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Author Topic: Gold vs. Bitcoin  (Read 1358 times)
bitbit
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April 10, 2013, 01:32:41 AM
 #1

Currencies must be:

- scarce
- a medium of exchange
- durable
- evenly divisible 
- widely accepted as payment
- used as a standard of market value, thereby enabling users of the currency to save money for later use.

Let's see how Bitcoins perform against gold.

Scarcity

Both are scarce. Gold is naturally scarce, while bitcoins were created to be scarce. The amount of Bitcoins is fixed, while new findings of gold gradually increases the amount of accessible gold. Bitcoins 1, gold 0. On the other hand, one can know for sure that new Bitcoins will never be generated. A possible criticism of Bitcoins is that it can be outcompeted by another cryptocurrency (or another solution), and therefore lose its value. Gold, on the other hand, is not likely to be outperformed by other precious metals. Bitcoins 1, gold 1.

Medium of exchange

Bitcoins perform well as a medium of exchange. They are are accessible as payment through computers and mobile devices connected to the Internet, it acts efficiently as both a currency and a payment system. People can exchange (or save) them anonymously. Exchange of gold, on the other hand, is more cumbersome. It takes days, of not weeks, to transport gold overseas, for example. Bitcoins 2, gold 1.

Durable

As a digital currency, there is no risk of breakage or other deterioration. Bitcoins are extremely, if not infinitely, durable. Gold qua gold is also extremely durable, but gold coins may suffer from physical damage, and require casting, verification, etc. Bitcoins 3, gold 1.

Evenly divisible

Each Bitcoin is of identical character and quality as the next. It is extremely simple to divide a Bitcoin into subunits. Dividing gold, on the other hand, is much more cumbersome. Bitcoins 4, gold 1.

Widely accepted as payment

Bitcoins are not yet currently widely accepted, although it becomes more accepted every day. Will it be accepted in the future? It is still too early to know. So far gold outperforms Bitcoins by far when it comes to acceptability.

Conclusion: Bitcoins have a number of advantages that gold does not have, but it is still too early to know whether Bitcoin will be established as a major currency or whether it will collapse.
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pretendo
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April 10, 2013, 01:55:49 AM
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The durability of bitcoin is the durability of the hardware they are on.

My attempt at adding to the bitcoin-using marketplace: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=171843.0
Like online video games? Check it out! I'm selling at a big discount
marcus_of_augustus
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April 10, 2013, 02:34:31 AM
 #3

bitcoins are also concealable whilst still remaining highly portable ... try that with 1 kg of gold.

Point being there are also other properties that market desires that may not covered by the traditional definitions of good money relative to the current era of technology or rogue govt. financial tyranny. Need to rewrite some of those textbooks methinks.

Snowfire
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April 10, 2013, 04:21:51 AM
 #4

But you can't make tooth fillings or electrical contacts out of Bitcoins. Wink

BTC:1Ca1YU6rCqCHniNj6BvypHbaHYp32t2ubp XRP: rpVbjBotUFCoi9xPu3BqYXZhTLpgZbQpoZ
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mgio
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April 10, 2013, 05:01:18 AM
 #5

Gold is more durable that bitcoins.

Very little gold is every lost. 22k gold coins are rather robust and 24k gold bars aren't bad either. Gold doesn't rust or tarnish and isn't too difficult to separate it from other metals (for example, extracting it from jewelry).

Bitcoin is vulnerable to hard drive crashes, forgotten passwords and internet theft. There are viruses out there that look for bitcoin wallets, key log until they see the password and then send the wallet out. You could turn on your computer to find all the bitcoins are gone and there is no way to get them back (since bitcoin is anonymous). There have been several high profile security breaches on online exchanges and wallets. The police will be no help recovering bitcoins (though they may help you recover gold).
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April 10, 2013, 05:11:28 AM
 #6

Gold is more durable that bitcoins.
Especially the stuff made out of tungsten. Wink

Very little gold is every lost. 22k gold coins are rather robust and 24k gold bars aren't bad either. Gold doesn't rust or tarnish and isn't too difficult to separate it from other metals (for example, extracting it from jewelry).

Bitcoin is vulnerable to hard drive crashes, forgotten passwords and internet theft. There are viruses out there that look for bitcoin wallets, key log until they see the password and then send the wallet out. You could turn on your computer to find all the bitcoins are gone and there is no way to get them back (since bitcoin is anonymous). There have been several high profile security breaches on online exchanges and wallets. The police will be no help recovering bitcoins (though they may help you recover gold).

IMO, the two compliment each other very well, each filling gaps that the other leaves. ShireSilver agrees:

https://shiresilver.com/currency_comparison

Bitcoin for internet transactions, gold and silver for in-person transactions, especially where there is no internet or no power.

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marcus_of_augustus
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April 10, 2013, 05:11:38 AM
 #7

But you can't make tooth fillings or electrical contacts out of Bitcoins. Wink

Yep, pros and cons, swings and roundabouts, horses for courses ... don't get wedded to any one investment, keep your eye on the ball, watch The Man, diversify, be happy, sleep well.

granolageek
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April 10, 2013, 06:33:34 AM
 #8

But you can't make tooth fillings or electrical contacts out of Bitcoins. Wink

Uses for which the market clearing price is a few hundred bucks per ounce. Even adding jewelry I bet it's under $1k.
notig
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April 10, 2013, 08:40:35 AM
 #9

Bitcoin is better than gold at pretty much everything. The only thing it really isn't is a total post apocalyptic scenario where there is no internet left.
happyface
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April 10, 2013, 03:20:22 PM
 #10

https://gold.net/media/d81a6d6210077618a8cd2bf3a385c158.png
https://gold.net/chart/metal/XAU_BTC/?encoded=ZGF0ZXM9MXI6aGJzOWh3ZzBfaGZjZWlzZHNfdl9y


https://gold.net/media/b02dcef6b5669cd67355df4ecf939e78.png
https://gold.net/chart/metal/XAU/?encoded=c2VyaWVzPTE6QlRDVVNEX0JfVVNEX3ElM0FFNCU0MCUzQSUzRk9FJTQwTyUyNiUyNE81JTQwJTNEJTNEMkNfcSUyNXIlMjYlMjRzJmRhdGVzPTFyOmhiczlod2cwX2hmY2VtbjlzX3Zfcg==


https://gold.net/media/c7015b0a1032c220b4665119372f44e8.png
https://gold.net/chart/metal/XAU/?encoded=c2VyaWVzPTE6QlRDVVNEX0JfVVNEX3ElM0FFNCU0MCUzQSUzRk9FJTQwTyUyNiUyNE81JTQwJTNEJTNEMkNfcSUyNXIlMjYlMjRzJmRhdGVzPTFyOmhiczlod2cwX2hmY2VucHVvX3Bfcg==

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