Bitcoin’s divisibility and transportability make it much more flexible than digital gold |
Andreas Antonopoulos, the author of Mastering Bitcoin and a Bitcoin proponent, spoke about Bitcoin as a digital currency and whether it would be limited to being just that, in his latest Q&A session on Youtube.
The author was asked about the possibility of Bitcoin becoming the world’s reserve currency, a digital gold and whether other cryptocurrencies would be used as a day-to-day currency. To which, he said:
“I don’t know. I think it would surprise me, actually, if Bitcoin could only fit into the niche of ‘digital gold.’ Bitcoin has characteristics of divisibility and transportability that make it… much more flexible than digital gold.”
Antonopoulos stated that gold is not a good medium of exchanges, because of the difficulty related to verifying whether it is real. He also stated that the store of value is “heavy to carry”, adding that the more one tries to make it fungible and divides it into smaller pieces, the harder it gets to verify its authenticity. According to him, verifying gold in larger amounts, which are stamped by reputable third parties, is easier.
“Then the cost of storing and securing gold is so high that it is better done in a custodial manner, where you put it in a vault and have professionals guarding it. You [are left] with a little paper certificate [of ownership], which have other problems like hypothecation. [All of this] makes it difficult to use [gold] directly as a medium of exchange.”
This was followed by the author remarking that these problems are not prevalent in Bitcoin, even though there is “greater complexity” when it comes to securing the cryptocurrency. He went on to say that this would cause some pressure towards third-party custodians, however, if that pressure is going to be lesser in comparison to the current system, it would still be a “more decentralized future”.
“The ability to transport bitcoin very quickly, in very small amounts [or very large amounts], [including] with second-layer networks that are even faster [and smaller] at the level of microtransactions”
Moreover, the Bitcoin proponent thinks that Bitcoin could be a “very effective” medium of exchange and store of value, adding that the volatility would decrease through use and volume, wherein the currency would not be witnessing a major price fluctuation making it “less speculative in nature”.
“That doesn’t mean there won’t be other coins which [are used] for everyday currency. I think there will be [others]. I don’t think Bitcoin will be just digital gold. It may become a world reserve currency, but I think the concept of a unitary world reserve currency [would] no longer be relevant.”
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