Skip to main content

Kagin's Auctions says yes to Bitcoin

Meeting payment terms is as old as numismatic auctions.

What’s new this morning is Kagin’s Auctions has announced that it will accept payment in Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency.

There will be a one-percent processing charge levied by Kagin’s to accomplish the transaction.

Kagin’s Inc., the parent coin dealership located in Tiburon, Calif., will also accept Bitcoin.

As far as I know, this is the first numismatic firm to begin to accept this cryptocurrency.

How revolutionary is taking this step?

Dr. Donald H. Kagin said, “I love pushing the envelope by offering better ways to acquire numismatic properties and educate potential collectors to our fascinating field.”

He has a record of firsts in his life, including earning the first Ph.D. degree to be awarded in the United States in numismatics.

This followed his Bachelor of Arts degree in the same field.

More recently, Kagin has held design competitions to make the covers of his auction catalogs works of art.

Kagin’s Auctions next sale will be held in Santa Clara Sept. 21.

He has started a numismatic loyalty program and offers material on Amazon.

It will be interesting to see what percentage of the auction lots will be paid for in Bitcoin in September.

Will it be a significant number?

We cannot know the answer today, but with his background in Pioneer and Territorial gold pieces, Kagin is well placed to recognize that a medium of exchange isn’t always necessarily a government issue.

Bitcoin’s future will be determined by how many individuals and firms undertake to use it.

It has no physical form. Bitcoin is simply a digital entry on a computer blockchain ledger that records transactions.

Wikipedia notes that in 2017 there were an estimated 2.9 million to 5.8 million users of Bitcoin.

Where that number goes from here is a topic of great interest.

Reported fluctuations of Bitcoin’s value has generated many headlines in recent months.

On. Nov. 20, I wrote a blog about Bitcoin reaching a value of $8,000.

Since then, it rose to roughly $20,000 in December and has dropped to this morning’s $7,710, as reported on the Kitco website.

Whether Bitcoin can be turned into a reliable method of payment from its current status as a speculator’s darling remains to be seen.

Kagin is in a good position to evaluate the future.

He knows that Pioneer and Territorial gold issues were soon supplanted by government money.

This process can happen again with Bitcoin.

But in the meantime, just like those gold issues of old, Bitcoin can be used as payment.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

• Like this blog? Read more by subscribing to Numismatic News.