The USA based Silver Wallets was launched in March 2014, and is owned by four individuals named Adam Graham, Alex Dearth, Doug, and Keeth. The idea behind the company is to create high quality DIY (self assembled) Bitcoin wallet rounds and bars. The team behind the company is highly professional: both Adam and Doug individually have good reputations as resellers and traders of physical crypto-currencies, whereas Alex is a rare coin dealer in Washington DC.
Quite notably, Adam (unsuccessfully) offered his 23.5 percent ownership stake in the company for sale in January 2015 (and again in June of that year). The listing offered a revealing glimpse into the inner workings of a ‘crypto-mint’. Adam calculated the ‘total
retail value’ of the company’s assets to be 34,600 USD, of which he offered 23.5 percent for a ‘starting bid’ of 7,000 USD. These assets included 25,000 USD in stock at retail value in addition to 4,000 holograms, three dies for the coins (3,100 USD value), and a die for the
Silver Wallets hologram (2,500 USD value). It was also advertised that the debt-free company has the names and contact information of all 350+ customers, an established reputation, and that “the remaining partners have a desire to diversify into bars, gold coins, base metal wallets, and accessories”.
Many observations can be made from this listing, the most striking of which is perhaps the stated cost of the dies needed to make the coins and holograms. Since the die to mint a coin can cost in excess of 1,000 USD, it is a significant barrier of entry and means that small
mintage lots must carry a significantly higher cost. For example, the cost of the die would only need to account for 1 USD per coin in a 1,000 coin series (such as Silver Wallets’ first round), but 40 USD per coin in a limited mintage of only 25 such as Crypto Imperator’s
100,000 DOGE coin. Another thing to take into account is the stated cost of the hologram die, which was used to create the holograms and is needed if the same hologram is to be printed in a larger quantity. Though many manufacturers have used more than one logram
design, it is important to realize the cost that changing the design entails.
Since the company has only sold fine silver rounds that are particularly well made (perhaps in part because one of the owners is a rare coin dealer), it has gained a very good reputation as being a producer of high quality, luxury coins.