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Author Topic: [WTS] Swiss Issued 'Physical Bitcoin Certificates'  (Read 6302 times)
BitcoinSuisseAG
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November 15, 2014, 02:21:14 AM
 #21

@Snarl
>>It wasn't me, but that means mine should be here any day now!

Letters to the US take time :/ Courier is much faster - but spending 60 bucks on shipping for a 10 dollar item makes little sense.

>>I will definitely post a picture and review

Thank you. We also included a demo certificate for you!

>>I'm somewhat surprised at the low BTCtalk activity so far

Well, the thread did generate quite a few orders. And we actually appreciate fewer quality customers to mass marketing. After all, this is a limited issue of a 10 dollar item - of which production costs and packing by high skilled and expensive labor makes it no business at all, but a labor of love.

>>I think these would probably be great for Christmas presents for getting friends and family into Bitcoin as well.

They are. The perfect honey trap for luring unsuspecting family and friends into the Bitcoin world.

>>On a side note- I must say the communication/customer service during the ordering process was top notch so far; always a great thing.

Thank you! We do our very best.


@Pistachio

Fantastic review and feedback!! Thank you!

>> I will need to call on Monday

We do have email here as well :-) But yes - our fault - the proof-of-purchase letters state only "calling". Originally this product was developed for the senior generation of Swiss citizens who were interested in exposure to XBT. This generation prefer business over the phone.

>>but I will need to save up for the 10BTC

Lets hope the 10 BTC certificates will soon be too expensive for anyone to hold :-)

PS. You posted a complete picture of a private key on BitcoinTalk! And we did of course put something on the DEMO certificates. How many nano-seconds will the funds remain there? :-)

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November 15, 2014, 05:10:04 AM
 #22

lol greedy internet   Grin

anyway, cool cetrificates, maybe i will get me one.




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November 15, 2014, 08:10:03 AM
 #23

Any idea regular post takes to the US? I plan to move pretty soon but if the standard shipping is over 2 months I must wait to order.

BitcoinSuisseAG
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November 15, 2014, 04:29:00 PM
 #24

>>Any idea regular post takes to the US? I plan to move pretty soon but if the standard shipping is over 2 months I must wait to order.

We shipped 4 orders to the US Nov 11th. It was our first shipments to the US ever. As far as we know, none have arrived yet.
Studying the feedback from others who have shipped with the mail from Switzerland to the US, we find numbers between 6 and 20 days.

We should soon know, as the previous US bound certificates start to arrive.

Naturally the option exists for very fast shipments with couriers like FedEx - but this option is in our view too expensive for a small number of certificates.

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November 15, 2014, 08:32:06 PM
 #25

I got mine today! Just got off work and stopped at my (mailing address) house to grab it. That was Very Fast shipping from Switzerland to the U.S.! Shipped November 11th, received November 14th! And I just paid for standard shipping; didn't pay any extra for expedited shipping!

I still have to get home, get cleaned up after work, and do a few other things. So it will be probably a couple hours until I am able to post a review, but I am very excited and can't wait to open it and check it out.
Just wanted to post the good news about the amazing shipping time now! I will edit this post and add my review later!

-snarlpill

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November 16, 2014, 06:41:32 PM
 #26

>>I got mine today!

Excellent! So we can assume that shipping to the US takes less than a week.
We'll be happy to hear from the rest of the BitcoinTalk orders as they start to arrive...

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November 16, 2014, 07:09:42 PM
 #27

Here are some pictures I took of my received Bitcoin Swiss AG certificates, and a brief review as promised. I am not the best photographer nor have the best camera; they look even better than in my pictures.
EDIT: Some of the pictures weren't loading all the way for me when checking, so I made the pictures clickable links to the same pictures I uploaded.





Shown next to a USD $50 bill for size comparison. As you can see, the BTC Swiss AG Cert. is just slightly shorter in length and a bit taller.




