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Author Topic: ANN: 100mBTC (0.1 BTC) physical coins + 5 free coins naming competition  (Read 11070 times)
P4man
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April 22, 2013, 09:07:46 AM
 #1

HI all,

Im happy to (pre) announce that in about 2 months I intend to start selling 100mBTC physical bitcoins. Im about to place the orders for the minting and the hologram design will be finalized in the next weeks.  Im posting this here to make you aware and gather some feedback before I pull the trigger.

These coins will be made in beautiful  bi-metal, just like 1 and 2 euro coins and be a bit thicker and heavier than Casascius coins. This is the almost final design of the front:



Feedback is welcome, but its unlikely I will change a lot.

The back will use the same principle as Casascius, with a fully custom tamper proof holographic adhesive covering the private key, while a window on the hologram will reveal the public key, possibly as QR code.

The reason I decided to go ahead with this is not so much to give casascius competition (I have the greatest respect for him and I am the proud owner of a fair number of his coins), its just that I used to hand out 1BTC coins as freebees, but at the current price, even Casascius new 500mBTC coins are rather expensive conversation starters.

Initially I planned to make these coins as cheaply as possible; using cheap aluminum and stock hologram seals with only a lasered public key on the holograph, but it would make counterfitting just too easy. Since most of the costs are NRE and the per coin price is rather low, I figured it should be possible to sell enough to enable beautiful and secure (*) coins that are still affordable enough to hand out. The NRE to mint the coins and produce the hologram is quite substantial, so I have yet to decide on pricing, but Im aiming for as close to face value as possible, particularly for large orders I hope to get the price (excl bitcoin value) in the single digit euro range. This wont make me rich, but for now Ill be happy to just recover the investment.

(*) About security; Ive looked at this from all angles, Ive considered doing 2 factor, but in the end Ive come to the same conclusion as Mike: its just not feasible for small denominations. So buyers will have to trust me that I dont keep copies of the private key and I wont steal their coins. Im banking on the reputation I hope to have among many here that used to trust me with their hashrate, and hoping the smaller denomination and small markup price - making it more likely they will actually be redeemed-,  will make that pill easier to swallow.

I intend to sell these coins directly for BTC but also for a higher premium through ebay and bitmit. On ebay these coins will also be sold for paypal; but will ship without BTC value until the buyer confirms reception. I hope that will provide me with sufficient protection against charge backs. Any knowledgeable feedback on this would be appreciated.

One thing I havent decided upon is a name. I still have a company that my brother and I registered a few decades ago  which was called Foresee. We will likely put this bitcoin business under that legal umbrella, so using that name is one option. But if you have any better suggestions, please PM me your suggestion. If I decide to use your name, I will gladly send you 5 free 100mBTC coins as thank you. Submissions should be sent within a week from now.

I will probably do formal preorders later, once I have a firm shipping date,  but to get a feel for the volume and amount of (dis)trust I have among forum members here, I would also appreciate if you posted a non binding "preorder" below indicating how many coins, if any, you would be willing to buy. Doing so will entitle you to a small discount once these coins  go for sale provided you actually do place the order.

Cheers,

P4

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MoonShad0w384
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April 22, 2013, 03:05:20 PM
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This is a great idea, and I'd buy 10 or so. It would also be nice to eventually see other denominations such as 50, 200 and 500 mBTC.

One downside of the holograms on casascius coins is that they're much less tolerant of the general handling and abuse that comes from being carried around in pockets and stuff, but I suppose there's not really much that can be done about that. Maybe have the hologram sticker recessed into the coin by a small amount (the thickness of the sticker) if it's not impractical.

Would faint latitude/longitude lines on the world map look good? What's the deal with the people around the edge? What will the other side look like? Reeded edge or plain?
P4man
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April 22, 2013, 03:43:30 PM
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This is a great idea, and I'd buy 10 or so. It would also be nice to eventually see other denominations such as 50, 200 and 500 mBTC.

edit: nvm, brainfart

I may do other denominations later. The most expensive is the hologram, single metal coins are actually quite cheap. But lets see if I can break even with these coins first before I sink even more money in it.

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One downside of the holograms on casascius coins is that they're much less tolerant of the general handling and abuse that comes from being carried around in pockets and stuff, but I suppose there's not really much that can be done about that. Maybe have the hologram sticker recessed into the coin by a small amount (the thickness of the sticker) if it's not impractical.

Casascius coins already do that, and so will I. TBH, those holograms seem fairly sturdy to me, I have yet to damage one by accident. I dont have a final design for it yet though, since I dont even have a name Smiley. But it will look good Smiley. Lead time for the coins is a lot longer than the holograms, so I still have some time.

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Would faint latitude/longitude lines on the world map look good? What's the deal with the people around the edge? What will the other side look like? Reeded edge or plain?

Backside will have an edge so the hologram sinks in a bit.
The symbolism of the people seemed rather obvious to me? Around the globe people exchange bitcoins directly, p2p. THey are connected by small dotted lines. I think thats busy enough without lat/lon lines.

