Planting Bitcoin — Species (1/4)

Sound Money (sanum pecuniam)

Foreword

Introduction

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What is Money

  • Money is a primitive form of memory or record-keeping. It is the collective memory of who has the ability to allocate wealth.
  • Money, which is the representation of the work required to acquire goods and services, can also be viewed as stored energy.
  • Money is the central information utility of the world economy. As a medium of exchange, store of value, and unit of account, money is the critical vessel of information about the conditions of markets.

Species

  • Satoshi needed a way for the Bitcoin to spark itself into existence, so he coded in its DNA a fixed supply (21M Bitcoins). An increase in Bitcoin’s price inevitably leads to a corresponding increase in participants (users), security (mining), and developers. This becomes a self-reinforcing feedback loop.
  • Bitcoin’s mining function, Proof of Work (PoW) is both its metabolism and defense mechanism. Bitcoin eats energy to generate new coins and build digital walls to protect the network. PoW also makes Bitcoin anti-fragile, or in other words, as it grows larger, it becomes more resistant to attack.
  • A new Bitcoin block is found every 10 minutes, this genetic code enables Bitcoin’s cells to effectively communicate and coordinate with each other despite enormous distances. It is the internal clock that sets the metabolic rate.

Traits

*Bitcoin’s birth introduced two new traits, “Openly programmable” and “Decentralized”

Verifiable

Fungible

Portable

Durable

Divisible

Scarce

Established history

Censorship resistant

Unforgeable Costliness

Openly Programmable

Decentralized

Evolution

  1. Collectible. In the very first stage of its evolution, money will be demanded solely based on its peculiar properties, usually becoming a whimsy of its possessor. Shells, beads and gold were all collectibles before later transitioning to the more familiar roles of money.
  2. Store of value: Once it is demanded by enough people for its peculiarities, money will be recognized as a means of keeping and storing value over time. As a good becomes more widely recognized as a suitable store of value, its purchasing power will rise as more people demand it for this purpose. The purchasing power of a store of value will eventually plateau when it is widely held and the influx of new people desiring it as a store of value dwindles.
  3. Medium of exchange: When money is fully established as a store of value, its purchasing power will stabilize. Having stabilized in purchasing power, the opportunity cost of using money to complete trades will diminish to a level where it is suitable for use as a medium of exchange.
  4. Unit of account. When money is widely used as a medium of exchange, goods will be priced in terms of it. I.e., the exchange ratio against money will be available for most goods.

Survival and Extinction

JPM, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, December 2011

Part 2… “Season”

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Dan Held

Growth @Krakenfx . Frmr: @InterchangeHQ (acq by @Krakenfx ), Global Data/Rider Growth @Uber , First PM @Blockchain , Co-Fndr @ZeroBlock https://danheld.substack