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I have a physical bitcoin which has a 8 digit number. Is it possible to get the address of the coin without paperwork, as none accompanied the coin when a family member gave it to me. I also have a Blockchain.info wallet and it says "Scan Pairing Code". When I do that, it shows little blue dots and takes a photo. Can you tell me if I need the letter or address that comes in paper form?

  • What markings are on the coin? There are different types of physical bitcoins, more info is needed to help. – chytrik Jun 28 '18 at 8:54
  • It would help to identify the coin (and therefore how to use it) if you edit your question to include sharp photos of both sides of the coin with a ruler next to it for scale. Black out any numbers in a photo editor before uploading. – RedGrittyBrick Jun 28 '18 at 10:39
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The first step is to identify the specific type of coin and what company created it.

See Coindesk - 10 physical bitcoins - If your coin looks like any of those, you can find out whether it has any value and how to use it.


There are many variations:

  • Many physical bitcoins are novelty items and have no value.

  • A few may have some intrinsic value from the materials they are made of (gold, silver etc). I imagine most do not.

  • Some physical coins have an associated bitcoin value which can be redeemed if the company that issued the coins is still in business and honest. For example, Titan bitcoin say:

    If you ever want to spend or transfer a 2FA coin’s bitcoin value, simply peel back the coin’s security hologram and enter the redemption code on our website, along with your registration info.

  • Some physical bitcoins have a private key concealed inside them or under a tamper-evident sticker. You can probably type that into a bitcoin wallet to import the key. An example is the discontinued series-1 Casascius Coin

    How they work: The "private key" is on a card embedded inside the coin and is protected by a tamper-evident hologram. The hologram leaves behind a honeycomb pattern if it is peeled. If the hologram is intact, the bitcoin is good. If you have purchased a 2-factor item, the private key is encrypted and will need to be decrypted using your original preselected passphrase before you can redeem the funds.

    The 8-character code you see on the outside of the coin is the first eight characters of the Bitcoin address assigned specifically to that coin. You can verify the coin's balance on Block Explorer. There is a mathematical relationship between the Bitcoin address and the private key inside the coin. The digital bitcoin is actually located on the public "block chain" stored on the internet, but it is completely inaccessible to anyone unless the private key from the coin is loaded into a Bitcoin wallet.

    My emphasis - I'd guess this may be the coin you have.

    Note that the issuer may have records of those private keys. If the issuer went out of business or the records fell into the hands of others, it is possible that someone else will have subsequently removed any bitcoin value associated with the private key.


Useful references

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