On November 30, 2020, bitcoin crossed an all-time price high on a few global exchanges and between spot and derivatives markets there’s been a lot of action. One metric people didn’t notice was the fact that November 2020 saw the most number of redeemed Casascius physical bitcoins in three years. Approximately 92 coins were peeled throughout the last 30 days and there are only 20,686 Casascius physical bitcoins left active.
In the bitcoin world, there are a number of coins that hold numismatic value, which means the bitcoin could be worth more than the spot market value of the BTC. For instance, legend has it that virgin bitcoins (freshly minted by a miner) can fetch a premium because no one has ever transacted with them before.
However, the most common bitcoins holding numismatic value are physical bitcoins that also hold a premium and a value of BTC as well. The most famous and most valuable physical bitcoins were created by Mike Caldwell from 2011 to 2013.
Caldwell’s Casascius physical bitcoin collection website is still online, but the manufacturing operation is no longer operational. This is because Caldwell had to quit issuing physical bitcoins that are loaded with real BTC thanks to harsh U.S. regulations.
Ever since Caldwell created the Casascius coins, people have been redeeming the digital value from the physical metal’s private key. Caldwell made both coins and bars and last year at the end of December, someone peeled (redeemed) a 100 BTC gold-plated bar. The digital value on the bar alone is worth close to $2 million today and there’s not that many 100 Casascius bars left.
Current data shows that there’s been over 78% of the series one 100 BTC Casascius gold-plated bars redeemed to-date, according to casasciustracker.com. Last month, when BTC touched record highs, the crawler from casasciustracker.com recorded 92 coins redeemed, which is the highest peel-rate in three years.
Last month’s number of…