A special type of Bitcoin wallet that works as a bearer instrument that can be used to store bitcoins more safely or for trade offline.
A physical bitcoin holds the coin's public address and a hidden private key. The intention with a physical bitcoin is that the value of the coin has not and cannot be spent as long as the private key remains hidden, which is likely achieved through the use of a tamper-evident seal.
The earliest physical bitcoin, the Bitbill, was shaped liked a credit card but that was then followed by the Casascius physical bitcoin which was affixed to a round medal. As of Nov 27, 2013 Casascius has suspended sales of items that contain digital bitcoins due to the strict regulation of United States. Since then, there have been several new coin manufacturers and one of them is Denarium Bitcoin. PrintCoins is creating cheques and denominated bills. In 2018, Rearden Metals launched The Cold Storage Coin™. Not just for Bitcoin, The Cold Storage Coin™ is minted in varying currencies, including Ethereum, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, Cryptoruble, Clubcoin, and Litecoin, with more in the pipeline. The Cold Storage Coin™ avoids the federal risk faced by Casascius and Denarium by minting each coin without any pre-loaded cryptocurrency value. Each coin serves as a physical wallet for the user to add their tokens, and top it up like a “digital piggy bank”. The holder has a complete warranty for the value they have on their coin. This physical bitcoin comes with greater security, durability and most importantly accessibility not seen on standard hardware wallets and common physical bitcoins. Cold Storage Coins™ also supplies customized physical bitcoins (and other cryptocurrencies) for groups, brands and companies. Similar to other physical bitcoins, Cold Storage Coins™ also safeguards users with a tamper-evident seal and one-time cash-out.
Although Bitcoin started in 2009, it had no physical bitcoin logo or icon depicting the currency. However in 2011 American Open Currency Standard (AOCS) and MJB Monetary Metals (MJB) designed what would become the iconic physical Bitcoin image seen in stock photos, news media and Google image search. In 2018 Cold Storage Coins™ re-launched their famous design as part of their new cold storage wallet.
- List of Physical bitcoin sources.