The Bitcoin price highs of December 2017 made many investors rich, but none more so than the four remaining owners of a 1000 BTC physical bitcoin made of gold.
Six Coins, 6000 BTC
Casascius coins, which appeared in various denominations as low as 1 BTC from 2011, have become collector’s items after regulators ended their limited issuance in November 2013.
As social media commentators noted this week, the four unredeemed 1000 BTC coins – out of a total of only six ever created – now constitute the “most valuable” coins in the world.
According to a dedicated tracking tool by internet and network engineer Melik Manukyan, the owners of two of the highest-denomination coins redeemed their balance in 2013 when Bitcoin posted its highest prices to date at the time.
Last December meanwhile, when BTC/USD approached $20,000, a single 1000 BTC coin together with its gold value was worth around $20 million. Even 1 BTC denominations sold for almost $30,000.
“Casascius coins will one day become the most valuable items in the world. Here is a chart showing their redeem rate and increasing scarcity. About 20% has been redeemed/destroyed so far,” Manukyan wrote on Twitter August 19 about the data his tool tracks.
Here are all of them, I wrote this tool to track every Casascius coin in existence. https://t.co/OJKMXBg38e
— Melik Manukyan ludvigart.com (@realLudvigArt) August 19, 2018
‘Terrible Security Standards’
At the time when US regulators asked Casascius creator Mike Caldwell to halt production over money transmission rules, physical bitcoins were becoming a more mainstream novelty among early adopters.
As Manukyan notes, however, despite their huge value, the 1000 BTC coins ironically have very low security standards.
“Casascius coins aren’t about security, they are a very rare historical art [and collectable] item,” he wrote during a debate with another user about the coins’ true scarcity.
[…] I agreed that they have terrible security standards, as they are nothing more than a simple private key behind a hologram.
In addition to the coin, Casascius also manufactured a 1000 BTC gold-plated bar, of which a total of sixteen are listed with the majority already redeemed.
What do you think about the Casascius 1000 BTC coin? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, en.bitcoin.it