A sweet demo certificate they sent with my order


The embossed Bitcoin logo


A close-up of the security hologram


The first thing I'd like to note in my review is how fast the international shipping was! My certificates were shipped from Switzerland on November 11th, and I received them in the U.S. on November 15th! (not the 14th as I mistakenly wrote originally)

I was slightly worried when I first saw the package, because they were sent in a regular envelope, not a padded envelope as I had been expecting. However when I opened it up, I saw that the certificates were packaged between layers of cardboard, and to my pleasant surprise they were in pristine condition!

I was happy with them at first glance. They are manufactured on a thick and stiff, high-quality certificate paper. All of the printing was nicely done, with no smudges of ink or anything of the sort. They look beautiful and very exquisite, and have the quality you would expect out of a Swiss financial product. There are several security features proving they are authentic Bitcoin Suisse AG certificates such as: an embossed BTC logo, a security hologram embedded into the layers of paper, and a unique serial number for each certificate. The security features remind me of some higher-value fiat currencies and payroll checks. They also come with signed official Certificates of Authenticity from Bitcoin Suisse AG, yet another "security" feature promising for a smooth re-sale or transfer in the future.

With the quality of the graphics and printing, they reminded me of a 'Bitcoin' stock certificate or bond. I fully believe they would make great Christmas presents and gifts for other occasions, whether wanting to get a friend or relative into Bitcoin, or even for those already into BTC. I think they would also be a cool thing to buy and hold, to pass onto grandchildren or other descendants sometime in the future. I fully plan on buying some funded certificates in the near future to hold onto or pass on to friends and family. I have already sent a little bit of BTC to my Generic non-denominated certificate.

Side-Note: They sent me the Demo certificate to open up and try sweeping the funds. I was going to do this to test it, but since Pistachio already opened his and posted the results, I think I might hang onto it as sort of a 'rare' certificate from Bitcoin Suisse AG.  Smiley
Or I might wait to open it until I give another certificate to someone as a gift, and then show them how it works on the Demo certificate.

Overall, I was very pleased with the whole experience from the great customer service when ordering, to receiving a quality finished product in a short amount of time. The only small recommendation I would make to Bitcoin Suisse AG is to buy custom-fit thin plastic sleeves to include over the certificate. I think it would be a nice touch, that could be added to the process without adding a lot of production costs, and it would be the equivalent of a physical BTC coin being sent in a plastic sleeve or airtite capsule for protection and handling. You know most of us coin nerds don't want to touch the product with our greasy and dirty human hands!  Wink
 

BitcoinSuisseAG
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November 16, 2014, 09:21:46 PM
 #28

Thank you snarlpill, for taking the time to write such a long and thorough review!!
We are so grateful for the reception by the Bitcoin community - after all that is the ultimative test of any XBT-product. It is pretty clear to us by now that Series 1 will be sold out!
Allow us to respond to a couple of your points:

>>Shown next to a USD $50 bill for size comparison. As you can see, the BTC Swiss AG Cert. is just slightly shorter in length and a bit taller.

Exact dimensions, mintages etc are available in the certificate documentation: https://www.bitcoinsuisse.ch/Site/data/BTCS_BitcoinCertificates_EN.pdf

Also - your pictures show the certificates as true "white", likely because of the black/white background. In fact they are broken white / egg shell colored.

>>I was slightly worried when I first saw the package, because they were sent in a regular envelope, not a padded envelope as I had been expecting. However when I opened it up, I saw that the certificates were packaged between layers of cardboard, and to my pleasant surprise they were in pristine condition!

We are operating on a tight budget. But larger orders do get shipped in hard cardboard envelopes.

>>They are manufactured on a thick and stiff, high-quality certificate paper.

It is actually a very strong (and expensive) polymer paper, which is fully resistant to water & wear & tear. A grown man could not rip apart a certificate with brute force alone (however - do not try, as you will likely warp and distort the certificate).

>>All of the printing was nicely done, with no smudges of ink or anything of the sort

The printing was done on industrial printing equipment at a large printing facility in Switzerland - not on retail printing equipment. The final assembly and key generation, as well as packing and shipping was done at Bitcoin Suisse HQ in central Switzerland by trusted personnel - for security reasons.
We also do a manual quality control - and if faults are found, the certificate is removed from circulation and rebranded as a "demo certificates".

