Gold versus bitcoin debate makes further headlines as tech experts weigh in

Peter Thiel tells Saudi conference he believes bitcoinis underestimated and compares to gold

Steve Wozniak tells Money 20/20 that bitcoin is a better standard of value than gold and U.S. dollar

-Both men recognise that the US dollar has little value and there are worthy competitors to its crown as reserve currency

Gold continues to hold its value and has multiple uses, bitcoin remains volatile and difficult to use

Experts are pushing an unnecessary debate as gold and bitcoin state more about fiat than each other

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 howthey 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 thanbeing a statement on the pushback against fiat money tyranny.

Misinformed withmisdirection

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.

Wozniak then described the US dollar as kind of phony, while describing Bitcoin as more genuine and real.

All about the dollar

To cut to the chase what Wozniak and Thiel are really saying is not that bitcoin and gold are competing with one another but instead that they are better than the US dollar.

This should be the main takeaway the US dollar does have major problems. It has lost over 90% of its value, is controlled by one central bank and holds a huge amount of power over the rest of the world.

Things are so bad with the US dollar that the likes of Russia and China no longer want to hold it in reserve and are rapidly increasing their exposure to physical gold bullion.

This is where the crux of any debate should be, why is bitcoin so successful and can it follow in gold’s footsteps when it comes to holding its value and outperforming fiat currencies. The two assets are so dramatically different that there should be little airtime given to an either/or debate.

Instead finance and tech commentators should recognise that if managed successfully bitcoin could join gold in its role as an alternative and powerful currency tha