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April 22, 2013, 03:46:23 PM
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The symbolism of the lines and the people wasn't immediately apparent to me, but I guess it works.

As for a name, why not just P4coins?
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April 22, 2013, 05:06:41 PM
 #5

Very nice design, I've always liked bi-metal coins. I would also like to put a pre-order on 5 coins, and maybe a few "broken" coins. Cool

Name suggestions:

Sector Coin
Chunk Coin
Bitecoin
Bytecoin
BitPart
Bit Segment
Bitstake
Quantumbit
Slice

Good luck with your project, I look forward to the final product!

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April 22, 2013, 05:38:11 PM
 #6

I actually posted elsewhere that no one would challenge the Casascius brand, anytime soon. Looks like i may have to retract that at some stage!

I like 'Physcoin', and 'Bloccoin'

I would order 10.
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April 22, 2013, 05:39:35 PM
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"Phycoin" rolls off the tongue better than "Physcoin". That just sounds like fizz coin.
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April 22, 2013, 05:56:52 PM
 #8

I intend to sell these coins directly for BTC but also for a higher premium through ebay and bitmit. On ebay these coins will also be sold for paypal; but will ship without BTC value until the buyer confirms reception. I hope that will provide me with sufficient protection against charge backs. Any knowledgeable feedback on this would be appreciated.

Just a thought. I understand why you would want to do this but you may want to consider the implications of your coins being "in the wild" with no assigned value. How can anyone trust your coin if there's a possibility it is not worth anything? I know it would be possible to check the public key but that's probably not a good expectation. You might just be best off assuming that you're going to lose some here and there.

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April 22, 2013, 05:59:52 PM
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"Phycoin" rolls off the tongue better than "Physcoin". That just sounds like fizz coin.

And the more i say it out loud, the more i like it.....
 
"Ere Dave, you gotta couple of Phys, mate?" or "Thank you sir, thats 2 Physcoin change. Have a nice day".


Edit: How about 'Crypts' ?

P4man
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April 22, 2013, 06:01:16 PM
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I actually posted elsewhere that no one would challenge the Casascius brand, anytime soon. Looks like i may have to retract that at some stage!

Im not sure I see it as challenging casascius. Im aiming for the small denominations which he seems to be avoiding. If casascus was still selling <20 euro/dollar coins I wouldnt have started this, and just ordered them from him. Similarly I have no plans to produce any of the big denomination gold/silver coins and bars that he sells. I just want something again that looks neat, yet is cheap enough so people can give it away without thinking too hard about it.

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April 22, 2013, 06:04:09 PM
 #11

Name suggestion: Decypher or Decipher. From Deci for 1/10th and cypher for the crypto aspect.

And don't worry about Casascius. Competition is good. He'll be fine.

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P4man
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April 22, 2013, 06:10:12 PM
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Just a thought. I understand why you would want to do this but you may want to consider the implications of your coins being "in the wild" with no assigned value. How can anyone trust your coin if there's a possibility it is not worth anything? I know it would be possible to check the public key but that's probably not a good expectation. You might just be best off assuming that you're going to lose some here and there.

As you mention; you can check the value easily using the pub key. I also dont see why someone would pay full price and not claim his bitcoins. The only reason I can think off is fraud, like claiming the coins were lost in the mail, but if I send by registered mail thats going to be pointless. If I simply never receive any reply, I might also just charge the coin after the paypal charge back period has expired.

Lastly, if for some reason other than fraud someone would end up owning a genuine coin thats unopened but without bitcoin value, or one that is open but on which address there never has been stored any bitcoins, it stands to reason I will back its value.

P4man
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April 22, 2013, 06:12:25 PM
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"Phycoin" rolls off the tongue better than "Physcoin". That just sounds like fizz coin.

Whats wrong with fizz coin? I actually like that.

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April 22, 2013, 06:23:56 PM
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"Phycoin" rolls off the tongue better than "Physcoin". That just sounds like fizz coin.

Whats wrong with fizz coin? I actually like that.

Depends what the perception would be when you look at the coin, between 'Phys' or 'Fizz', i guess.
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April 22, 2013, 07:12:31 PM
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As you mention; you can check the value easily using the pub key. I also dont see why someone would pay full price and not claim his bitcoins. The only reason I can think off is fraud, like claiming the coins were lost in the mail, but if I send by registered mail thats going to be pointless. If I simply never receive any reply, I might also just charge the coin after the paypal charge back period has expired.

Lastly, if for some reason other than fraud someone would end up owning a genuine coin thats unopened but without bitcoin value, or one that is open but on which address there never has been stored any bitcoins, it stands to reason I will back its value.

If I can easily check the value of the public key, I can probably also easily use my wallet to pay. The scam I'm thinking of is this: Someone orders your coins, reverses the paypal then spends the empty coins as if they were fully charged. Unless someone checks the public key on the spot, they likely end up with an empty coin, potentially damaging your brand.