>>With the quality of the graphics and printing, they reminded me of a 'Bitcoin' stock certificate or bond.

Indeed - we did create them with the look of an old bank note / bond on purpose. Both as to not give regulatory authorities any excuse to wave their legal tender laws, but also because we are Swiss, that is, old-fashioned and conservative when it comes to the topic of money.

>>I fully believe they would make great Christmas presents and gifts

It is even in Christmas colors :-)
No - the red is naturally the Swiss 'red' - but they are indeed a great gift and and sure to bring the receivers closer to the Bitcoin experience, even if they had no prior exposure to Bitcoin. We see this already, as receivers of certificates come back to us and ask how to get invested in BTC. Btw - what US-based exchanges would you recommend? Coinbase?

>>The only small recommendation I would make to Bitcoin Suisse AG is to buy custom-fit thin plastic sleeves to include over the certificate. I think it would be a nice touch, that could be added to the process without adding a lot of production costs, and it would be the equivalent of a physical BTC coin being sent in a plastic sleeve or airtite capsule for protection and handling. You know most of us coin nerds don't want to touch the product with our greasy and dirty human hands!  

It is a good idea - and has been forwarded to relevant personel!
It should be noted however, that due to the polymer paper, the certificates take no damage from greasy hands or water. But they do not maintain their mint condition if folded or pulled with great force.
At BTCS, we each carry a few from the test series in our (classic) wallets, and take them up and down several times a day. After 6 months they have now some patina - but certainly show no sign of failing their purpose as a product, created with circulation in mind.



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November 19, 2014, 09:39:14 AM
 #29

Is it possible to buy the Bitcoin along with the certificates, or must one load them by oneself?
- Kaizer
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November 19, 2014, 01:33:13 PM
 #30

^ I believe when buying a loaded certificate, you pay for the certificate and the amount of Bitcoin to be loaded. Once delivered safely, you call/email Bitcoin Suisse AG and they send the BTC to the certificate.

Much the same process that most physical Bitcoin (wallet types) makers are using now.

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November 19, 2014, 06:22:55 PM
 #31

Is it possible to buy the Bitcoin along with the certificates, or must one load them by oneself?
- Kaizer

Yes. On our ordering page (https://www.bitcoinsuisse.ch/Site/CertificatesOrder) you can select between paying for the "load amount" via a bank transfer - or by pre-paying the BTC needed  to load your certificates.

Certificates with a denomination (printed value in BTC) are only sold loaded. We ask that people place the BTC in our care before the certificates are shipped to make sure that they will be loaded - or alternatively - pay for the BTC needed to load the certificates.

We also have a generic certificate without any printed BTC value. This certificate we sell un-loaded.

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November 21, 2014, 08:04:46 PM
 #32

Wow that's a very nice product. I'm thinking about ordering some as christmas presents for my cousins.

In the article in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (german) (http://www.nzz.ch/mehr/digital/xxx-1.18400637) it is following mentioned:

German:
Quote
«Wir werden wahrscheinlich eine zweite Serie auflegen», sagt Niklas Nikolajsen.
English:
Quote
«We'll probably produce a second production run», says Niklas Nikolajsen.

- Are there already design drafts for the second production run?
- Furthermore did any regulators raise concerns against your product?
BitcoinSuisseAG
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November 23, 2014, 05:41:00 PM
 #33

While these questions are a little outside topic - we are happy to answer:

Quote
Are there already design drafts for the second production run?

No 2nd series is currently planned. If a 2nd series is ever done, it will be visibly different.
Business wise - making a quality product with all the security measures needed makes little sense. Perhaps if the product was pre-made in China and distributed from there, but not when carefully made, secured and shipped by high value employees of a Swiss financial intermediary. The product is a labor of love, nothing else. Thus we do not expect to make a 2nd series, but one can never say never.

