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Question: Why do People Buy Casascius coins-thinking they're cool, or thinking about their value in the future.
Casascius coins are bought mostly because they're "cool" - 57 (81.4%)
Casascius coins are bought because people are thinking about value in the future? BTW, I mean non-bitcoin value, but a blank coin simply as a novelty? - 13 (18.6%)
Total Voters: 70

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Author Topic: The "Casascius Factor"  (Read 2579 times)
johnniewalker
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April 02, 2013, 09:00:22 AM
 #1

Casascius coins are sold above their value in terms of bitcoins. Why would someone pay this premium-its Cool or they're thinking about how even as  redeemed it would be worth more money. If that is the case (to SOME extent it is), why don't people start hoarding blank Casascius coins? Anyways, sorry, my question is this:
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Gerco
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April 02, 2013, 02:35:57 PM
 #2

I bought them for several reasons:

1. Because they are a cool novelty item;
2. Good conversation starter;
3. They make great gifts to geeks;
4. I use a bunch of blank ones to give my 7yo daughter her allowance. Saves me from having to keep a stack of single $ around;
5. In the hope that, one day, I'll be able to flip one over to a realtor to buy a house and triumphantly say "Keep the change".

On other words, Yes to all of your options Smiley

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boscorocks
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April 02, 2013, 09:18:04 PM
 #3

Casascius coins are sold above their value in terms of bitcoins. Why would someone pay this premium-its Cool or they're thinking about how even as  redeemed it would be worth more money. If that is the case (to SOME extent it is), why don't people start hoarding blank Casascius coins? Anyways, sorry, my question is this:

I love Bitcoin and I love coins, they are the best of both worlds!
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April 02, 2013, 10:33:55 PM
 #4

I bought my Casascius coins as in investment. At the time I hadn't grasped deflation.
All things being equal, it seemed like I would be supporting the BTC economy by buying them with the coins I had mined. 

Looking back, each Casascius Bitcoin coins cost over 2BTC. While I have a part of history, when BTC hit $120, per Bitcoin I very much doubt I'll see that return on the physical coin.

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johnniewalker
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April 03, 2013, 01:46:41 AM
 #5

Of course we won't see returns in multiples. Nobody wants a piece of brass that much, no matter whats on it. But I believe Casascius coins will always carry a nice premium. Think of it like silver shot (which is just raw silver in small, pellet form) vs. a proof Silver Eagle. Essentially they have the same value, but one is more aesthetically and otherwise pleasing, so people are willing to pay more for it.
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April 03, 2013, 02:05:48 AM
 #6

I bought them for several reasons:

1. Because they are a cool novelty item;
2. Good conversation starter;
3. They make great gifts to geeks;
4. I use a bunch of blank ones to give my 7yo daughter her allowance. Saves me from having to keep a stack of single $ around;
5. In the hope that, one day, I'll be able to flip one over to a realtor to buy a house and triumphantly say "Keep the change".

On other words, Yes to all of your options Smiley

+1

I think your poll lacks of options :-)

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April 03, 2013, 02:30:19 AM
 #7

Of course we won't see returns in multiples. Nobody wants a piece of brass that much, no matter whats on it. But I believe Casascius coins will always carry a nice premium. Think of it like silver shot (which is just raw silver in small, pellet form) vs. a proof Silver Eagle. Essentially they have the same value, but one is more aesthetically and otherwise pleasing, so people are willing to pay more for it.

Sure, it is nice, in hindsight the nice premium, is not worth 1.29BTC exstra.

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byronbb
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April 03, 2013, 08:05:43 AM
 #8

Bought mine as a novelty and one for the gf because it was an easy way for her to "have" a coin.

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April 04, 2013, 10:16:20 AM
 #9

I got a coin as it was shiny and looked like a currency off a sci-fi series.  Grin
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April 04, 2013, 10:59:02 AM
 #10

There are already lots of people who collect coins.

Why not the "coins" of Bitcoin as well?

Once Bitcoin becomes mainstream collectors will want these coins, too.

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April 04, 2013, 11:07:37 AM
 #11

I bought my Casascius coins because:

    1. Secure off-line paper-wallet equivalent; cant be accessed over a network and I can put them in multiple locations.
    2. I can give them to less technical friends/family.
    3. Their value may be greater than face value in future.
    4. I'm starting to trust bitcoin more than centralised banking as a place to store my money.
    5. I collect weird currencies.

I've deliberately put half my bitcoins into Mike's coins for the above reasons. I would advise anyone to keep 50% of their coins off-line and if possible split into multiple sub set locations/devices for both on-line and off-line coins.

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stephwen
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April 04, 2013, 01:13:34 PM
 #12

I bought my Casascius coins because:

    1. Secure off-line paper-wallet equivalent; cant be accessed over a network and I can put them in multiple locations.
    2. I can give them to less technical friends/family.
    3. Their value may be greater than face value in future.
    4. I'm starting to trust bitcoin more than centralised banking as a place to store my money.
    5. I collect weird currencies.

