Chinese Bitcoiner Makes Physical Bitcoins In Pure Gold
Back in early December last year, we heard that people in the Channel Island of Alderney had been working on the idea of producing physical Bitcoins, as part of their grander plan to reinvent the British crown dependency as a global hub of digital currency. Since then, things have been rather quiet with no follow-up since the initial report.
Obviously, Alderney’s residents weren’t the only ones working on the idea, and now it appears they may have lost the race to some Chinese guy who had just put the idea into execution.
A post published on 8btc.com, a Chinese Bitcoin news portal, shows photos of some gorgeous looking gold coins that also contain information entitling the bearer to one Bitcoin for each physical coin. The author of the post claimed that he was commissioned by a businessman friend to make these coins and made clear that they were for private collection, rather than market consumption or circulation. The coins, made of pure gold, weigh one ounce each and have their private keys engraved on the back in 2D barcode, enabling the owners to access them by using smartphones – the images were pixelated for anyone who intend to try his luck. Because each coin contains a unique serial number and unique barcode pattern, they all had to be individually crafted, which made the process quite time consuming. It took the author three months to produce a total of 101 coins. As much as I like the coins – who wouldn’t? – I am less than certain if its claim, which is engraved in each coin, namely “The World’s First Gold-backed Physical Bitcoins,” is actually legitimate.
Bitcoin is sometimes called digital gold. It simulates gold in many aspects, however, no matter how perfectly it resembles gold, one thing it can’t simulate is to recreate the yellowish bling effect. Perhaps our primitive homo sapiens’ brains are just not evolved enough to appreciate its virtual-ness. If the intangibility has prevented some conventional-minded gold investors from making the jump, then the idea of the digital marrying the physical may offer a way to meet them halfway. To admire your digital assets in pure golden gorgeousness or gaze at strings of numbers on the computer screens – you don’t need me to tell you which one is more gratifying.
Although these coins are not intended to be used for transactions, you can still never be certain if the previous owner didn’t secretly keep a copy of the private keys, or the Bitcoin that you’re supposed to receive hasn’t already been spent. Hopefully, this problem will be solved in the next generation of the “Gold-Bitcoin.”