Skip to content


loading Loading

What is the value of a Bitcoin coin?

- Published on 17th December 2017

The value of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin has increased to almost $20,000 USD for one Bitcoin. But what is the value of a physical Bitcoin coin? Less than $2 USD in fact. Here’s why.

Ceci n'est pas un Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a digital currency. Digital currencies are only available in digital form, not in physical banknotes and coins. A physical Bitcoin coin is therefore an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.But if physical Bitcoin coins aren’t meant to exist, why are there actual metal Bitcoins around? The text on these coins reads ‘Bitcoin digital decentralized peer to peer 1 troy oz 999 gold plated copy monetary metals‘. So it must be a Bitcoin coin, right? Wrong. All of these physical Bitcoin coins are novelty items, produced by private companies. These coins are copies.

No ownership rights

Physical Bitcoins aren’t actual Bitcoins, nor do they give the owner control over a digital bitcoin key in a wallet. You can buy physical Bitcoin coins on Ebay for as little as £0.99.Ceci n'est pas un BitcoinBecause Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, there is no monetary authority or central bank to create rules against minting metal Bitcoin copies.

Physical Bitcoin coins - as seen in the media

Physical Bitcoin coins seem to be in pictures of most articles about Bitcoin the cryptocurrency. Understandably it can be a challenge to illustrate an article about digital currency. But illustrating a Bitcoin article with an image of a physical coin goes against the whole concept of a cryptocurrency.

This is probably the reason why some people may be confused about the value of a physical Bitcoin coin. Hopefully this article has helped to explain that the value of a metal Bitcoin coin is in no way linked to actual Bitcoins. Here are a few examples of articles about Bitcoin, illustrated with images of physical Bitcoins.


Mario Van Poppel

Mario Van Poppel is the founder and director of Leftover Currency. What started as a hobby, collecting world banknotes, evolved into a fulltime job, running a successful online bureau de change. Mario is still a collector of pre-Euro banknotes and a member of the IBNS.