Q. What just happened?
On April 1, 2013, I stopped accepting orders for Casascius Coins from the public. I switched my website so orders can only be placed by resellers with prior invitation. I recommend and encourage sales of Casascius Coins by resellers.
Q. Why did this happen?
Over the last month, Bitcoin has become a lot more interesting to the world. Bitcoin prices have skyrocketed. Interest in Casascius Coins has increased substantially for multiple reasons that are seemingly working as a “force multiplier”. While I’m very excited to see this has happened, for me to be able to satisfy the market demand for Casascius Coins, I will have to make some major changes to the way they are made and shipped.
The first change is that I will only sell coins to resellers in a wholesale setting. I will also only ship using Registered Mail (or similar).
Q. What are some of the changes that led you to arrive at this?
- More people worldwide are interested in Bitcoin
- More existing Bitcoiners can suddenly afford Casascius Coins
- The security requirements to handle coins worth this much are quite simply far greater than when Bitcoins were worth $5 or $10. The same goes for the digital Bitcoins themselves.
- Since Bitcoins are worth more, more customers are interested in registered/express shipping, and these take much longer to prepare.
- Secondarily, but also exciting, the worldwide explosion in Bitcoin interest has also put me in a position where my value to the Bitcoin economy in terms of projects I can influence as a consultant is substantial. Producing coins by hand comes at a high opportunity cost. That’s not to suggest that Casascius Coins has not been influential – I’m thoroughly convinced it is – meanwhile, I need to put more effort into expanding production capacity and less into producing coins by hand.
Q. What does it take to get an invitation?
If you’ve ordered more than 100 coins in the past from me in a single order, I’m more than likely to extend one.
Delivery will probably take longer, however, I expect to be able to estimate delivery in advance.
Q. What does this mean for my existing orders?
This will not affect any existing orders, in fact, most orders have been shipped. All existing orders will be honored.
Q. What does this mean for silver coins?
I expect that I will sell the silver coins, when available, only in mint tubes of 20.
Q. Doesn’t this open you up for competition?
Yep – I expect it and welcome it. I am surprised that I’m the only one doing physical bitcoins right now. There is clearly a healthy market demand for them.
Just to be clear, my goals in producing Casascius Coins is to have a functional proof of concept coin that serves as a conversation piece, to help people visualize bitcoins and to spread the word. I don’t have any aspiration towards a monopoly on creating physical bitcoins.
Are you thinking of producing physical bitcoins? Do you have the resources to do any kind of mass production of a product like this and just need the magic that ensures that the product is a reliable functional physical bitcoin? Please contact me.