Gold & Bitcoin: The Monetary System’s Navigational Beacons

Published on
October 16th, 2019
42 minutes

Gold & Bitcoin: The Monetary System’s Navigational Beacons

The Expert View ·
Featuring Simon Mikhailovich

Published on: October 16th, 2019 • Duration: 42 minutes

Simon Mikhailovich, founder of The Bullion Reserve, argues that only gold is a true safe haven against financial calamity. Through a series of rhetorical questions, he explores why gold has outlasted every other form of money over the course of human history. Mikhailovich breaks down the history of money and explains how gold became the navigational beacon of the monetary system. Finally, he says that the next three decades will not be like the last five, and that it could be time to "outfit your portfolio for turbulent seas." Filmed on October 1, 2019 in New York.



  • as
    andrew s.
    8 December 2019 @ 16:41
    He's just sore that Swiss banks closed his account and he had to leave with a wheely of gold
  • MR
    Mathew R.
    23 November 2019 @ 13:03
    Always love hearing from Simon
  • JW
    Jonathan W.
    11 November 2019 @ 11:46
    I would really like one of these gold advocates to speak about tax. If gold moves up exactly with inflation then you're down 30% (assuming 30% capital gains tax) in real terms. Not appealing at all. And in an 'end-game' scenario the government can just confiscate or ban holdings on gold anyway. Regulated bullions will have to comply. An example is Goldmoney forcing liquidation of all Netherlands-based clients and closing their accounts in 2011 due to the Netherlands financial regulator. Seems like its better to just party & gamb00l on bitcoin and other fiat financial shenanigans.
  • JK
    John K.
    4 November 2019 @ 20:54
    So Roosevelt wasn't able to confiscate all US gold at one price and sell it back to everyone at a higher price? When push comes to shove governments would never do it again, right?? Just like they would never erode peoples' savings with negative interest rates, right? He's worried about not having electricity? But didn't mention BitCoin price volatility when considering it as a store of value?? Unless you believe gold prices are manipulated we do know exactly where the currency values are vs. gold. Did this guy grow up in Russia or on another planet?
  • JP
    Jettana P.
    3 November 2019 @ 06:20
    One of the best cases for gold I've heard. Great paradigm shifts I've taken away from this: - The north star analogy for gold - That equities are at all-time highs not because we're in a bull market, but because of inflation of asset prices.
  • PP
    Patrick P.
    17 October 2019 @ 11:15
    One thing you have to like about Gold is its stability of value relative to fiat currency. While Gold has been manipulated, the value remains pretty stable and consistent. BTC on the other hand has been an out of control roller coaster more often than not. No thanks ...I'm not interested in the 20-30% overnight declines.
    • NM
      Naveen M.
      18 October 2019 @ 01:32
      Gold has had thousands of years to achieve its liquidity and therefore its stability. We are 10 years into the monetization of an asset that never existed before. The people who invested such that they can withstand the volatility (i.e. have a position and time frame where you do not give a shit about short term volatility) will make out like bandits. The only wrong way to play the game is to not play the game.
    • SA
      Sanne A.
      19 October 2019 @ 13:47
      I'd rather have a 80% decline after a 350% run up than a 0% decline after a 30% run up.
    • BH
      Bob H.
      26 October 2019 @ 04:31
  • MT
    Mark T.
    16 October 2019 @ 12:20
    Great content. Production is flawed. Introductory and exit music is too loud. Woman's voice asking questions is too loud. Volumes should be consistent to provide a pleasant listening experience. This is not mainstream media, everyone is already interested, no one is sleeping and if they get up to go into the next room they are bringing the content with them. Typical old school media production techniques are inappropriate for Real Vision. This may involve some media production personnel changes as media professionals are sometimes not well grounded in reality and refuse to change their ways.
    • AM
      Alonso M.
      16 October 2019 @ 15:09
      How much do you want to pay for RV? Do you want to pay for the wrapper or just the content? Does a better wrapper make the content better?
    • JL
      J L.
      16 October 2019 @ 18:52
      Mark T couldn't be more right, but it has been said hundreds of times in the comments and the music just gets worse
    • LP
      Lawrence P.
      16 October 2019 @ 19:52
      turn down the volume --> problem solved. i come for the content value, not the production quality, which is great.
    • DC
      Darren C.
      17 October 2019 @ 17:43
      I agree that the introductory and exit music is too loud. It compares favourably to the increased volumes on tv advertisements.
