Nope, Bitcoin Is Not Digital Gold (But Here’s What It Is…)

The meteoric rise of crypto-currencies, including Bitcoin, captured the attention of many precious metals investors last year. Crypto’s potential to serve as private and decentralized currency – beyond the reach of bankers (central and otherwise) to corrupt and control – is an alluring combination for some speculative members of “honest money” crowd.

Investors are currently trying to determine what Bitcoin represents and what role it will play relative to precious metals. With that in mind let’s have a look at what Bitcoin is now, what it might become later, and also point out what it will never be.

Here Is What Bitcoin Is Now

Bitcoin is a disruptive new idea. It let the genie out of the bottle by introducing the world to decentralized (read “unstoppable”) networks which can be used to send and store value by anyone, from anywhere without central authorities and big institutions mucking around in the middle.

Banks and governments may be in the early stages of losing their monopoly on money as a means of profit and control. That would be a major leap for the cause of liberty.

But this vision has not yet been fulfilled. Crypto investors need to understand the Bitcoin tokens they buy are merely one attempt to deliver on the idea of free-market money.

The idea is a sure winner. The tokens, unfortunately, are far from it.

Bitcoin is a medium of exchange, albeit with limited use currently. It is great for sending value across borders without permission and for making payments to the very small number of merchants who currently accept it.

Finally, it is a highly speculative asset. Bitcoin can produce dazzling returns, such as we saw in 2017, as well as devastating losses like we have seen over the past month. This volatility will likely remain until the basic problems of adoption and scaling are resolved and it achieves widespread utility. Absent that, hope and fear will be primary drivers and Bitcoin will be a roller coaster ride.

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Disclosure: Money Metals Exchange is leading the precious metals industry in accepting and making payment in various cryptos when customers buy and sell physical precious metals. Customers may ...

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Berk Emre Gedikoglu 2 years ago Contributor's comment

This is a very realistic and grounded analysis of bitcoin!