Quote
Furthermore did any regulators raise concerns against your product?

The newspapers falsely reported that a Swiss company had "started making its own money". This prompted Swiss regulators to ask for more questions regarding the product, but it was not found to be in violation of Swiss law.

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November 24, 2014, 04:25:39 AM
 #34

Just ordered a 1BTC Edition! Excited for its arrival.

If multiple units are ordered is shipping combined or do they need to be shipped individually?

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November 24, 2014, 05:28:32 AM
 #35

Received mine a week or so back. Slightly above a week shipping to US iirc. Funding was very professionally and promptly handled. 10/10 recommend Smiley

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November 24, 2014, 04:00:24 PM
 #36

Quote
Just ordered a 1BTC Edition! Excited for its arrival.

It should be leaving BTCS HQ today! Thank you for your order and your trust.

Quote
If multiple units are ordered is shipping combined or do they need to be shipped individually?

Shipping is only paid once, no matter the amount of certificates ordered.
Fell free to play around with the ordering interface - to see example quotes. Only on the second "confirm" order click - as well as clicking the confirm link in the generated email, does the order proceed to handling.
At orders > 20, we will add an extra certificate for free. And once in a while, we add "demo certificates", so that people can try opening and sweeping a certificate without destroying their own paid certificates.

Quote
Received mine a week or so back. Slightly above a week shipping to US iirc. Funding was very professionally and promptly handled. 10/10 recommend

Thank you for such good feedback. The whole certificate experience on BitcoinTalk has been such a positive experience for us. We never expected sales of this product to be significant, but it seems clear that the series will sell out much sooner than expected.
We have had reports of the bills circulating and being used in trade in the far east. And we know they are being given as presents - between families and friends, but also in the traditional finance industry, thus spreading BTC ownership and interest wide and far.

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November 25, 2014, 01:30:02 AM
 #37

ordered:
1x 1btc
1x 0.5btc
3x 0.1btc
1 generic

it's time for Christmas present  Grin
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November 25, 2014, 12:53:03 PM
 #38

I looked at these the other day and will probably end up buying them. However, you keep referring to them as limited but give no fixed amount that will be released? Or have I missed this part?

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November 25, 2014, 01:17:10 PM
 #39

Okay I am definitely ordering one.  Wink

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November 26, 2014, 02:37:58 AM
 #40

Quote
it's time for Christmas present

Nothing like Bitcoin under the christmas tree! (hint hint BTCS management)

Quote
I looked at these the other day and will probably end up buying them.
However, you keep referring to them as limited but give no fixed amount that will be released? Or have I missed this part?

Sure - second last page of the Certificate documentation has the total mintage of the various denominations:

Quote

The series I production numbers are final and cannot be changed. This is controlled by the serial numbers and the certificate database.
We'll be publishing the reverse lookup of the serial number format online, which does only support 0-9999 bills - and which contains denomination, series, date of production and production number shortly.
Of the total 10'000 produced, around 10% are out of circulation due to various issues such having been used for testing, allocation as DEMO certificates and quality issues.

We envisioned the certificates as a low cost representation of physical Bitcoin with a potential to circulate and be used as presents etc. In some cases to provide our less tech-savvy and conservative clients with Bitcoin in a way they can relate to.  
While we did not think of the Bitcoin certificates as having the numismatic play of coins, it is important to reveal all such information for those, who nevertheless view them as collectors items. And the certificate registry and lookup is a vital part of tracking unloaded certificates (lost in shipment), potential fakes etc.

Quote
Okay I am definitely ordering one.

Most welcome to do so! :-)


As a service announcement to all, and based on customer feedback - we'll be adding a "deluxe" sealed cardboard envelope shipping method to the ordering page. This is already default by larger shipments, but to keep costs down, we have thus far shipped small orders in normal envelopes with cardboard inlays.
This will increase shipping costs by USD 1.5 - but for some customers, this is worth it, to be ensured that certificates arrive in mint condition, even though no damaged shipments have been reported thus far.

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