    • AL
      Alex L.
      23 October 2019 @ 03:40
      On one of these videos I actually jumped in my seat listening to the audio version, because I had to turn up the volume to hear the speakers and then this loud DUN DUN DUN DUN transition plays before the "end section". It's really quite annoying.
  • VS
    Victor S. | Contributor
    22 October 2019 @ 20:07
    Well done !
  • AW
    Aaron W.
    19 October 2019 @ 11:03
    Dallas Fed's Rob Kaplan has just admitted to working on FedCoin. China is launching one soon, and Facebook, and on and on. Good luck crypto with your religion as your network effect is siphoned away, bitcoin will be as irrelevant as MySpace soon.
    • RT
      Ramon T.
      21 October 2019 @ 07:40
      It seems like all currencies will be digital. It'll then be a battle of monetary policies. Which one is most sound? Any thoughts on this?
    • AW
      Aaron W.
      21 October 2019 @ 07:49
      The United States Dollar. And if ever created, the official digital dollar created by the Federal Reserve in coming years.
  • KW
    K W.
    16 October 2019 @ 20:54
    Doesn’t realise gold is the Commodore 64 in his analogy.
    • rj
      rodolfo j.
      21 October 2019 @ 04:23
      Still everything run on bits...
  • AB
    Anthony B.
    16 October 2019 @ 07:45
    Remember when a government confiscated gold from the general public ever? Or made it illegal to hold gold? Plenty of questions can be asked about gold also.
    • AB
      Anthony B.
      16 October 2019 @ 08:07
      I also wanted to add, great interview / presentation. Loved it.
    • JM
      John M.
      17 October 2019 @ 00:32
      That was in the USA. Please try to remember that the USA is not the world.
    • TS
      Taranvir S.
      17 October 2019 @ 13:40
      Essentially, the elites/gov't can do 'whatever' they want when necessary but of course they can't do every then and now as people will rebuke and go all out against them.
    • ww
      will w.
      17 October 2019 @ 20:42
      Simon's assertions on how gov'ts may control BTC/ other cryptos that use the public internet are thought-provoking, and kudos for raising them. But it seems gold utilization also has vulnerabilities to govt control that Simon didn't mention: Ever try taking "too much" (whatever that amt may be from time to time) gold (or silver) on a commercial flight? Precious metals show up really clearly on airport "security" X-ray machines! And since reliable transfer of ownership of so many assets (businesses, securities, real estate, etc.) has -- at least so far -- always involved gov't-operated ownership records, gov'ts generally also have powers to control (and TAX!) gold-funded transfers of those kinds of assets. So, it's not clear to me that gold has so much advantage over cryptos when you consider these points too.
    • BW
      Bill W.
      21 October 2019 @ 01:14
      Yes, no one knows what the government(s) will do, i.e., will gold continue to be legal or not?
  • MS
    Michael S.
    20 October 2019 @ 17:57
  • AW
    Adam W.
    20 October 2019 @ 16:51
    It's incredibly easy to make your Bitcoin transactions anonymous. Of course somebody breaking into your house and torturing you to acquire your private key is a possibility. Hopefully layers will be built on top of the existing protocol which will give additional security. Bitcoin is only 10 years old. Perfect money will take a bit more time.
  • AW
    Adam W.
    20 October 2019 @ 16:26
    Both could be a very useful way to diversify over the next few years.
  • NR
    Nelson R.
    20 October 2019 @ 02:35
  • WM
    Will M.
    19 October 2019 @ 20:00
    Excellent summary by Simon. He provides sound advice and bitcoin cannot replace gold as the final monetary store of wealth. Bitcoin can however provide a potential profit back up in the initial stages of a collapse, assuming that collapse is not catastrophic in nature.
  • RD
    Ronald D.
    16 October 2019 @ 11:30
    Bitcoin illiterate...
    • PG
      P G.
      17 October 2019 @ 04:21
      Quote: "keep it simple stupid". To the masses gold is simple, Bitcoin is not.
    • SA
      Sanne A.
      19 October 2019 @ 14:22
      @p.g. The masses still think that fiat is backed by gold. One survives by doing as the masses. One thrives by doing the opposite.
    • WM
      Will M.
      19 October 2019 @ 19:08
      Sorry Sanne, you are totally wrong by at least 20 if not 30 years.
  • EK
    Eel K.
