33 reasons why holding bitcoin is better than holding gold

Here are 33 reasons why holding bitcoin is better than holding gold. I hold and have experimented with both in various ways, which helped me come up with this list.

By the way, holding bitcoin means being in possession or control of the private keys to your bitcoins, like when using certain bitcoin wallet apps, instead of keeping a bitcoin balance online at an exchange or in an online wallet. Holding gold means being in possession or control of it, not owning gold certificates or bonds. Same idea, except one is the digital equivalent to the other’s analog.

1.

If you store your gold at home or in your apartment, it can be stolen. You can also lose access to your home, and therefore your gold. Gold can melt in a fire. Bitcoin can’t. If you store your gold in a bank vault, you can also lose access to it for a variety of reasons.

2.

If you carry your gold coins or bars around, they can be lost or taken. You can get mugged. You may be the victim of civil asset forfeiture, or other illegal seizure. Your Bitcoin cannot be taken from your smartphone or encrypted paper wallet without your consent. Also, nobody can frisk you or search your car or bags and figure out you have Bitcoin on you.

3.

You can’t buy stuff online with your gold. Like furniture from Overstock, games on Steam, computers from Dell, Microsoft, and hundreds if not thousands of other online services and stores.

4.

You can’t buy gold online and immediately receive it within moments. It must be shipped to you, insured, and you have to be there at the right moment to receive it. Nor can you upload your gold to liquidate it into cash.

5.

If you get sued for any reason, or divorced, or your assets are seized by a court or the state, whether rightfully or wrongfully, then your gold stash can be physically seized. Your bitcoin cannot be taken from you without your consent.

6.

The best “sound money” is the one you have with you! Not only is Bitcoin safe to carry around, but Bitcoin has no weight, so you are not disincentivized to carry it around. You won’t carry around gold bars or coins larger than a Maplegram for those reasons. If your gold is at home and you need to liquidate it for some reason, you have to go back home to get it, and that may not be a good option at all times.

7.

Carrying gold around is less useful than bitcoins, because there are comparatively far less businesses –and these days, people– that accept gold for payment than Bitcoin.

8.

You can’t cross borders with your some of your gold stash without declaring it. You can’t even bring any worthy amount on an airplane.

9.

There’s no “app for that”. You can’t send your gold to somebody over the internet. You have to hire today’s equivalent to the Pony Express, such as UPS or FedEx, and then wait, and trust them with it. Or deliver it yourself. Slow, tedious, costly.

10.

You can’t safely trade your gold for cash in-person with someone you don’t know and trust. With Bitcoin, there are trustless ways to trade.

11.

Storing your gold securely at home requires an expensive safe and electronic surveillance. Security through obscurity is weak. Storing your bitcoin securely just requires you to memorize a PIN code or a passphrase. You can have better than Fort Knox security with your Bitcoin at no charge other than to make sure you have a good smartphone (a non-jailbroken iPhone 6 and up with latest iOS will do fine.) and follow some best practices.

12.

You can’t get a gold-backed credit or debit card and then decide to instantly load it up with some of your gold stash.

13.

You can’t buy and sell gold at ATMs across the world. You can only *buy* gold from a Vending machine. In Dubai.

14.

If government outlaws private possession of gold, as they did in the USA until 1975 (and could do it again, as other countries still do), forcing individuals to return gold in return for paper currency, the risks of discovering your gold stash (or being denounced) are far greater than if this happens with bitcoin.

15.

It’s hard to tell the purity of gold. You might own impure or even fake gold. It’s drop-dead easy to know if you have real bitcoins.

16.

You can’t convert Gold to Silver or to Platinum or other precious metals if those become more fashionable or have better growth prospects with the press of a button from your sofa. You can convert Bitcoin to other cryptocurrencies with the press of a button in your bitcoin wallet app.

17.

You can’t simultaneously store your gold in multiple locations. You can keep copies of your bitcoin private key in multiple locations.

18.

You can’t give partial control of your gold to other people. With Bitcoin, you can give private keys to your bitcoins to a certain number of people and have them controled only if 2, 3 or more of them accept to make a given transaction.

19.

You can’t lock-in your gold so it can’t be traded/sold until a certain time. You can with Bitcoin.

20.

You can’t check your gold balance (or know if it is still all there) whenever you want even, from anywhere. You can with bitcoin.

21.

You can’t accept gold donations securely without even being there to receive them or paying/trusting a 3rd party to collect and protect them for you. With bitcoin, you can. It can be as easy as having a bitcoin sticker with the bitcoin QR code to donate to on it.

22.

You can’t convert gold to a brainwallet and store it entirely in your mind. You could be naked and in solitary confinement and still control fortunes and therefore have the power to spend/trade it.

23.

Bitcoin is easily divisible into smaller units as needed. Gold, not so much. I have some nifty 1g Canadian Mint MapleGrams, they are pretty tiny, but still worth about $50 USD each. You can have $2.00 of bitcoin or whatever you need.

24.

Gold transactions can be reversed. Through violent coercion. Bitcoin transactions cannot.

25.

Bitcoin is more scarce. Total amount of gold is unknown, and in some ways unlimited. Total amount of bitcoin is known to all, and is limited. Scarcity helps maintain value.

26.

Gold mining/production rate (and therefore daily supply) is variable. Gold mines can be discovered. Therefore its scarcity is variable. Bitcoin production is a known and fixed quantity. Gold production may increase over time. Bitcoin production gets cut in half every 4 years. This directly affects supply and demand and therefore is a factor that causes bitcoin’s increase in value over time.

27.

You can’t mine gold from the comfort of your home, while doing other stuff. You can do this with bitcoin. Just buy a mining rig, plug it in and configure it, and you’ll be accumulating bitcoin.

28.

You can’t start your own precious metal or even mint your own coins or create a gold-backed currency of your own (see Liberty Dollar and e-Gold). You do all that with Bitcoin.

29.

Bitcoin is programmable (can support smart contracts, tokens, secure and automatic crowdfunding), gold is not.

30.

Bitcoin can and does significantly evolve. It gets new capabilities and features every year. Gold, far less, such as the introduction of thin, wallet-size gold wafers that can be separated into tiny rectangles for divisibility.

31.

Bitcoin can exist in virtual worlds below our level and move back and forth between the current layer (the real world) and the virtual layer (the level below), gold cannot.

32.

Bitcoin is still new, with a blue sky for potential value gain. Market cap is less than $100 billion. Gold has at least a $1 trillion market cap. Lots of room for bitcoin to grow. Gold, far less. It’s gold’s market cap to lose, and bitcoin’s to gain.

33.

Bitcoin transactions are time stamped, so proving you traded it is easy. Proving you paid in gold requires a trusted receipt, and the receipt can be cheated.

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