Lords of the tech world Peter Thiel and Steve Wozniak are the latest to add fuel to the bitcoin versus gold debate.
At separate conferences both told audiences that they had great hopes for bitcoin, comparing it to gold. The co-founder of Paypal and the Apple co-founder both expressed views that suggest they believe the world’s biggest cryptocurrency is superior to the world’s oldest form of money.
Each of their comments demonstrated some ignorance when it came to how gold operates and also in how they believe the two assets need to be considered competitors.
Their comments were really about the badly managed US dollar and how its time is limited. Yet as we have seen throughout the year, thoughts by experts return to bitcoin replacing gold rather than being a statement on the pushback against fiat money tyranny.
Misinformed with misdirection
At first Thiel’s comments were relatively positive towards gold and he showed that he understood why investors choose to invest in both assets:
[Bitcoin is] like a reserve form of money, it’s like gold and it’s just a store of value. If Bitcoin ends up being the cyber equivalent of gold, it has a great potential left.
But Thiel also believes it has more potential than gold due to a misinformed belief about mining differences:
So bitcoin is also, it’s mineable, like gold it’s hard to mine, it’s actually harder to mine than gold and so in that sense it’s more constrained,”
Wozniak also had some interesting comments on how bitcoin and gold mining compared to one another:
“There is a certain finite amount of bitcoin that can ever exist. Gold gets mined and mined and mined. Maybe there’s a finite amount of gold in the world, but Bitcoin is even more mathematical and regulated and nobody can change mathematics.”