In April 2014, Cryptolator announced the release of the “Cryptolator Unchained” coins. The first coin made available was limited to 140 coins and made of pure silver. Later, copper, Merlin Gold, ‘antique copper’, and ‘antique brass’ versions were released bearing the same ‘Unchained’ design. Cryptolator is based in Quebec, Canada and is run by Jonathan Leonard. Upon release of the brand it was initially stated that a new design would come out yearly, but as of printing, only the first design has been released.
The Cryptolator design is highly symbolic. It features a group of people empowered by Bitcoin using chains to pull down the supporting pillars of a burning central bank, as a pig and a dog with bags of ‘fiat’ money sit weeping at its ruined steps. On the capstone of the bank is an ‘Illuminati eye’ which is closed and crying. The chains which are used to pull down the supports of the current financial institution symbolize the ‘blockchain’ upon which Bitcoin is based. This symbolism reflects sentiments that permeate the bitcoin community; a belief that the present system of ‘fiat’ money controlled by central banks is flawed and inferior to the free-market logic upon which Bitcoin is built. The assumption of many in the Bitcoin community is that the monetary system will eventually collapse as it is made obsolete by a superior system. This broad discourse and conviction (and even hope) is displayed on Cryptolator coins in one thought-provoking image. As it goes, a picture says a thousand words. The weeping bankers who are presented as pigs and dogs were inspired by the 1977 Pink Floyd music album ‘Animals’ which uses animals to symbolize and critique the state of capitalistic society. This album was actually inspired by ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell.
The back side of the coin features the ‘binary pattern’ made popular by both Casascius and Lealana. Cryptolator’s coins could be seen as adding something more to the market by replacing the ‘simple’ designs on some Casascius and Lealana coins with something much more appealing as a piece of art.
Cryptolator coins could be ordered in three configurations; multi-signature, single-key signature, or ‘DIY.’ Multi-signature and single-key coins come with an ‘Original’ marked hologram sealed by Cryptolator, while the holograms on ‘DIY’ coins are marked ‘Personal’ and are provided to the buyer as stickers. Most coins were not pre-funded prior to shipment, so the majority of Cryptolator coins do not contain any BTC value.