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With the Forbes online article this week interviewing Rob McEwen, once again we are given a glimpse at bitcoin's potential to unseat gold. The head of McEwen Mining and previous owner of Goldcorp, worth well over 30 billion, conceded that "it's a mistake to write off this bitcoin as a bubble or fad.." Other pundits have gone further suggesting that bitcoin is "gold on steroids."
Indeed, Gold, the ancient currency was once prized for how easy it was to recognize and transport. But in this global economy, the weight of gold is now its greatest burden, like cattle its predecessor, gold is a nightmare to when it comes to sending it over the internet. Further, modern counterfeiters have challenged the most pristine aspect of gold, with many recent forgeries being crafted with Tungsten, an element with the same density as gold. In a recent case in New York, hundreds of thousand of dollars were lost to complex gold forgery.
Bitcoin, like Gold, has achieved its lofty comparison mostly by its imposed scarcity, gold's greatest feature. Indeed by setting a hard limit of bitcoins at 21 million, it is seemingly even more scarce. While its possible to subdivide each bitcoin into millions of units called Satoshi's to maintain its fluidity, once the limit is reached no new coins will ever be created.
Indeed as gold prices drop in recent months, one can only wonder if bitcoin, Cyprus and the internet have anything to do with the fall. And others have suggested that as bitcoin's price explodes ever higher in value, whether we are seeing the beginning of the world's first digital gold rush.
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