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Author Topic: Bitcoin-Denominated Poker Chips  (Read 6708 times)
ironwolf
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September 29, 2012, 01:20:08 AM
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I've been thinking of putting my regular home poker game on the "bitcoin standard", and thought that it might be fun to make a set of real-world, bitcoin-denominated poker chips. Below you see my design for the chips I'm thinking of making. They will be casino-quality, 10g ceramic, 39mmx3mm chips.



The denominations I've chosen are those I think would be most useful for home games. It's interesting to note that, since bitcoin is likely to deflate over time, then chips that will be issued later will be for tinier fractions of the monetary unit.

I was wondering whether anyone else might be interested in purchasing a set of such chips from me for their own games? (I would, of course, accept payment in BTC.)
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September 29, 2012, 01:25:38 AM
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I considered poker chips before I considered doing Casascius Coins... my problem was that I couldn't strike a good balance between price, quality, and function (I wanted them to have real BTC value).  But I have never done chips before so I was starting with an average hand.  If you can do well... by all means.

One big drawback is once the novelty has worn off, they will be equivalent to regular poker chips that simply have a decorative bitcoin symbol on them, because that's what they are.  What denominates a chip is what the house says it is, so the printed BTC will serve no functional purpose.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper or hardware wallets instead.
ironwolf
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September 29, 2012, 01:28:58 AM
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I considered poker chips before I considered doing Casascius Coins... my problem was that I couldn't strike a good balance between price, quality, and function (I wanted them to have real BTC value).  But I have never done chips before so I was starting with an average hand.

I own some of your coins, and I think they're wonderful! I've shown them off at conferences I've attended. Yes, actually giving them durable BTC value is a problem— and not one I'm really anxious to try to solve. But as a form of educational outreach, I think they might go over pretty well.
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September 29, 2012, 01:31:20 AM
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I considered poker chips before I considered doing Casascius Coins... my problem was that I couldn't strike a good balance between price, quality, and function (I wanted them to have real BTC value).  But I have never done chips before so I was starting with an average hand.

I own some of your coins, and I think they're wonderful! I've shown them off at conferences I've attended. Yes, actually giving them durable BTC value is a problem— and not one I'm really anxious to try to solve. But as a form of educational outreach, I think they might go over pretty well.

If you want to print something that will really sell a ton quickly, now is the time of year to go order some custom chocolate coins and sell the shiz out of them.  You know, for Hanukkah and all.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper or hardware wallets instead.
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September 29, 2012, 01:32:08 AM
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Being poker chips, do they really need stored value?  Normal casino chips aren't actually worth dollars anywhere but the casino that issued them.

I like the fractional coins. They look really nice.

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September 29, 2012, 01:33:57 AM
 #6

I like the fractional coins. They look really nice.

+1

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper or hardware wallets instead.
ironwolf
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September 29, 2012, 01:41:20 AM
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Being poker chips, do they really need stored value?  Normal casino chips aren't actually worth dollars anywhere but the casino that issued them.

Yes, one of the defining aspects of poker chips is that they aren't normally considered valuable (except perhaps by collectors) outside of a particular venue— people expect them to be "play money" that is nonetheless imbued with redeemability during the game. Hence bitcoin-denominated chips can help get people used to the value of bitcoin.

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I like the fractional coins. They look really nice.

Thank you!
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September 29, 2012, 02:03:50 AM
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"Actual physical bitcoins" might make a good accompaniment for them, so at the end of the evening whoever won the most could be awarded an actual good-anywhere coin as a trophy. Which they could always bring back next week to give others a chance to win back from them etc.

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September 29, 2012, 02:08:02 AM
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One big drawback is once the novelty has worn off, they will be equivalent to regular poker chips that simply have a decorative bitcoin symbol on them, because that's what they are.  What denominates a chip is what the house says it is, so the printed BTC will serve no functional purpose.

Simple printed denominations can be very useful. No need to decide each time what each color will mean, even if your house game has a standard it is easier for new players to not have to ask to make sure they aren't making a mistake or getting ripped off. Plus in this case it 'enforces' the bitcoin standard and keeps it from slipping back into a dollar game which is a risk before everyone is used to needing to bring bitcoins.


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September 29, 2012, 02:11:21 AM
 #10

I think I'd want 1BTC to be my highest denomination. Powers of 10 are a bit far spaced. Quarters?

About how much for a 500 piece set?

