For years, Casascius coins have been a great novelty item in the bitcoin community. These digital-bitcoins-turned-minted-bitcoins were the idea of a Utah-based man by the name of Mike Caldwell, and he’s promptly shutting down his operation.
Why? FinCEN (the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) has sent him a strongly-worded letter, essentially deeming his business to be a money-services organization, which requires a number of obstacles to get by in order to be approved, something Caldwell just isn’t ready to take on (given the complexity). So he’s shut down his operation until further notice:
“For the time being, I have suspended accepting new orders, pending resolution of some concerns I have as to regulatory issues. I am anticipating a possibility of having to prequalify buyers, and am holding off taking orders until I know for sure,” he says in a statement on his website.
Is this the end of the coins as we know it? “It’s possible. I haven’t come to a final conclusion,” said Caldwell. For now, he’s processing his last few orders.
Caldwell’s private mint has manufactured over 60,000 Casascius coins in multiple denominations, worth well over $80 million USD. (via Wired)