Casascius Bitcoin Mint to Resume Sales, With a Twist

The bitcoin mint will resume sales of 'unfunded' physical bitcoins and offer limited sales of 'funded' coins in Utah.

AccessTimeIconJan 15, 2014 at 5:27 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 10:15 a.m. UTC

Bitcoin mint Casascius is back, resuming the sale of its products on a limited basis.

The brainchild of entrepreneur Mike Caldwell, Utah-based Casascius coins was forced to shut down operations back in December.

The company was effectively put out of business by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), after the agency classified Caldwell's activities as “money transmitting”.

At the time, Caldwell said he did not want to “argue” with FinCEN – though the decision was rather baffling, since he was merely minting physical coins.

As of yesterday, Casascius is back in business – with a catch. Caldwell is resuming sales of the aluminium coin which doesn't actually contain any bitcoins.

Unfunded coins

Writing in his blog, Caldwell explained:

“I am also planning to sell unfunded coins for 2014 ... These coins will have usable (but empty) private keys and can be fully funded by the buyer. They are essentially paper bitcoin wallets inside a coin container.”

In addition, Caldwell said he will be able to offer the original Casascius funded coins on a limited basis, but there are a number of restrictions. Namely, he can only make face-to-face sales in Utah and the coins will be only available in bulk for pre-qualified buyers.

“It is my understanding that the state of Utah does not currently consider sales of this nature to be subject to state regulation as money transmission.”

In other words, the sale of funded coins will be very limited indeed. Caldwell admitted that he does not expect much demand.

As for unfunded coins – which are now practically empty physical wallets – they will be available through the mail. To distinguish between the two coins, Caldwell has implemented some design changes.

Unfunded coins will feature quote marks around their denomination, if you can call it a domination at all, and they will no longer have a denomination etched into the hologram on the back.

It should be noted that these unfunded coins are not available yet, as Caldwell says he will need up to six weeks to produce them.

Bitcoin Image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.