    16 October 2019 @ 08:31
    I don't think he understands that Bitcoin is a rebellious expression against centralised government, tax and intervention. Avoiding tax is illegal because we allow government to do so. Crypto is beyond a monetary system and serves greater utility which most traditionalist would not grasp at the moment. It's like asking for a better horse instead of inventing car.
    • JM
      John M.
      17 October 2019 @ 00:30
      So I'm confused are you saying that a critical attribute of Bitcoin is the ability to avoid taxes? If someone robs you (of your bitcoin) and you then call the police, you want me to pay for the police while you indulge yourself in your "...rebellious expression against centralized government, tax..." You make it sound like Bitcoin is all about tax evasion.
    • WM
      Will M.
      19 October 2019 @ 19:05
      Eel, the governments can shutdown Bitcoin at a moments notice and will likely inflict harsh penalties on those who profit from it but fail to declare their profits. Governments will NOT permit Bitcoin to become fully established as some anonymous wealth hoard if it starts to appeal to more that just the Asian population and attempts to mainstream in the West. Having said all of that..... I think its a great potential source of high risk very high reward speculative profits!
  • SN
    Shally N.
    16 October 2019 @ 08:36
    • SA
      Sanne A.
      19 October 2019 @ 14:23
      Indeed. I don't agree with Simon but it certainly was thought provoking!
  • JA
    Jeff A.
    17 October 2019 @ 03:23
    Governments had an opportunity to get rid of Bitcoin in 2009/2010, they didn't. The cat is out of the bag, the toothpaste is out of the tube. To destroy Bitcoin now would take EMP-ing the whole planet at the same moment (but then BTC nodes held in EMP safe storage would re-emerge). Of course, that is not going to happen. the hardest "money" is BTC given the 21 million cap, regardless of what cryptos Simon thinks are coming next. BTC is the only crypto that has no CEO, mailing address, HR department or customer service. Bitcoin, like gold, is sovereign. I would rather walk through airport security with my 12 word private key to my 3 million worth of bitcoin than 2000 ounces of gold. I quip that God looked down on earth and was displeased with what He saw His children have done with there money and He sent Satoshi to fix it...
    • RW
      Ryan W.
      17 October 2019 @ 05:14
      Governments have the opportunity every day. It's been done with gold (exec order 6102) and is far easier with digital transactions. When they are ready, instead of stopping it, you may have your bitcoin, but there will likely be a crypto Bretton Woods. On the EMP topic, they won't destroy the concept, or perhaps even the ledger, but unprotected real assets would evaporate. Fortune magazine once described already lost BTC as akin to gold transport ships sinking at sea. Meanwhile, I don't need to transport 2,000 ounces of gold by ship or plane, as digital access to gold accounts is no different than accessing credit or currency in banks. All this reminds me that in addition to crypto, gold, cash, bonds, and equities, real estate, I should check my old World of Warcraft account for assets that have been mined there. :D
    • CW
      CC W.
      17 October 2019 @ 06:08
      When .gov tries to destroy (or control) something; black market will pop up and normally increase the desire to own such thing.
    • DK
      D K.
      17 October 2019 @ 23:07
      If you think bitcoin is not traceable or not controllable by government you’re kidding yourself. Just as China can control what happens in their part of the web, governments could shut down bitcoin movement, or trace them, or tax them at 100% if they choose. If I want to trade you a $20 gold coin for a gun, or motorcycle or whatever, who knows? Me and you. There is no government watching. Look at Libra. Looked like a great concept. Now everyone is running from it. Think there wasn’t pressure by government for those players to abandon adoption? If bitcoin gains SERIOUS traction government will definitely clamp down on it.
    • NM
      Naveen M.
      18 October 2019 @ 01:36
      @DK you would have to stop traffic globally of packages of data equal to or bigger than the size of a block. Even if you managed to ban bitcoin in a country, you are not going to get global coordination to kill it. You really are not going to get global coordination when States like Venezuela cannot even trust in their gold reserves held by a party they need to trust
    • SA
      Sanne A.
      19 October 2019 @ 13:58
      @r w. Unprotected real assets would evaporate with an EMP? No bitcoin would be lost - that is the nature and strength of having a distributed ledger. What if the website of your digital gold is DDOS-ed?
  • CH
    Corey H.
    19 October 2019 @ 02:30
    Great interview. In my view, context is key and having the real politik perspective of what governments have historically and will do with this technology in the future is critical analysis that all should consider even if bullish on the technology/ tokens.
  • EL
    Edward L.
