Enter the BTC ring: It’s 3D-printed, customisable, and has a QR code that syncs the wearer up to the Bitcoin blockchain. If you’re a someone who stands by his or her Bitcoin, there’s now a cryptocurrency-inspired way to seal a marriage transaction with your partner.
But unlike a diamond, which stores all the value in the rock itself, creator and MIT PhD graduate in electrical engineering and computer science Seb Neumayer asserts that all the BTC ring’s value is in the blockchain. Over a phone call, Neumayer, who created the project as part of a MIT hackathon last year, told me that this means that basically nothing happens if you lose that all important ring. You can just print yourself another one.
“The real value of the BTC ring lies in the blockchain, this is different to a diamond ring, where the value is on the ring,”
Neumayer told me over the phone.
Neumayer recently created an app to accompany his Bitcoin ring. The basic idea, he said, was that anyone could scan the QR code on your BTC ring and find out how much value you had stored on there. Neumayer argues that diamond engagement rings are all about showing off how much money you’ve got, but not actually revealing the price to anyone. With the BTC ring, he wants everything to be transparent, as someone who scans another person’s ring can easily see how much money they’ve got stashed away in bitcoins.
While Neumayer says he’s all against the idea of conspicuous consumption, the blurb on BTC’s website does still sound a bit contradictory. “Diamonds are shiny, but then your friends don’t know how much was spent on you,”
reads the website, which then encourages you to “look up the value of your BTC ring using our Android app.”
Still, Neumayer has made sure there are certain regulations in place that prevent someone from giving the same bitcoin ring to someone else. As well as being customisable, the ring can contain personalised “blockchain inscriptions.”
This is basically like digital engravings, where you encode messages in the bitcoin blockchain itself to mark out your ring to someone specific, so that if you gave your ring to the wrong person, they’d know straight away.
While wearing a big diamond rock on your finger might leave you more susceptible to muggings, Neumayer asserts that as the Bitcoin ring is actually worth nothing in itself, it’s pretty much a safer option all around. If you lose it, print another. If someone steals it, it doesn’t matter, as it doesn’t contain the password to a Bitcoin wallet. After all, with the BTC ring, “the bling is in the code.”
The only BTC ring that marries real value and design. Don’t store your value in a rock, store in a block. TheBTCRing.com allows you to obtain the 3d print files for a bitcoin engagement ring. The silver ring shown in the video was made using these 3d print files at Shapeways.com. Once the ring has been printed and loaded, anyone can scan the ring and determine how much you dropped on that ring (in bitcoin).