It all began in early 2019 during a discussion about marketing strategies, in the Pirate Chain discord channel. Lots of ideas were being thrown about when I chimed in with the pitch to make physical Pirate commemorative coins.
I have been collecting memorabilia coins for Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. Naturally, I thought it would be cool to get one made for Pirate. The idea was very well received by the community, so much that the captain of Pirate Chain, Fishyguts, suggested that I look into making one for the project.
To be honest, I had no experience in anything remotely related to manufacturing coins. So I dove into the research and came up with a preliminary design which I shared on the Pirate discord. The Pirate community was very engaged, offering ideas and suggestions until the best design was unanimously agreed upon. Next, I solicited and met with numerous milling companies which taught me a lot about the process. After an exhaustive search, I finally found a production company that shares the same work ethic as myself, and places a priority on workmanship. The coin took about two weeks to mint, but it was well worth the wait. The first ever commemorative Pirate coin debuted on February 18th, 2019 and it received high praise and exclamations of excitement from the community.
At this point, Fishyguts realized the potential market for this product and introduced me to the project leader for Komodo, JL777. JL was impressed with the coin for Pirate that he immediately commissioned a design for the Komodo project.
I realized then that I have stumbled onto a niche market. A quick search confirmed what I suspected, that there was a vacuum in the space of physical, tangible coins for projects that are not in the top 10 market cap. Thus, I believe that I had found my calling. I named my store Physical Crypto Coins which while simple, conveys an easy understanding of my product.
A unique process that fits projects of any size
The design process is simple and unique as I regard both the project team and the community as my customers.
I begin by asking the community for permission to make the commemorative coin. Doing so has advantages, specifically:
(1) Commission of the coin design by the team and community implies the product is the official commemorative coin,
(2) Team approval of the coin also implies inherent permission for use of the official logo.
Once approved for a commemorative coin, I set to work creating a preliminary model. I consult with the community in their respective chat forums to solicit input for the design. This meticulous research process results in a special coin that exemplifies the spirit of both the project and its community.
The final design is announced on social media outlets including Twitter, Discord and Facebook. Following which, the coin is then posted on the Physical Crypto Coins website and is immediately available for pre-order at a discounted price as a sign of appreciation for community members’ participation in the design process.
In most cases, only a minimum of 20 coins needs to be pre-ordered for the manufacturing process to start. Once the minimum order is met, the design is sent to the manufacturer. The coin is typically ready and shipped out to buyers within 2 weeks. Shipping is free for all orders except .999 silver coins, which incur a shipping charge for the required insurance and tracking.
When all pre-orders have been shipped, the discount is removed from the price and the coin can be purchased whilst stocks last. If demand outstrips supply, stocks can be replenished from the manufacturer.
Funding and Payment
The process of developing a coin for Pirate and Komodo had revealed a unique business strategy. Considering that many community-based projects do not have the funding to for these commemorative coins, I developed a business plan that tapped into the power of the community by seeking funding directly from interested buyers.
When I first started Physical Crypto Coins, I only accepted Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pirate and Komodo.
However, during the development of the Verus physical coin, I learned that Verus was developing a payment gateway that will not only include Verus, but Pirate as well. With help from Oliver Westbrook (who is an amazing person and developer!) I implemented Veruspay on the Physical Crypto Coins website. I am proud to claim that Physical Crypto Coins is the first ever store to utilize Veruspay, and one of the first two shops to accept private payments with z-transactions.
Around this time, I also realized that it would be extremely helpful for a community to pay with the cryptocurrency of their project. Hence, I started adding more payment methods such as Verge, Burst, Electroneum and Hush.
Through successful marketing (and huge thanks to Fishyguts), I have created coins for Pirate, Komodo, Verus, Burst, Verge and Komodore64.
The most successful coin to date is Pirate, with 3 versions commissioned so far: the Original (retired), Version 2 (newly released), and a Special Edition .999 Silver coin that is in the manufacturing phase, almost ready to ship. Designs for Hempcoin, Growerscoin and Electroneum are currently in the pre-order phase. I also recently announced that Hush has commissioned a coin, and I am actively refining the design for Denarius. I have a couple other coins planned for announcement in the near future, but to find out what they are, you have to follow me on twitter @theinfamouskata
In a marketing partnership with the Komodore64 project, I sponsored dozens of Komodore64 commemorative coins that were given out at the recent blockchain gaming expo in the Netherlands!
Sailing into the Future
The coming months promise to be very exciting for Physical Crypto Coins. Discussions with several teams are currently ongoing, stay tuned for a parade of projects that will be commissioning their own commemorative coins!
I have also announced the details behind “Physical Crypto Coin Club” (PC3) on June 22, 2019. PC3 is going to be a game changer, bringing a lot of new features to the store, along with lowering the pre-order requirement for all commissioned coins for every membership signup.
Perhaps what I am anticipating the most, is showcasing Physical Crypto Coins at several crypto conferences. This will boost the profile of Physical Crypto Coins in the cryptosphere. Word-of-mouth referrals has already garnered over ten crypto clients in a couple of months, I can’t wait to see what the increased exposure will bring.
Things are looking absolutely great, and I aim to become THE place for crypto projects to get Physical Crypto Coins made!