2014 Keychain Tokens
One of the First Tokens Redeemable for a Physical Product
Rob Mitchell recently contacted me about tokens he created on Counterparty and Dogeparty in 2014. The tokens were — as far as he knew — the first use case of tokens being redeemable for a physical product.
Rob is a crypto OG who hosted The Bitcoin Game podcast from 2014 to 2020.
The tokens could be exchanged for a physical Bitcoin keychain which Rob was producing and selling through Amazon, and his website, where you can still purchase the keychains: bkeychain.com
DISCLAIMER: Anything you do after this is 100% on you. Any lost funds, failed investments, or other unforeseen consequences are 100% on you. I am not responsible in any way. Turn away if you do not accept 100% responsibility. Please read everything before proceeding and DYOR.
At the time of this writing I do not hold any of the Tokens discussed in this article and have not been compensated in any way. I expect to participate in the auctions for tokens (see below).
Rob was very active on the LetsTalkBitcoin (LTB) forums — of Adam B. Levine fame — as LTB was where he hosted his podcast. He was also very interested in what use cases tokens could have in solving real-world problems.
Side note: If you haven’t heard my podcast with Adam, it's one of my favorites of all time. You can listen here.
At the time, Rob had a company called Paperclip Robot that sold Bitcoin keychains.
You can see through the Wayback Machine that Rob had been selling his keychains on Amazon since at least July 17, 2013.
So Rob thought it would be cool to make a token on Counterparty that would be redeemable for an IRL keychain.
So on August 12, 2014, Rob created the BKEYCHAINUSA token with a total supply of 10.
Look in the description field where it says “Keychain mailed to USA”, this token could only be exchanged for a keychain shipped to an address in the USA.
This brings us to the OTHER Counterparty token.
On August 22, 2014, Rob minted the BKEYCHAIN token which promised the holder international shipping for their keychain.
As with BKEYCHAINUSA, the total supply at minting was 10.
The LTB Auction
Through this Wayback Machine link, you can see that Rob auctioned 5 Bitcoin keychain tokens on the LetsTalkBitcoin site on August 24, 2014, with each redeemable for one physical keychain. These tokens were all distributed.
Screengrab of the LTB post
Did you catch that text in the post?:
These are almost the only digital tokens that are redeemable for a physical product! What a fun experiment!
Please tell me if you know of any others that were earlier!😂
You can see in the LTB post where Rob explains the token redemption process which was to be done by the holder sending him the token, and he would mail them the keychain in exchange. Though no one ever redeemed a token, Rob notes that someone did send tokens as tips.
One of the BKEYCHAIN token buyers apparently used them to tip other people, which seemed very cool at the time to tip tokens with a connection to physical products. — Rob Mitchell
Rob was very excited about the possibility of tokens on Dogeparty because of the low transaction fees and, like many, grabbed a bunch of names when the service launched.
Rob currently holds all 20 of the Dogeparty tokens as none were ever distributed. On Counterparty, he has 5 of BKEYCHAIN and zero of the BKEYCHAINUSA tokens.
When I talked to Rob, he mentioned that he settled on a supply of 10 for each token because he was thinking of them as gift certificates that he could always mint more of if the idea took off.
And while Rob isn’t really into collectibles, he does understand that it may be very difficult — if not impossible — to grow a community around these tokens given the incredibly low supply and multiple tokens that may be lost.
However, to solidify the project's legacy, Rob has decided not to increase the supply of the tokens.
On September 19, 2022, Rob locked the total supply of both the Counterparty and Dogeparty tokens at only 10 each. Giving the entire project a supply of 40 tokens (20 on Counterparty and 20 on Dogeparty).
In addition, Rob will not attach any image to the tokens, preserving them in their native state. He plans to add an image to the Emblem Vaults to make them easy to identify, but this will not affect the underlying token.
Beginning on September 28, Rob will auction four Dogeparty BKEYCHAIN, and four Dogeparty BKEYCHAINUSA on Opensea. He has created Emblem Vaults (one for each token) as an easy way for collectors to trade the tokens. You can see the auctions here.
Amazing Easter Egg
What if I told you that a photo Rob took of a Bitcoin Keychain was used to create the legendary Spells of Genesis “Satoshi” card? 🤯
You can see the original photo Rob posted on the photosharing site flickr.com which is pretty compelling evidence when viewed as a gif. Rob noted in the video below that the photo is CC0, so it was totally cool for SoG to use.
I reached out to Guillaume Ducos who is the artist behind the card, and he confirmed that he indeed DID use that photo when designing the SoG card!
Well, you’re quite an observer! It’s indeed the exact photo I used…I am glad it pleased the photographer and I should thank him for this :) — Guillaume Ducos
Of course, Rob is thrilled that his photo of the keychain he designed is featured in the iconic NFT. And for collectors, it creates a very compelling piece of lore that connects the tokens to NFT history.
I realize this is an extensive article with a lot to digest, but I wanted to try and bring to light some of the cool details about what Rob was experimenting with back in 2014.
Of course, I may have things wrong, out of order, etc. so please DYOR and let me know if you see any errors in what I’m writing here. I will be sure to note any updates to the document.