Physical Bitcoins are offline wallets that contain bitcoin address/public key and hidden private keys that form a "key-pair". It is an interesting blend of traditional fiat coins meeting digital currency.
Collected, traded, saved, or gifted as a novelty, Physical Bitcoins are cool.
This is not a complete list for the history of the Physical Bitcoin, many other coins have made their appearance, however these are the major coins in the history of Physical Bitcoin.
Bitbills: The first physical was actually a plastic card by bitbills with private key concealed. Produced only in 2011, it opened up the door to physical funded forms of bitcoin. Ahead of its time, it has earned its place in bitcoin history.
Casascius: Mike Caldwell started minting actual Physical Bitcoins in 2011. His Casascius Bitcoins inspired an entire culture of digital numismatists, and introduced many to Bitcoin in the very early days. 90,000 Casascius Coins were minted between 2011 and 2013. Today they are a hot collector’s item, with 40,000 Casascius Coins remaining unspent. Casascius is the founding father of Physical Bitcoin.
Titan BTC: Titans aimed to bring bitcoin to a new level by adding a troy ounce of gold or silver value to the Bitcoin, and the early stages, also held the bitcoin in trust as a secure authority. Later versions were also available with the private keys secured beneath the hologram. Titan's significant cost made it interesting to a small niche part of the physical bitcoin community.
Lealana Coins: Originally sold funded, these beautiful coins are now only available unfunded. These Hawaiian minters produce all sorts of types, denominations and even alt coin variants. Of different sizes, they are made in brass, silver and gold plated.
Antana Coins: while they don’t have private keys, produces a variety of coins 3oo per run, each with a unique with a particular humorous bitcoin culture related message.
Infinitum Bitcoins created unfunded, pure silver featuring Shakespeare, Tesla, Da Vinci and Einstein. This is a premium, limited run coin. This coin is now discontinued.
Satori Coin: From Japan, a new physical bitcoin of very low cost and low denomination of 0.001 BTC with the goal of selling them in vending machines in front of Japan shops and stores. This is a brand new initiative; it will be interesting to see where this leads. This coin is now discontinued, with the founder stating that he had achieved his objectives of spreading the Bitcoin word.
Denarium Bitcoin: From Finland, operating one of Europe’s largest bitcoin exchanges, the new Denarium bitcoin was launched in May 2015. These coins feature an eagle, a lion, or a bull on the obverse, and minted in denominations of 1/100th, 1/10th and 1 BTC. The coins are pure silver, gold plated, or brass and are currently available funded or unfunded; and have an excellent reputation.
BTCC: From China, the BTCC mint has just launched (June 2016) a new bitcoin made from pure Titanium in 1 BTC and 5 BTC denominations. They are only available funded from their website, and the actual bitcoin is mined from their mining pool. Each coin is about 110 USD plus the 1 BTC to fund it.
Since the January 3, 2009 Genesis block , Bitcoin has changed the way millions think about money. Billions more people will be introduced to bitcoin in the coming years, and Physical Bitcoins, with their offline capacity to hold digital currency, has had a role in this introduction. Gifts, novelties, or cold storage, the history of physical bitcoin has just begun.
We look forward to updating this list as new and innovative physical bitcoins are created.
BCmint is proud to introduce our own Physical Bitcoins and add another chapter to the history of the Physical Bitcoin.