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September 29, 2012, 02:15:07 AM
Last edit: September 29, 2012, 02:31:02 AM by ironwolf
 #11

One big drawback is once the novelty has worn off, they will be equivalent to regular poker chips that simply have a decorative bitcoin symbol on them, because that's what they are.  What denominates a chip is what the house says it is, so the printed BTC will serve no functional purpose.

The purpose of a poker chip is not to store value as much as it is to make it easy to handle value temporarily in the context of a game. That is why most people don't play poker with physical cash— it's damned inconvenient even though most people show up to a poker game with physical cash in hand. Once the game is over and the chips are put away, they no longer are considered to store value. Thus, I no more worry about my poker chips being stolen, regardless of what's printed on them, than I worry about my Monopoly money being stolen— that is actually a great convenience when dealing with the sums of money that are exchanged in some poker games.

And, the BTC serves the exact same purpose as a $: to help players keep track of what's going on in the game. Unfortunately, poker chips, even ones with no currency symbol on them, don't go down into sub-unit fractions. I suppose you could imagine that every chip has a value that is is actually the reciprocal of what's printed on it, but that poses its own problems.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the day when issuing milli-bitcoin, and eventually micro-bitcoin -denominated poker chips makes sense!
ironwolf
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September 29, 2012, 02:26:50 AM
 #12

I think I'd want 1BTC to be my highest denomination.

Personally I doubt I'd ever use the BTC10 either, but some people are high-rollers, or may just want them as collectibles.

Quote
Powers of 10 are a bit far spaced. Quarters?

I thought of that, but I'm reluctant to design quarters between every power of 10, especially with the price of bitcoin still so volatile. If these first chips are sought after and there's demand for quarters in a particular range, then I'll no doubt offer them.

Quote
About how much for a 500 piece set?

Still determining my manufacturing sources right now, so I'll make an announcement here when I've got that in hand.
ironwolf
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September 29, 2012, 02:45:20 AM
 #13

"Actual physical bitcoins" might make a good accompaniment for them, so at the end of the evening whoever won the most could be awarded an actual good-anywhere coin as a trophy. Which they could always bring back next week to give others a chance to win back from them etc.

I agree! It would also be cool to give players at my games the option to purchase some of Mike's physical bitcoins with their winnings. The remainder would go straight to their wallet address.
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September 29, 2012, 02:53:46 AM
 #14

If you make 'em, I'm likely to buy a set.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper or hardware wallets instead.
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September 29, 2012, 05:05:24 AM
 #15

I think I'd want 1BTC to be my highest denomination.

Personally I doubt I'd ever use the BTC10 either, but some people are high-rollers, or may just want them as collectibles.

Quote
Powers of 10 are a bit far spaced. Quarters?

I thought of that, but I'm reluctant to design quarters between every power of 10, especially with the price of bitcoin still so volatile. If these first chips are sought after and there's demand for quarters in a particular range, then I'll no doubt offer them.

Quote
About how much for a 500 piece set?

Still determining my manufacturing sources right now, so I'll make an announcement here when I've got that in hand.

Cool, keep us updated.

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September 29, 2012, 07:47:15 AM
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The're nice. I'd order a set as long as the price's reasonable. And I don't even play poker Smiley
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October 01, 2012, 12:27:19 PM
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I believe the are calling 1/100 BTC a bitcent. 1/1000 is a mBTC.

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October 01, 2012, 02:59:34 PM
 #18

I think these are great! If you have a poker night you and your friends could play with these chips, then cash out at the end of the night via smartphone.

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October 01, 2012, 05:55:31 PM
 #19

I believe the are calling 1/100 BTC a bitcent. 1/1000 is a mBTC.

I know, but I deliberately chose the more formal "ONE HUNDREDTH" for that denomination. For even smaller denominations I would probably use something like "ONE MILLI", "ONE TENTH MILLI", and "ONE HUNDREDTH MILLI" and finally "ONE MICRO".
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October 13, 2016, 04:31:37 AM
 #20

I've been thinking of putting my regular home poker game on the "bitcoin standard", and thought that it might be fun to make a set of real-world, bitcoin-denominated poker chips. Below you see my design for the chips I'm thinking of making. They will be casino-quality, 10g ceramic, 39mmx3mm chips.



The denominations I've chosen are those I think would be most useful for home games. It's interesting to note that, since bitcoin is likely to deflate over time, then chips that will be issued later will be for tinier fractions of the monetary unit.

I was wondering whether anyone else might be interested in purchasing a set of such chips from me for their own games? (I would, of course, accept payment in BTC.)



So who's still interested in this topic?  We may soon have something that you all may like!  Smiley

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