First of all, let’s be clear: We’ve heard this announcement before.
While it’s notable that Bitcoin just passed gold in present value for a second time, this is by no means a confirmation that it’s the currency of the future.
For the record, as of this article’s date — and it’s always important to notice details like that — here’s the state of play:
- One Bitcoin … $1287.72
- One ounce of gold … $1236.87
The issue now is whether Bitcoin’s value will remain higher than gold longer than it did in 2013, which is the actual first time Bitcoin prevailed:
Also for the record, here’s our position: We’ve totally bought into the concept that digital currency is not only inevitable, it’s a more efficient means of trade in all respects. Our own sites, stores, and services accept Bitcoin, and we’re working to ensure anything we represent will accommodate it.
However, it may not be Bitcoin that prevails as the universal digital currency of choice.
The lasting development here will be the blockchain.
Note that IBM produced this video, as opposed to an organization that isn’t a household name. It’s yet another indication that mainstream commerce is embracing the blockchain technology.
Bitcoin itself remains controversial.
The most balanced reports of its rise over gold’s value this time around gave equal time to its skeptics, and for good reason:
- Bitcoin is still a limited market of shallow depth; and
- It’s still more of an investment vehicle than a means of exchange.
Remember the Winklevoss twins? Rhetorical question; of course you do.
They had to find something where they could put that Facebook settlement package to work, and establishing a Bitcoin beachhead in the global marketplace was their landing spot, as another report from 2013 shows:
Anticipation that the Securities and Exchange Commission will green-light their ETF is a major factor in Bitcoin’s run-up right now.
Coincidentally, a currency-hedged gold ETF was launched last month. Will the twins finally realize their ambition of joining it?
Again, that’s a decision prospective investors will have to decide for themselves.
It’s fascinating stuff for e-commerce entrepreneurs. No matter how this episode unfolds, it’s clear that a viable digital currency will ultimately emerge as their coin of choice because it’s specifically designed for their milieu.
Those who adapt the most efficiently will likely benefit the greatest.
The tipping point will occur when a digital currency becomes ubiquitous in the marketplace. And it’s the blockchain, not Bitcoin, that will make this happen.