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Author Topic: My take on a Bitcoin "Coin"  (Read 2666 times)
Phraust
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July 15, 2011, 05:19:16 PM
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I've been working on and off for the last month or so on this idea of a Bitcoin "coin".  What I really wanted was something that had some weight in my hands, that could be used as something more than just a trinket.

For this test run, I've encoded my bitcoin address into the coin on both the edge (as a barcode), and on the back (as a qr code).  My general idea was to get these printed & polished in various metals (stainless/silver), and offer customized versions for people wanting to buy them.

The insets (like the qr code on the back, and the bitcoin symbol and stars on the front) will be filled with paint, so they have a nice contrast (and hopefully legibility by cellphone camera for the qr code).

Finally got off my ass and finished up the model last weekend, and they are now in production (estimated delivery July 28).  This test run will have stainless steel, ultrahigh resolution frosted plastic, and transparent detail).  Will post pics as soon as they come in, as well as pics of the finishing process.

Shapeways Link here: http://shpws.me/2s9G


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SgtSpike
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July 15, 2011, 05:21:22 PM
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The barcoded edge is kind of useless, but cool nontheless.  Not bad though!
Phraust
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July 15, 2011, 05:23:50 PM
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The barcoded edge is kind of useless, but cool nontheless.  Not bad though!

My idea was that since the barcode is embossed around the rim, you could "roll" it on a piece of paper and leave a scannable barcode (like a stamp).

It'll be interesting to see if this will actually work in practice though... XD
BitcoinPorn
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July 15, 2011, 05:25:14 PM
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Ah the evolution of a digital coin into the real world.





I like the idea of that barcode edge.  Crazy creative.  It makes the coin look aesthetically horrible, but fuck it.

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July 15, 2011, 05:27:16 PM
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The barcoded edge is kind of useless, but cool nontheless.  Not bad though!

My idea was that since the barcode is embossed around the rim, you could "roll" it on a piece of paper and leave a scannable barcode (like a stamp).

It'll be interesting to see if this will actually work in practice though... XD
That's friggin awesome - I didn't even think of rolling the coin edge!
Niann
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July 15, 2011, 05:27:31 PM
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The idea of printing a bitcoin defeats the entire purpose Tongue

Trinkets would be nice though.
Phraust
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July 15, 2011, 05:32:03 PM
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The idea of printing a bitcoin defeats the entire purpose Tongue

Trinkets would be nice though.

I'm very leery about trying to embed any value within a printed bitcoin.  Seems back-asswards to me.  That's why I figured embedding one of these huge, human-unreadable address into something thats much easier to use (barcode, qr code), that can be personlaized, might have some value.

On a side note, I also think that printing it out of valuable metals seems baack-assward as well.  I think to adhere to the "feeling" of bitcoin, the transparent detail with insets filled in black would be the most appropriate.  But I like bling, and it'd be nicer to show off.

Still a work in progress though.  Wish it would get here faster!
Niann
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July 15, 2011, 05:38:11 PM
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Don't get me wrong, it is a very good job.
The idea of a "portable" bitcoin is interesting, but it's gonna require
the development of a new kind of hardware "a virtual wallet card" if you will.
There is a lot of room to expand on that, and your idea is somewhat interesting.

But I think a card or something like that would be better.

Cheers mate.
Phraust
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July 15, 2011, 05:55:36 PM
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Don't get me wrong, it is a very good job.
The idea of a "portable" bitcoin is interesting, but it's gonna require
the development of a new kind of hardware "a virtual wallet card" if you will.
There is a lot of room to expand on that, and your idea is somewhat interesting.

But I think a card or something like that would be better.

Cheers mate.

Thanks man, I appreciate any feedback I can get!
JackbeQuick
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July 15, 2011, 08:55:11 PM
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@OP

I think people like you are the reason bitcoin will succeed.  Love the creativity! Keep it up!
FreeBitcoins.org
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July 15, 2011, 09:35:50 PM
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Crazy idea! Excited to see how it turns out...

www.FreeBitcoins.org - earn free bitcoins doing surveys and other offers Smiley
Telsin
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July 15, 2011, 11:37:33 PM
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Don't get me wrong, it is a very good job.
The idea of a "portable" bitcoin is interesting, but it's gonna require
the development of a new kind of hardware "a virtual wallet card" if you will.
There is a lot of room to expand on that, and your idea is somewhat interesting.

But I think a card or something like that would be better.

Cheers mate.

