Digital currency becomes tangible treasure in Heritage's Otoh Collection of Physical Cryptocurrency Platinum Event

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Digital currency becomes tangible treasure in Heritage's Otoh Collection of Physical Cryptocurrency Platinum Event
Casascius brass Loaded (Unredeemed) 0.5 Bitcoin (BTC) 2013 MS68 NGC.

DALLAS, TX.- One of the most elite collections of physical cryptocurrency ever assembled is poised to make numismatic auction history when The Otoh Collection of Physical Cryptocurrency, Part I Platinum Session Signature® Auction is held November 3 at Heritage Auctions.

This represents the most significant offering of physical cryptocurrency to ever come to market, with a redeemable value at the time of publication upward of $5.5 million.

The Otoh Collection, or "On The Other Hand" — named after the online handle of the consignor — features 250 tangible, physical cryptocurrency coins of two different denominations. Of the lots offered in the auction, 150 are "1 Bitcoin" while the other 100 are "0.5 Bitcoin" lots. Each is unpeeled and unredeemed, and was sent by Heritage to NGC for grading; they had previously been stored in their original rolls for the last decade.

Currency, whether coins or paper, historically has been a tactile entity, something that can be touched, held and carried and then exchanged for goods and services. However, the value of digital currencies is dematerialized into units of coded data, or "bits." Bitcoin, which was founded by an anonymous person (or persons) in 2009, enjoys preeminent stature among digital currencies.

"The evolution of digital currency forever changed the economic landscape," says Cris Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage Auctions. "Part of the appeal is the fact that digital currency can be received, stored and sent without intermediaries, offering a measure of financial control that did not exist previously.

"The Otoh Collection was assembled by one of the earliest adopters of Litecoin, the first Altcoin. This portion of the collection includes a remarkable compilation of Casascius Coins. Otoh is known for his thoughtful approach and analysis of cryptocurrency trends. The collection offered in this auction is part of the legacy of our client, who is one of the early adopters of physical Bitcoin."

The lots in this auction were minted in 2013 and known as "Casascius coins," a name that can be boiled down to a combination of words and stands for "Call a Spade a Spade." The name was coined by Mike Caldwell, whose rise to prominence began when he minted Bitcoins into physical coins; they are largely novelty items, but they exist for a purpose: in the physical form, hackers are prevented from stealing the encrypted data via an online attack. Caldwell's Casascius coins gave physical representation — and therefore a measurable value — to a form of currency that previously had been largely abstract or theoretical, relying on blockchain technology, which is the foundation of Bitcoin.In his personal blog, Caldwell used wordplay to qualify the development of his project: "You asked for change," he wrote. "I gave you coins."

Top selections in the auction include, but are not limited to:

• A Casascius brass Loaded (Unredeemed) 0.5 Bitcoin (BTC) 2013 MS68 NGC

• A Casascius brass Loaded (Unredeemed) 1 Bitcoin (BTC) 2013 MS68 NGC

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