Bitcoin For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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Rather than storing your bitcoins on a computer or mobile device, a third option is fairly common among digital currency users. Physical bitcoins — yes, they do exist — are not just great collector's items, they also let you store your digital currency on them. Or to be more precise, most of them do.

Different types of physical bitcoins exist, just as currencies have coins of different monetary values.

Each physical coin has its own price, and they come in various alloys. The most common physical bitcoins these days are minted in silver, although there is quite a selection of both bronze and golden coins on the market as well. All coins require a small upfront investment and can be seen as both a collector's item and bitcoin vault at the same time.

Most physical bitcoins allow the user to store a bitcoin wallet address, and its private key is in the back of the coin. In doing so, you are officially "funding" the coin by sending a BTC amount to that designated address. All coins come with funding instructions, so for the most up-to-date information on funding, read that small print!

Keep in mind that you are responsible for generating this address and the associated private key yourself, so make sure you are the only one who has access to those details.

Once you have created your bitcoin wallet address and private key, you'll also receive a small piece of paper on which this confirmation is printed. This document usually comes with the coin itself and includes a hologram. That hologram has to be placed over the back of the coin, making sure your wallet information isn't tampered with (tampering would break the hologram).

Many people use physical coins to store some spare bitcoin in the hopes of an increase in BTC price in the future. Plus, these coins cannot be spent unless they break the hologram and retrieve the private key.

Funding a physical bitcoin is a great way to keep your spending habits under control.

About This Article

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Peter Kent is an e-commerce consultant who specializes in search engine optimization (SEO). He’s also delved into cryptocurrency, including creating the online course Crypto Clear: Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Made Simple. A former vice president of web solutions at a national internet service provider, and vice president of marketing and SEO expert at Indigio, Kent has been involved in the online world since 1984. He's been writing about the internet since 1993. He’s the author of nearly 60 books, as well as hundreds of articles. Tyler Bain is a professional engineer who specializes in the electrical grid. He is also a Certified Bitcoin Professional who focuses on system resiliency and mining mechanics.

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