One could assume there is a certain nostalgia towards your very first bitcoin. Perhaps someone has a memory tied to a specific transaction. Certain bitcoins can be tethered to memorable acts, have associations with people, have a unique transaction time-frame or block height, among many other attributes that can give cryptocurrency numismatic value.
Earlier this week I emptied a Bitcoin wallet on my phone because the application was having issues with dynamic fees. As I was sending the digital currency to my cold storage device, I realized these bitcoins were dear to me. One bitcoin is based on the value others will pay for the digital asset. Yet with certain associations tied to the currency, it raises the question — can some bitcoins be worth more than others?
Bitcoin has been known over the course of eight years to hold numismatic value. Numismatics is the study and collection of currencies. This includes coins, cowry shells, paper money, and many types of currency used over time, including Bitcoin. A numismatist is a person that collects currencies that have different meanings, associations, and histories. Both physical bitcoins and even its digital version can hold the characteristics of numismatic value.
Paying Extra for Bitcoin Associated with the 10,000 BTC Pizza Transaction
Even as far back as 2011, it was noted on the Bitcointalk.org forum that someone was willing to pay 1.5 BTC for one Bitcoin that was associated with the original 2010 pizza transaction. The post in the summer of 2011 led to a discussion of whether or not certain Bitcoins can be worth more than others. One community member explained his opinion of the subject stating:
Just like physical coins and bills have numismatic value, bitcoins from certain blocks could have numismatic value as well. This could be due to the block’s low number, or because the block is special — such as block 140,000 from a few days ago, which contained the last of the first 1/3rd of all bitcoins to be issued.
In the Eyes of the Beholder
Physical Bitcoins can also hold collectible value, and probably more so than the digital form. For instance, Casascius physical bitcoins from 2011-2013 are extremely valuable. There have been instances of a single series-one Casascius selling for well over the coin’s face value. The art of collecting coinage has existed since ancient times, and this pastime has continued with physical bitcoin collecting.
As the years go by, it is quite possible that older transactions or coins with tethered memories could sell for more than Bitcoin’s current spot price. Unless some sort of significant fungibility concept comes into play within the network, Bitcoin’s traceability will increase numismatic value. Moreover, an individual could also add some metadata to the Bitcoin creating another form of a colored digital currency collectible. Last year the Smithsonian opened a new exhibition at its National Numismatic Collection which included Bitcoin.
Some of the first bitcoins I’ve ever owned were held on my mobile phone, and no additional transactions were ever added to the wallet. These Bitcoins may be important to me but most likely never will be worth more than the spot price to others.
Do you think certain bitcoin can hold numismatic value? Do you have bitcoin nostalgia with some of your coins? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Bitcoin.com, and Pixabay.
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