As to you standing behind the coin, I don't have much issue with you having had access to the private key but even with the best of intentions, I'm not sure how I'd feel about you standing behind them. Shit happens.

The simplest way to state the issue is that if I am handed a coin and the hologram is intact, I should feel 100% confident that I am holding a wallet that contains 0.1 bitcoin. If I have to worry about checking public keys or paypal abuse or whether you are still in business/alive, the value and point of the coins is diminished IMO.

Thinking about it, I think this may be a point Casascius hisself made to me when I made a similar suggestion to what your plan is.

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P4man
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April 22, 2013, 07:43:34 PM
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If I can easily check the value of the public key, I can probably also easily use my wallet to pay.

I cant think of too many scenarios right now where that wouldnt be the case. Lets be honest, these coins are rarely if ever used to buy something (offline). They are used to store bitcoins offline, as presents, as collectible, or as a way to obtain bitcoins using paypal, but not as currency.

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The scam I'm thinking of is this: Someone orders your coins, reverses the paypal then spends the empty coins as if they were fully charged. Unless someone checks the public key on the spot, they likely end up with an empty coin, potentially damaging your brand.

Yeah I can see that, but the trust issue already exists anyway, after all, the buyer has to trust me. So who is going to buy second hand coins and not quickly check the pub key? If its an online sale, thats typically already done for casascius coins too. Just demand a picture with the key and check its value, and/or use escrow (you might as well receive an open coin too). If its an offline sale, well, you would know that person.

Moreover, Im not sure how easy it would be to do a charge back if I send the coins with registered mail. And if I got my money, there is no reason I wouldnt back the coin regardless of who owns it.

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As to you standing behind the coin, I don't have much issue with you having had access to the private key but even with the best of intentions, I'm not sure how I'd feel about you standing behind them. Shit happens.

The simplest way to state the issue is that if I am handed a coin and the hologram is intact, I should feel 100% confident that I am holding a wallet that contains 0.1 bitcoin. If I have to worry about checking public keys or paypal abuse or whether you are still in business/alive, the value and point of the coins is diminished IMO.

I dont think that outweighs the downsides of sending only preloaded coins, and therefore being practically unable to sell them for paypal. As a buyer you already have to worry about me anyway. If you dont want to worry about anything or anyone else; either buy them from me, or check the pub key.

Anyway, I may change my mind on this if this is a wider concern, its just that I expect ebay to be a pretty big market for this and given the relatively small denomination, its not going to be a very profitable scam. Ill think twice before accepting large orders for paypal.

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April 22, 2013, 07:49:58 PM
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I dont think that outweighs the downsides of sending only preloaded coins, and therefore being practically unable to sell them for paypal. As a buyer you already have to worry about me anyway. If you dont want to worry about anything or anyone else; either buy them from me, or check the pub key.

Anyway, I may change my mind on this if this is a wider concern, its just that I expect ebay to be a pretty big market for this and given the relatively small denomination, its not going to be a very profitable scam. Ill think twice before accepting large orders for paypal.


Sure. It's just my opinion and I stand by it. But I'm just one person so it would be nice if others weighed in. And, in the end, it's your decision anyway.

FWIW, I haven't checked my Casascius coin other than that the hologram was intact. Perhaps that's just me being naive though.

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April 22, 2013, 08:12:44 PM
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I like the name hardcoin.
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April 22, 2013, 08:36:21 PM
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I like the name hardcoin too.

Also, theres really no need to take paypal. Most people who would want the physical coins would already have some crypto currency.

Alternately, if you wanted, you might be able to work with bitinstant, and receive cash transfers through moneygram for orders over a certain amount. Then you get the funds almost immediately, and they can't be reversed.

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April 22, 2013, 08:58:10 PM
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I like the name hardcoin too.

Hardcoin isnt bad. Duly noted.

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Also, theres really no need to take paypal. Most people who would want the physical coins would already have some crypto currency.

Im not convinced of that. Most people posting here, yes, but I think there is a sizable market for ebayers who just want to buy with paypal without going through the hassle of setting up wallet or using exchanges. Its more or less what Im betting on anyway as I doubt I will get the necessary volume from this forum or bitmit alone.

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Alternately, if you wanted, you might be able to work with bitinstant, and receive cash transfers through moneygram for orders over a certain amount. Then you get the funds almost immediately, and they can't be reversed.

Thats an idea.
But perhaps I have a better one; what if I were to make paypal purchased, not preloaded coins distinguishable from preloaded ones? I will check with my supplier regarding cost, but I know he is able to print (/laser) colored text on top of the hologram, which is typically used for serial numbers or to customize off the shelve designs. So I could add "preloaded, value guaranteed if unopened" on one batch and  "check public key before accepting" or something like that on another batch.  Would that work? If the cost is too steep I might just use lightly colored paper for the pub key to distinguish them, though obviously Id prefer it to be more clear.

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