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So a couple of weeks ago, we met with Adrian from TGBex for a pint and some food in Searsons pub on Baggot Street. He was in Dublin on business, and we’d spoken before about the physical bitcoins that they make. The company is based in the Isle of Man, smack bang in the middle of the Irish Sea, and manufacture a range of physical bitcoins, which can be bought through their website.
What makes them unique, other than the fact that they’ve been on the BBC, is that they are one of the few companies selling bitcoins (via exchanges, wallets or physical) that can use the normal banking system, and they are regulated in the Isle of Man.
The coins come pre-loaded with a set amount of bitcoin (0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10 or 20 bitcoin), and in a range of different metals depending on the value of the bitcoin on them, with brass, silver and gold coins to choose from depending on your budget. The coins act as a physical wallet too, with the wallet key engraved on the front of the key, and private keys engraved, and behind a tamper proof hologram for good measure, on the rear of the coin.
When we met, we asked about the manufacturing process, and Adrian said that they have a background in finance and have a verified process in which the keys are generated, engraved and then destroyed afterwards. There are a lot of tokens out there on the internet these days, but TGBex have been able to survive the shakeout in the industry by operating within the guidelines set in the Isle of Man. At smaller denominations, you can buy the coins without verification, but coins over £2,000 will require identification to be sent before the sale can be dispatched.
Coins are shipped by insured mail, and they are a great way to introduce someone to bitcoin, or to get a fixed store of bitcoin sent to you in the post (they ship worldwide). As you have the public key of the coin, you can add bitcoin purchased in other places onto the coin, whether for fun, investment or savings, or a way to easily and safely store bitcoins for family.
So if you’re looking for a pre-loaded physical bitcoin wallet, or looking for a gift for the bitcoin lover in your life, why not check out TGBex today. – Update, TGBex has shut down in mid 2016.
We get asked all the time the handiest ways to buy crypto. For the lowest fees, we recommend CoinMate, a long standing EU exchange with low fees and quick deposits via Revolut. Too complicated? You'll pay more in fees/difference in exchange rate to an exchange, but it can be easier for the uninitiated to use a local bitcoin ATM in Ireland to buy crypto with cash, use an Irish broker like Bitcove, CEX (not the game shop), which lets you buy with credit/debit cards, or Coinbase if you want a mobile app linked to a bank card.
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