Although the crypto industry has changed dramatically in its decade-long lifespan, the narrative surrounding Bitcoin (BTC), along with its cardinal value proposition. has been steady, more or less. Yet, there have been a few nuances.
Case in point, over recent years, proponents of the cryptocurrency have been wishy-washy with the asset being a Store of Value (SoV) or a Medium of Exchange (MoE). As both arguments have their merits and proofs, a sometimes volatile dichotomy has formed between commentators, researchers, analysts, and investors touting the distinct thought processes.
In fact, many argue that what catalyzed the now infamous hard fork of mid-2017 was an argument about whether BTC was actually, well, digital cash. More and more are coming to the conclusion though that prior to becoming a new form of money, Bitcoin will first need to become the go-to store of value.
Bitcoin As Gold 2.0
In a recent tweet, Tyler Winklevoss, one of the Winklevi(i) twins and the chief executive of Gemini, noted that he sees Bitcoin as “gold 2.0”. He states that the cryptocurrency “matches or beats” gold across the board. As he said in a previous interview, the only thing that gold has over BTC is a “3,000-year headstart.”
Bitcoin is gold 2.0. It matches or beats gold across the board. It’s market cap is ~140bil, gold’s market cap is ~7tril. Do the math!
— Tyler Winklevoss May 16, 2019
Factual data would confirm this. As Grayscale Investments explained, unlike the metal, BTC is mathematically scarce, capped at 21 million units; BTC is decentralized and verifiable through the Internet; BTC is portable and divisible through digital technologies, and is unconfiscatable. Gold, on the other hand, has an unlimited supply, centralization risks, an inability to be easily divided and moved around, and concerns around its purity. The chart below from Grayscale sums this controversial yet seemingly valid argument up fairly well.
Maybe that’s why Grayscale has begun to push for investors to “drop gold”. As NewsBTC reported previously, the firm launched an extensive ad campaign that touted BTC as “gold 2.0.” Grayscale released a 45-second advertisement that depicted two youngers physically “dropping gold” as those around them struggle with the heavy, cumbersome commodity, escaping to what is assumed to a society predicated on the use of digital assets.
A No-Gold World
Let’s say the world realizes the potential that Bitcoin holds, resulting in the world looking to store their value in BTC compared to gold. What would this hypothetical (yet totally possible) world look like? According to HodlWhale, a Seattle-based cryptocurrency investor, a world where Bitcoin has absorbed all the value of the gold in circulation would see BTC valued at $350,000.
This figure isn’t exactly baseless. Pre previous reports from this outlet, all physical gold products in circulation are currently valued at approximately $7.83 trillion, while all BTC has a mere $94 billion valuation. If the latter was to fully displace the value of the first, Crypto Voices, an industry analytics and research group, estimated that BTC would swell to a value of a casual $450,000 — slightly above HodlWhale’s estimate.
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Author: Nick Chong