I like the idea of the easy carry address shortener. And if the QR can be read by a cell phone, it doesn't even need to have a bitcoin client, it's just a easy way to carry one of the long addresses around. I'd think about picking one up for fun Smiley

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Phraust
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July 16, 2011, 01:32:10 AM
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I like the idea of the easy carry address shortener. And if the QR can be read by a cell phone, it doesn't even need to have a bitcoin client, it's just a easy way to carry one of the long addresses around. I'd think about picking one up for fun Smiley

Totally what I was going for.  When I started thinking about trying to embed some kind of inherent value into the coin itself, it turned into an issue of creating a back end to secure transactions, which at this point is out of my scope.

But as a method to easily call up an address at which I can get paid, really works.  The barcode on the edge was an afterthought.  Should I ever need to sign something with an address, I could easily see pulling the coin out, rolling the edge, and "signing" it.
Phraust
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September 06, 2011, 07:44:04 PM
 #14

Well, after an unusually long delay from Shapeways (who finally delivered is while I was away on a three week vacation), I can finally post these guys:

Stainless Steel / Brass




Frosted Ultra Detail




The clear ultra detail was printed as well, but looks just like the FUD in the pictures.  There is a noticeable difference in detail between the three, FUD coming out on top (even preserving the barcode around the rim exceptionally well).  I also had to dig out some of the polishing sand they used on the stainless steel, but I'm glad to announce that the QR Code is scannable (on an iPhone4).  Need to try the edge barcodes next...

I'm totally stoked on how these came out, and will be posting more photos as I run them through the finishing process.  Cheesy
BitcoinPorn
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September 06, 2011, 08:14:05 PM
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So bad ass!   Glad to see this thread bumped and progress made

Phraust
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September 06, 2011, 08:18:35 PM
 #16

Polishing up the stainless one right now. Smiley  need to get a smaller dia. syringe to fill the paint in the qr code. Sad
Gustavofring
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September 07, 2011, 03:47:26 AM
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Looks awesome and I'm looking forward to the result. How much did the test models end up costing you? I've been looking for a company to make some brass models of some figures (I dabble in being an artist in my free time) but they all seem to want a minimum run.

This can't be our dog. Our dog is a talking dog
Phraust
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September 07, 2011, 04:51:12 AM
 #18

If you are modeling in some kind of CAD program (I use Rhino3d), you can normally size them and pull a volume from the model.  Here are the prices from Shapeways.com:

http://www.shapeways.com/materials/

The coin I produced (4cm dia, 4mm thickness, stainless steel w/ bronze) cost $30.90, not including shipping (frosted ultra detail @ $15.78 / transparent detail @ $8.56).  If your order is above something like $35, then you get shipping for free.  They have other materials as well, and I'd love to make some of these up in silver (.2mm resolution, similar to the frosted ultra detail), but at something like $80 each, I dunno if it'll be worth it.  Besides, I'm kinda keen on the coin itself representing the opposite of what normal currency does; value.  A quickly made and cheap coin embodies bitcoin a little better (in my mind) than a heavy, gold or silver coin.

Ponoko has similar 3d printing capabilities, but also provides laser cutting and cnc routing on tons of other materials (plastic, leather, steel, wood, etc).  They also have tons of electrical components and other hardware as well. You can find them here:

http://www.ponoko.com

So far I've only dabbled in the 3d printing aspect (both shapeways and ponoko (white strong, glass, sandstone, steel, and whatever zcorp uses), though I am working on some cnc routed plywood for an upcoming project (ponoko).

I'd be glad to answer any questions about the design processes.
Phraust
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September 09, 2011, 01:32:30 AM
 #19

Did some rough polishing and some quick paint fill on the stainless/brass bitcoins...





So far I'm thinking the diameter of the coins looks good (40mm), and the thickness has a good weight, but the detail needs to be worked on.  I'll be re-doing the starburst pattern on the front (or maybe using something different), and instead of the binary around the rim in negative, ill do it in positive.  Tweaking some of the thicknesses will also let me bring more detail to the coin as well, since the polishing brought it down by about .25mm on each side.  Also, I think that increasing the size of the QR code will make for a cleaner pattern (even though this one is machine-readable).

**Some of the "fuzzy" looking areas in the QR code are just dusty, from the sanding & polishing**

In FUD it's amazing the level of detail there is, but the barcode around the edge is fragile.  I'll need to re-work the thicknesses and height on that part to ensure it can hold up.  
ymgve
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September 09, 2011, 07:40:13 AM
 #20

How are you going to solve the problem that everyone in possession of the coin could "empty" it, leaving it useless? Unless the QR code is the public key, in that case - where is the private key?

Please don't donate to 1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf59kuE - that would just be stupid.
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