins supposed to be in cyberspace? Surprise! Bitcoin provider BTCC recently announced it is minting a line of titanium composition coins.

BTCC Chief Executive Officer Bobby Lee announced, “Launching our own physical bitcoins is a significant achievement for BTCC. The coins we issued today [May 27] are unique collectibles aimed at exciting public interest in bitcoin. We chose spacecraft-grade titanium for our coins as it is the only metal with characteristics that best represent bitcoin — strong, light and durable. V Series coins also express our aspirations for a future in which everyone uses bitcoin.”

BTCC Chief Operating Officer Samson Mow added, “We are the only company that provides customers with physical bitcoins that come straight from the block rewards in coinbase transactions. Our physical bitcoins contain pristine bitcoins that have no transaction history, mined directly from our mining pool.”

Could this be the first step in a currency system that could be accepted worldwide without worrying about exchange rates? Could this be a ploy through which BTCC could position itself in the lucrative collector markets? Since these are physical coins, doesn’t this suggest they are fiat money just like all the rest of the physical currency now in use?

This much we do know: The May 27 issue of EconoTimes reported, “BTCC Mint coins are physical coins with digital currency inside them. They are created with pure titanium, meaning that they are lightweight, durable and sleek, with a silvery gray finish.” for May 27 reported, “The inaugural issue of BTCC Mint coins is the 2016 One Bitcoin V Series, a titanium physical bitcoin with a private key worth one bitcoin attached to it.”
The plan is to eventually issue 5.4 million physical bitcoins. The Series One coins are priced at 1.1 BTC each.

The obverse of the 2016-dated initial offering depicts the bitcoin currency symbol combined with the BTCC logo. The laurels encasing the two symbols suggests BTCC’s view of the superiority of bitcoin over fiat currencies and vision of a future world in which everyone uses bitcoin. The obverse legend reads “BTCC Mint, One Bitcoin, V Series, Titanium.”

The reverse of the initial offering depicts two stars meant to represent the generation number of the bitcoin block reward accompanied by the legend “In crypto we trust, 1,000,000 bits.” Bitcoins issued beginning in July will depict three stars.

The reverse of each coin also includes a hologram sticker meant to encapsulate the coin’s private key to ensure the physical coin remains tamper-proof.

BTCC Mint explained the hologram sticker is supposed to be impossible to counterfeit and that the private keys are generated off-line. The only copy of the private key is the one attached to the individual coin.

The BTCC Mint also explained the bitcoin public address for each private key embedded within each coin is published on the BTCC web site and can be searched using the BTCC Mint Lookup page. This is a form of counterfeit detection since the authenticity of individual coins can be verified.

BTCC explained its physical coins this way: “BTCC Mint V-Series coins are an industry first, as they contain bitcoins that have never been circulated. In fact, the bitcoins in BTCC Mint coins come straight from the bitcoin block rewards mined by BTCC Pool.”

According to the BTCC web site, “Mint coins are made for bitcoin enthusiasts and coin collectors. They can be used as a secure cold wallet to store your bitcoin investment. Mint coins are also collectibles that have a unique, limited edition design, making them a shrewd choice for discerning numismatists.”

And, of course, BTCC suggests the coins could appreciate in value due to the function of bitcoins and that the physical issuance is a limited edition.

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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