I've deliberately put half my bitcoins into Mike's coins for the above reasons. I would advise anyone to keep 50% of their coins off-line and if possible split into multiple sub set locations/devices for both on-line and off-line coins.
Doesn't Mike know the private key to all casascius coins he produced?
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April 05, 2013, 12:11:57 AM
 #13

Doesn't Mike know the private key to all casascius coins he produced?
His statement of controls says that he doesn't, we take his word for it.

Is it possible that he kept a copy of all private keys? Sure, but as he explains on his website: He can easily be held legally accountable. Whether the current legal system will do anything? I don't know, but he didn't make it very easy for himself to hide if he misbehaves.

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April 05, 2013, 12:54:40 AM
 #14

When I was considering buying Casascius coins, it was basically because I saw them as a negotiable, easily-verifiable instrument for transferring BTC in the real world. If I wanted to tip someone in BTC, or buy a burrito, or whatever, it would make it easier than asking them to set up a wallet and so forth; I could treat it like money, and the hologram and Mike's reputation would back up that it could be redeemed if the payee so desired.

These days, when a 1BTC Casascius coin has a higher face value than the biggest US bills, that's less feasible than it once was.
Doesn't Mike know the private key to all casascius coins he produced?
His statement of controls says that he doesn't, we take his word for it.

Is it possible that he kept a copy of all private keys? Sure, but as he explains on his website: He can easily be held legally accountable. Whether the current legal system will do anything? I don't know, but he didn't make it very easy for himself to hide if he misbehaves.

My confidence in Casascius coins stems from this line of thinking:

For Mike to steal the reserve balances of his coins, it would be necessary that he have been planning to do so from the beginning, without any changes of heart along the way.

If he was trustworthy at the beginning, he didn't save the private keys and no matter how much he might want to steal the reserve today, he has already lost the power.

If he was untrustworthy (intending to steal) at the beginning, but had a change of heart at any time, he would have deleted the private keys, and similarly be unable to steal the reserve today.

That leaves the case that he's untrustworthy, and has always been so, and is waiting for the right moment to steal the reserve. Today, 1BTC is worth over $100, and there are about 30000 BTC stored in Casascius instruments. In other words, over 3 million dollars in BTC. If Mike intends to steal the reserve, why hasn't he done it yet?

If there is something that will make Bitcoin succeed, it is growth of utility - greater quantity and variety of goods and services offered for BTC. If there is something that will make Bitcoin fail, it is the prevalence of users convinced that BTC is a magic box that will turn them into millionaires, and of the con-artists who have followed them here to devour them.
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April 05, 2013, 06:27:52 AM
 #15

is phys coins    similar   to a paper wallet  or cold storage
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April 05, 2013, 09:38:52 AM
 #16

I would think that for many (physical) coin collectors Casascius Coins are perceived as a significant item of future numismatic history.

In addition they are scarce.

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April 05, 2013, 11:14:11 AM
 #17

Isn't it possible to give him an encrypted private key? Didn't he release some software that allows you to do this securely?


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April 05, 2013, 04:15:14 PM
 #18

I bought my Casascius coins because:

    1. Secure off-line paper-wallet equivalent; cant be accessed over a network and I can put them in multiple locations.
    2. I can give them to less technical friends/family.
    3. Their value may be greater than face value in future.
    4. I'm starting to trust bitcoin more than centralised banking as a place to store my money.
    5. I collect weird currencies.

I've deliberately put half my bitcoins into Mike's coins for the above reasons. I would advise anyone to keep 50% of their coins off-line and if possible split into multiple sub set locations/devices for both on-line and off-line coins.
Doesn't Mike know the private key to all casascius coins he produced?

He could do, but I know where he lives and the addressees of his businesses which he has willingly given me as a customer. I trust mike to do as he says and destroy all the codes in my coins post production.

IMO it would be more effort and less profitable in the long term to scam people than to simply keep making physical coins and/or franchising his physical coin business.

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April 05, 2013, 06:10:26 PM
 #19

is phys coins    similar   to a paper wallet  or cold storage
Similar, but not exactly the same.

Generally, a paper wallet is something you keep in a safe, because it's just a public-private keypair and anyone who sees the wallet can cash it in. The point of Casascius coins are to be a negotiable instrument, where anyone can check the public key (verify that the underlying BTC exists), but the private key (necessary to "spend" the underlying BTC) can be obtained only by destroying the instrument. So, theoretically, people can pass around Casascius coins, and be confident that, since the hologram is intact, at any time they could transform it into a paper wallet and cash it in for BTC if they wanted.

If there is something that will make Bitcoin succeed, it is growth of utility - greater quantity and variety of goods and services offered for BTC. If there is something that will make Bitcoin fail, it is the prevalence of users convinced that BTC is a magic box that will turn them into millionaires, and of the con-artists who have followed them here to devour them.
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