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Hardcover : 494 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-0995089969
Item Weight : 1.82 pounds
Dimensions : 6 x 1 x 9


Elias Ahonen was described as “one of the first Bitcoin historians” by for his 2016 Encyclopedia of Physical Bitcoins and Crypto-Currencies. Though he started professional life as an IT analyst and North Korea geopolitical researcher, he found himself in a whimsical seven-year career as an international blockchain consultant and dealer of million-dollar Bitcoin art, the story of which Cointelegraph labelled as perhaps “cryptocurrency’s first rock’n’roll biography”. His gonzo-style memoir serves as an intimate backdrop to the bigger story.

The use of metaphor and allegory brings home what a magical and unlikely path cryptocurrency has taken to get here.



100% roller-coaster ride, Blockland succeeds amazingly in both mythologizing and explaining the current state of the cryptocurrency industry… This is the cryptocurrency book for people who are too cool to read cryptocurrency books. – Cointelegraph

As an industry insider and a social scientist by training, Elias Ahonen “gives an even and unbiased view of the space in a manner that is both easily accessible and utterly charming. There is no papering-over of the darker elements of cryptocurrency.”

  • The crypto-anarchist philosophical origins of Bitcoin
  • Intertwined stories of 50 digital currencies
  • Tales from the cryptocurrency mining industry
  • How the Dark Web drug dealers gave Bitcoin its wings
  • Billion-dollar heists of digital money
  • The tribal and religious nature of the splintered crypto-culture
  • Bitcoin’s civil wars and Ethereum’s ideological crisis
  • Account of the making and aftermath of the 2018 ICO bubble
  • Analysis of the global governmental reception of Blockchain
  • How Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), Decentralized Applications (dApps), Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) present a new wave of disruption
  • And much more!


Physical Bitcoins?

“Physical crypto-currency is worthy of study because it is evidence of the notable technological and social progress relating to the continued development of a new system of value. The concept of a digital currency that is based on mathematical principles is simply revolutionary, and will in one way or another eventually reshape the world and society in which we live. These coins are the artifacts of that future.”

If these coins interest you, SIGN UP! Emails are rare & interesting.

Physical Bitcoin represents a new way to understand money. It takes the image of national currency coins – their materials, denomination, images, text, and security features – and either adds digital value (funded coins) or depicts a representation of that digital value (unfunded coins). Participants in the physical Bitcoin community emphasize the coins’ digital features but, perhaps paradoxically, display the result in ‘conventional’ coin format. Funded physical Bitcoin are metal coins which contain the prefix of a public address and a private key (12). The public address is openly depicted on the coin or contained on a certificate while the private key is concealed behind a tamper-proof hologram (13) or, less often, by a sticker or, even more rarely, engraved on the side of the coin (14). If the hologram is opened, the private key can be swept into a wallet which transfers the crypto-currency from the coin’s public address to one provided by the wallet software. Producers use holograms to make counterfeiting more difficult and to prevent unscrupulous users from copying the private key then re-selling the coin. Private keys should be kept secret as their controller ‘owns’ the associated crypto-currency. The producers of unfunded coins often provide a public address and private key so that buyers can self-fund the public address should they wish.

The image above reveals how the private key is added and extracted from a coin. The first photograph shows the private key being inserted into a pit on the back of the coin. The second displays the completed coin with the private key concealed behind the sealed hologram. The third denotes the private key after the hologram has been removed. The fourth photograph indicates that the hologram has a considerably different appearance after it has been opened. This change is a security measure which reports that the private key has been accessed.


Physical bitcoins fall into various classes, which were defined as follows in the creation of the Encyclopedia of Physical Bitcoins and Crypto-Currencies:

Pre-Funded (PF) – the coin is directly funded by the manufacturer.
Buyer Funded (BF) – the buyer directly funds the coin before it is shipped.
Unfunded (UF) – shipped with a sealed private key but without loaded value.
Do It Yourself (DIY) – the owner can affix a private key and hologram.
Rounds (R) – the coin does not have the capacity to contain a private key.

Numismatic Services

1 BTC Casascius coins being prepared for a buyer

CRYPTONUMIST has unprecedented knowledge and access when it comes to locating the most sought-after coins around the world for the most serious collectors. These include the legendary 1,000 BTC coins and bars which are among the most valuable coins in the world.

Cryptonumist does not maintain public ‘for sale’ listings. We are not a ‘retail’ sales platform, and instead work directly with buyers to find the specific coins they are after and broker the transaction if appropriate. This Bespoke Brokerage Service is reserved for serious buyers looking for coins valued above $50,000. We are often asked what coins are currently available. Considering these coins are generally owned as investments, the simple answer is that just about all coins are available and for sale through our contacts for the right price.

Elias checking Casascius coins during an international pick-up as part of the Bespoke Brokerage Service.

If you want to BUY a certain rare coin, please email with your request, along with information about the city/country you are located in. PLEASE NOTE that 95% of sellers will only accept BTC or other crypto-currencies, NOT cash or wire transfers etc. We will contact potential sellers of the coin(s), and communicate with you regarding progress. We will not share your identity with potential sellers without permission. To facilitate high value transactions, we have personally flown around the world on several occasions to pick up and deliver coins in-person. Cryptonumist will sometimes issue detailed certificates for coins. The minimum value of coins available through us is normally $50,000.

If you want to SELL a rare coin, please email with information including photos, your city/country, and asking price (specify whether you want BTC or Fiat, etc). All email is reviewed and noted, and you will be notified of potential offers. Please note that we look mostly for unique collections valued over $100,000, and are not particularly interested in 1 BTC Casascius brass coins as we already have access to a number of possible sellers.

Encyclopedia of Physical Bitcoins and Crypto-Currencies

ENCYCLOPEDIA (Revised Edition)
$137 USD
FREE Shipping worldwide
Full-color Hardcover : 286 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-0995089921
Item Weight : 2.54 pounds
Dimensions : 8.5 x 1 x 11

Now direct from the author, cheaper than any other distributor!

Still on the fence? Read the Free eBook; The Casascius Guide!

The softcover is great for those who are passively interested in physical crypto-coins, while the much larger hardcover version is not only an amazing piece to display, but comes with updates and revisions!

Ahonen takes us on a journey… cementing his place as one of the first ‘bitcoin historians.’



This Encyclopedia explores the recent phenomenon of physical crypto-currency and the infrastructure that surrounds it.

These are metal coins that reference various crypto-currencies of which Bitcoin is currently the most prominent. Many of these coins are funded with digital currency that can be extracted and used at will. Others are themed to celebrate the emergence of digital currency.

The new hobby of collecting physical Bitcoin and related crypto-currencies has created an expanding industry in which dozens of companies and individuals create and sell their coins to a growing market of collectors. This work covers 57 such manufacturers. There is also a thriving trade in pre-owned coins. Physical crypto-currencies have become rare objects with the highest value sale to date reaching one million dollars on the re-sale market.

This Encyclopedia provides the intrigued reader with an in-depth understanding of the subject and equips the collector with an excellent reference source.

Physical crypto-currency is worthy of study because it is evidence of the notable technological and social progress relating to the continued development of a new system of value. The concept of a digital currency that is based on mathematical principles is simply revolutionary, and will in one way or another eventually reshape the world and society in which we live.

These coins are the artifacts of that future.