Bitcoin vs Gold: The Great Debate with Michael Saylor and Frank Giustra

Thought I would post this debate for my fellow Zcashers as I was given access to it and its unlisted still.
Makes me wonder, how these two dont know about Zcash and the cryptographic innovations going on here that will change the world…

– I take the side of Frank Giustra. As much as I love Bitcoin, I believe in the end it will end up a collectible of some kind at best. In the end Zcash will win and Gold will be around till the end of time.


Wow, thanks for the video. Such debate is really food for though :thinking:t, but, from my perspective, Bitcoin is new era in a world economy and it s new substitution of gold for forseeble future.

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Bitcoin is not a substitution for gold. Its being sold as that right now due to greedy folks getting involved and in 5-10 years time people will realize there are better alternatives. Zcash and Ethereum are the way forward imo. With that said I am interested to hear what you guys think in regards to this…


Bitcoin is a digital clearing instrument but nobody postulates Venmo or Paypal and such vs Gold and honestly I think the comparison will do more harm for Bitcoin than good


Also isnt it true without Gold there would be no modern computers, therefore no Bitcoin? Gold is needed for many industrial purposes such as computer chips.

It also has great spiritual powers as well that are not often discussed in mainstream debates. Take the Golden Temple in India and many other cultures who value Gold highly. Gold is discussed in the bible and holds many interesting properties… Most people dont realize pure Gold is edible, I can eat pure Gold. It has medical benefits going back thousands of years documented in ayurvedic texts.

When it comes to the Bitcoin vs Gold debate there are many dynamics to what makes Gold valuable that the Bitcoin maximalists are overlooking.

Comparing characteristics of non-like things is difficult be they physical or abstract. Moreover these get intermingled, for instance fungibility is an idea that just manifests out there in the world like the things we sense but primarily exists in your mind. Physical properties of Gold (its atomic structure) translate to its abstract characteristics originally from a lack of understanding why (or the historical reason for most things); the beautiful color and reflectivity, its malleability and almost zero reactivity, most ductile, thermal and (after the discovery of electricity) electrical conductivity and posessing all of them make it a mystical, unique and very valuable substance. There’s literally no other known element that compares with its physical versatility and is the underlying reason for its magical preceptions. (Its use for microprocessors comes from those listed properties; only gold wire can be drawn 5 microns thin and it doesn’t corrode so is the only choice for contact connections.)
Bitcoins physical properties are hard to define! My best would be a record of a series of electrical pathways the were either 3v or ground at various clockings that can be sent down a wire and converted to photons for your viewing pleasure but theres no underlying reason for value like there is for Gold. The only comparison point is pricing which is really strange given the 25:1 ratio there, scarcity because its not Doge idk, and mining lol which is another stretch because price is the sole reason for doing it and a trader is your only customer. (Oh and its a hard non-reversible record, duh)
The abstract properties of bitcoin are derived the same way as gold’s which lends to the current dogmatism and is an extremely powerful tool for a while.


Ok well what about Zcash? Isn’t it just ones and zeroes too?
Yes but typically (round these parts anyways) its the idea of a digital cash that Zcash is being compared with where that idea embodies the abstract characteristics of real cash and so are complimentary. Cash is usually rectangular paper with pictures and numbers that gets moved all around in and out of shops and places and so lends itself to being fungible, widely accepted and convenient.
Anyways! the idea of bitcoin replacing gold is like the idea of rainbows replacing diamonds and thrusting it on people while they’re still unable to grasp the actual relationship there.


When Bitcoin is distributed to a large userbase, it will replace gold. Gold will significantly lose its use as a store of value after that.

Bitcoin can replace gold but currently it is almost impossible for it to replace fiat because it is not better than fiat in many things now. It has slow, expensive and traceable transactions. Zcash solves all these issues.

I don’t think it will replace physical gold, but it will kill most gold investments where people don’t actually own it and it is just a piece of paper.

