It was only last year that Casascius started making .5 BTC pieces in order to adjust for the skyrocketing exchange rate and still have a physical bitcoin that would be affordable. Then, just a few months later, Casascius, Lealana and bhCoins released .1 BTC denominations, but again, it made sense against the ever-increasing price of bitcoin.
Now MicroSoul has a .01 BTC coin. That’s one-one hundredth of a bitcoin, a bit-penny coin. At first that seems like such a minor sum, but that’s only because my brain is inflexible and slow to adapt. After all, at this moment a bit-penny is worth roughly 6 bucks, and if someone handed me a brand-new six dollar coin, I’d be delighted.
And, of course, I am. While the design is straightforward and Casascius-esque, the gold plating makes the coins glow, and the small devil icon beside the “B” marks these as being extra-fun.
In terms of accountability and security, the creator (Matthew Rodbourne) has posted his identity online, states that the keys are generated by an offline Raspberry Pi and are only handled by either himself or his wife. They ship from France.
I opened one up, and the teeny-tiny key imported easily.
Standard disclaimer: It’s always, to some degree, a bad idea to let anyone else have access to a private key which controls any of your bitcoin wallets; in a sense, it goes counter to the bitcoin system itself. Once someone else has handled the key which controls your funds, you have to trust both that they exercised adequate security procedures while handling your key, and that they have not save copies of your key to exploit at some point in the unforeseen future. While some (such as Mike Caldwell of Casascius) have established trusted reputations, newer operators can only prove their trustworthiness over time.