Following the Mt. Gox takedown, I acted as referee between Doug Casey, of Casey Research, and Jon Matonis, of Bitcoin Foundation, as they discussed the relative merits of two free market monies, gold and Bitcoin. It was a great contest.
Episode 121: Doug Casey of Casey Research debates e-money researcher and “crypto economist” Jon Matonis on the virtues – or otherwise – of Bitcoin, and how it compares to gold as a form of money.
Casey, a Bitcoin sceptic, notes that Bitcoin satisfies Aristotle’s definition of what constitutes “good” money in all but one important aspect: that it doesn’t have value in any kind of non-monetary sense, unrelated to its use as a medium of exchange. This is in contrast to precious metals, which have unique chemical properties and uses in an industrial context.
Matonis argues that this is unimportant set against Bitcoin’s strengths: notably the ease of transacting in them and its decentralised nature, meaning that there is no central point of attack for its enemies (whoever they may be). He also points out that – unlike gold – physical confiscation of Bitcoin, a la FDR in 1933, is for obvious reasons impossible.
This podcast was recorded on 11 April 2013 and previously published at The Euro Vigilante.