Christopher Mrozek is a crypto-currency enthusiast and he makes physical bullion for crypto-currencies. The coins are beautiful and people who ordered them seem very happy with their purchase. He’s targeting Primecoins at the moment. You can find this information on his website Finite by Design or at his Bitcointalk forum thread where people are already ordering his 0.999 fine silver 1 Troy Ounce coins (similar to American Silver Eagles in 1oz). The first batch has a limited supply of 50 coins, so if you want one for yourself, go ahead and order one.
BTCGeek: Why Primecoins?
Chris: Primecoin was selected for a number of reasons. Primarily because I am a huge fan of Sunny King and his work as a crypto developer. I have confidence that he will not walk away from the project – which is a danger investors must be cautious of in this new crypto-currency landscape. A strong following and loyal supporters is another reason, as evidenced by the rapid ascension of XPM in popularity and market cap.
BTCGeek: Any plans for other crypto-currencies too?
Chris: Yes, actually I am putting the finishing touches on our next product line, physical Cryptogenic Bullion bars. These will be 1 troy ounce of .999 fine silver with the hologram sticker just like Primecoin, however will be the shape of a bullion bar rather than a coin. We are shooting for a release date by the end of October for this product. Additionally I have had a couple requests for other crypto-currencies to be created and I plan on continuing to add product lines. I will be running a public poll soon to help identify which other lines the community wants to see.
BTCGeek: How can buyers be confident that their private keys are secure and that you don’t have a copy of their private key?
Chris: This is a critical concern for me as well as for my customers. Privacy and security of my customers and their products is imperative to my companies sustained success. Unfortunately there is no perfect answer and I have no way of proving that the private key is destroyed other than giving my word and sharing the argument that the longevity of these product lines depends on maintaining this verbal bond. I single handedly manage the generation of each unique address and private key and do the painstaking task of constructing the coins by hand – no one else is involved or privy to the process or the byproducts of this process. Once the coins are assembled, the private keys are destroyed by me personally leaving the only existing copy to be the one hidden under the tamper resistant, security hologram sticker on the back of the physical piece.
BTCGeek: What got you interested in crypto-currencies and Bitcoin?
Chris: I originally got interested and involved with crypto-currencies thru Bitcoin which I had the fortune to stumble across relatively early. This lead me to also discover alternate currencies. I found the entire concept to be fascinating and decided to invest a portion of my savings into these currencies. I have been an investor/trader ever since thru some wild fluctuations but in the end have seen growth in my investment portfolio and I have a firm belief that mass adoption is inevitable and hence continued growth.
BTCGeek: I ask this to people in the community because crypto-currencies attract a very interesting bunch of people. What are your political beliefs?
Chris: Politics and religion, a couple subjects I try to steer clear of, lol. I will try to delicately dance around this question as not to alienate anyone. I was born and raised in America so the concept of freedom is deeply engrained in me. My political views are aligned with this belief and also with the understanding that anything as an absolute can be hazardous, hence a balance must be maintained.
BTCGeek: Quite a few people in the community think that alt-coins are a distraction from Bitcoin and the energies spent developing and promoting them should instead be used towards Bitcoin. What are your thoughts?
Chris: I think competition forces the envelope to be pushed and innovations and improvements to continue to evolve. Bitcoin is an excellent prototype but I believe it to have limitations and I suspect the likelihood of an alternate currency taking the market lead to be very likely. I believe the staunchest Bitcoin supporters are large stake holders for the most part and thereby have an interest for ensuring it as the one and only. This narrow-sighted view however is ironically similar to the one that Bitcoin supporters find themselves involved with when battling against the conventional government backed financial system paradigm.
BTCGeek: Which alt-coins are your favorite?
Chris: Of course I am a fan of Primecoin for it’s uniqueness. I also am a big believer in Cryptogenic Bullion as I see this to offer some of the best features from many different coins blended together into one rare commodity. NVC and PPC are a couple others that I am fond of, primarily due to their respective devs for whom I have the utmost respect and confidence, Sunny King and Balthazar.
BTCGeek: Which ones do you see the most potential for?
Chris: I am partial to Cryptogenic Bullion for a number of reasons. Rarity, transaction speed, 51% resistance via Proof of Stake as well as interest, rapidly diminishing supply and well designed difficulty adjustment algorithm to prevent being taken advantage of by mining pools, active and public development team and dedication to marketing and growth.
BTCGeek: It is interesting how something as digital as crypto-currencies have a market in the physical coin form (Casascius coins for Bitcoin, for instance). Why do you think that is?
Chris: I think the early prospectors/investors in digital currencies are those who truly believe in diversity regarding their finances. I think the same mentality that leads one to diversify their portfolio into crypto-currencies also leads one to diversify into precious metals. Due to this I feel the merging of a precious metal with a digital currency to be extremely popular among collectors. I am not sold on the functionality of these pieces but the collectibility is undeniable.
BTCGeek: What’s special about the number 11 in offering 11 XPMs?
Chris: The number 10 was actually my original selection for the physical pieces but in a conversation with Sunny King, he suggested the use of a prime number instead. Obviously I liked the idea and hence the number 10 was changed to the more fitting prime number 11.
BTCGeek: How do you monetize the crypto-currencies that you receive? Do you convert everything to USD to pay for material, etc. or do you keep a part of it in the original form?
Chris: As of now all of my received payment via crypto-currency remains invested in crypto-currency’s. I do plan to transfer some to USD to recoup my initial investments from family savings but am working with my accountant to insure that this is handled by the book.
BTCGeek: What are your thoughts on the regulation of Bitcoin?
Chris: It is a bit of a double edged sword and oxymoronic, but I think regulation will be critical to mass adoption and therefore I support it.
BTCGeek: Do you think the US is doing a fair job at it?
Chris: I will have to get back with you on that after I have finished working with my accountant and payed my taxes, lol.
Photo credit: redphlem