A few years ago, I asked a pawnbroker acquaintance if he would sell me a little certified high-quality gold.
It was not an investment. I was not betting on the appreciation of the precious metal. It was strictly a “what-if” purchase, contemplating the possibility Risa and I would have to flee our home. Currency might rapidly erode in the event of an invasion, a tyrant, or a natural catastrophe, “but gold would always be accepted as valuable” we reasoned.
We had watched too many Holocaust documentaries, read too many books about refugees perhaps, but the images of gold sewn into duffle bag compartments enabling people to survive the worst, haunted us both, so we invested some of our savings in certified weight gold ingots.
Our pawn shop owner friend told us he’d sold gold fairly often for exactly the same reason to occasional clients like us.
If it had been 2021 when I considered a “what-if metal,” I probably would have made a different choice. I would have bought Bitcoin.
So much has changed in the three years since we bought the gold. As an investment, Bitcoin has gone up close to ten times what it was worth then. Gold is up 20%.
More and more places accept the digital currency today, probably more than do gold, and if you had to flee within minutes, all you would need to take is your cell phone and your passwords to access the Bitcoin.
Many people, often my age, are Bitcoin skeptics, but younger people are not. To them, digital money seems more rational than $100 bills, bank accounts, stocks, or corn silos. Gold in a suitcase, if you have to pass through a TSA line at an airport, sounds like lunacy in a national emergency.
At a family gathering during Thanksgiving, Bitcoin, and not the Bears or Cubs, was the primary topic of table conversation. Recently, when Mark Cuban was asked where he was putting his money these days, he said “digital currency and gaming” because that is what the kids are interested in, and he always likes to invest where young people are putting their money.
Cuban is usually right.
Nobody has offered to buy a Citizen nor Star Swiss screw machine from us yet in Bitcoin, but it will probably happen next year.
The Chinese Communist leaders seem to be terribly afraid of Bitcoin, which means the leaders probably have a big stash of Bitcoin to go along with their Swiss bank accounts. For sure Putin owns Bitcoin.
Jamie Diamond and Warren Buffett say Bitcoin is phony. I wonder how much they have bought secretly. They may feel that legitimizing digital currency would harm their business interests.
I don’t know if Bitcoin and Ethereum and other wannabe Bitcoins will stand the test of time, but will gold save me if it seems like America is going to fall apart? If climate change really is an existential threat will anybody take gold in the great flood?
Bitcoin? Maybe they will take it if you throw in one of those gold trinkets as a tip.
Question: Do you think Bitcoin is the real deal?