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“The tendency to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true, without consideration of evidence or the opinions of others.”

I’ve just read about consumption of Bitcoin, and I came to opposite point. Nowadays, Bitcoin consumes vast energy. Just imagine, instead of 300K transactions per day it will grow to level of transactions with gold. It s impossible to find such sources of energy. The key success of Bitcoin is being just first cryptocurrency in the world, but look at Ethereum where I see future as blockchain platform - smart contract development and current transition to Ethereum 2.0.
Maybe Bitcoin made a history only as first cryptocurrency, and accomplished main function, It will disappear with time being substituted another cutting-edge cryptocurrencies and blockchain platforms. What do u think about this view?

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I agree. It is like Yahoo or Netscape. It will be overtaken. Just think after another halving or two for ZEC when it will have low inflation, low supply plus privacy, fast enough for transactions and proof of stake. It will be able to function as a store of value and be usable as a currency. Eventually that should be enough to displace Bitcoin.

Energy consumption of Bitcoin is used for two purposes:

  • Distribution of new coins into the system: The equivalent to mining for gold,
  • Securing the network against double spending: The safety of your coins.

According to this study by ARK Investment Management, both are much cheaper than their counterpart for Gold and traditional Banking System.

Could it be less? May be, but energy spent in BTC mining comes from cleaner sources than for Gold mining. And we are not even considering the loss of life in traditional mining or the impact on the ecology due to toxic by products.

That’s incorrect. Quoting from: Five myths about Bitcoin’s energy use

Myth 2: Energy use scales with number of transactions. If Bitcoin ever scaled to global transaction volumes, it would boil the oceans.

This is just plain wrong. As we’ve learned above, miner energy use moves up or down with the amount of competition between miners, not the number of transactions being validated.


I don’t believe this chart, is there any reliable source for this? Do banks really spend trillions of USD just on electricity per year? Also Bitcoin is not used much in transactions these days, the electric cost will rise when it is used in daily usage.

Well… I quoted my source. Feel free to check it and decide for yourself if you believe it or not.

That’s not how bitcoin works. I just answered why.

I once had an idea for a (weird) different hybrid asic-gpu PoW scheme where instead of trying to eliminate the energy consumption (at least half by incentive anyways) instead direct it at meaningful work like crunching or folding for science or medicine or whatever. Its tricky because its (maybe) somewhat detrimental to network security because incentive for asics development (the validators) would be halved again (but if history serves then it won’t matter)and gpus would need paid out out in some seperate manner because they’re offchain (I was thinking some kind of one-way, timelock atomic token thing where its either redeemable or minted, hence the timelock, maybe they could stake it too while its over off mainchain idk) . The idea is that no matter how much power asics consume, a problem you cannot solve without forking, there would still be an equal and similiar styled (i.e. earnin Zcash by mining data) monetary incentive to do work that potentially has tremendous benefits for everyone (or many more people at least than just transactor). Or something similiar anyways

Creating a POW that serves a useful purpose was actually researched a lot. The problem is that it’s difficult to design a problem that can be used as POW.

One big reason is that the POW function has to depend on the content of the block. Otherwise, the block could be altered and the POW does not secure the chain.
Also, the work should not be able to be precalculated. Otherwise, someone can “accumulate” work and release it in one series of blocks - creating a fork.

Hashes work nicely because the prev_hash makes the block header unpredictable.

Edit: You may want to check Primecoin. Its POW is looking for special prime numbers.

Yes I believe that, I never really worked out details myself but thats why Its two seperate chains so they dont really affect each other besides the gpu one sends to the mainchain one way in a vey slow, overly verified tx and the idea was (besides staking) thats the only kind of tx possible so its still only usable as mainchain Zcash. But yeah its a tricky bit but I think that pointing the power consumption problem at a more universal positive use (as far as regular people are concerned though only actually cosmetic) is the only really feasible solution in the end

I think this is similar to FoldingCoin. Unfortunately, I has never taken off and is dead now.