    18 October 2019 @ 16:24
    Great dialogue Simon. Given that you point out lower/negative interest rates preclude devaluation of the currency and therefore it takes more dollars to buy a given goods , do you agree with Ben Hunt that the elephant on the room is inflation which will enhance the price of gold.
    • SM
      Simon M. | Contributor
      18 October 2019 @ 22:30
      I do generally agree with Ben Hunt that the elephant in the room is the coming loss of purchasing power for fiat currencies and financial claims. I have high conviction that this is inevitable but am less certain about the exact path and the timing. This is why I made an early decision to focus on physical gold and to avoid financial markets and instruments that have fallen under full government control. How can one make bets in these markets when the Fed can inject over $100 BILLION into the REPO market in one day just to keep it going. And this was after injecting $75 BILLION on Wednesday. You know, $1 billion used to be a whole lot of money not too long ago.
  • SM
    Simon M. | Contributor
    16 October 2019 @ 20:20
    Whatever one's views, it is a fact that neither crypto currencies nor the global cyber infrastructure have ever been tested by a first world systemic crisis, a world war or any other disruption on a similar scale. It is also a fact that the US Defense Department considers cyber threat as the number one strategic threat facing the US, ahead of the nuclear and other threats. We know that gold is cyber immune and that its safe haven efficacy has been tested countless times under the harshest conditions imaginable but we do not know this about digital assets in general and crypto currencies in particular. My questions in this video were posed in the context of comparing the efficacy of gold and crypto currencies as safe havens in case of a major systemic disruption. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Until then, the matter is open for an open and honest debate. If anyone has solid answers to the questions I posed, please share them with everyone. Simon Mikhailovich
    • AW
      Andrew W.
      17 October 2019 @ 01:38
      Greatly appreciate the talk Simon, this is great! I left a list of possible responses to your questions in favor of BTC in a comment above and I'd love to hear your thoughts. I actually found your questions strengthen the argument for BTC, while keeping the argument for gold strong as well.
    • NM
      Naveen M.
      18 October 2019 @ 01:41
      Nothing has changed about gold to make it less fragile to government's taking control over a gold-based network. All you are doing is setting up history to repeat itself. It has not become cheaper to run a full node for gold to not have huge central points of failure.
    • AW
      Aaron W.
      18 October 2019 @ 08:01
      Agree, Simon. Only gold survives an internet shutdown and/or cyber war.
  • AK
    Ado K.
    17 October 2019 @ 08:43
    I love the questions, and they are very leading, but to almost all of them there are quite simple answers. So let me answer some of them. Bitcoin can be used without the internet, you can download the blockchain through satellite, you can also use VPN to avoid blockades of sites. Bitcoin can be very private, just use coinjoin transactions (at least 100 mix) and the government can hire as many cryptographers as they like, they wont be able to see who is sending to who anymore. In terms of not being tested in a crisis, this is true, Bitcoin is merely 10 years old, so no argument there. To claim that he internet is like the postal service and controlled by the government is a very false narrative, I like Simon so I will leave it at that and not use harsher words for this statement. In terms of Bitcoin being 1.0 and better coins coming, this is a common misunderstanding, Bitcoin is programmable money so implementations can be made through soft or hard forks, meaning Bitcoin can change and update. Also sound money as a cornerstone is not a mere effect of technology, the technology is merely a necessity to obtain truly decentralized sound money. Any new technology must capture the rigidness of decentralized sound money, and capture network effects. In game theory scenarios this is more or less impossible. As a final point if electricity stops existing we can not produce large scale farming anymore and most of us will die from starvation. In that scenario Bitcoin or Gold will be the least of your problems.
    • RC
      Richard C.
      18 October 2019 @ 06:03
      I was about to make a similar response. Simon doesn't seem to understand that cryptography is only one of many components that make Bitcoin a technological breakthrough for monetary instruments. Money as a digital content type and human ingenuity for freeing information is what makes Bitcoin much more antifragile than what he gives credit for. I would also take Bitcoin in the scenario he poses because the equipment to verify gold is more expensive than the equipment to verify Bitcoin.
    • AW
      Aaron W.
      18 October 2019 @ 07:57
      Bitcoin is storytelling. Unlimited supply of new, better cryptocurrencies.
  • PG
    Paul G.
    18 October 2019 @ 04:13
    Why Israel and SADF used to train in non- tech forms of communication (dont know if still case assume so) and in "games" - can't always rely on tech
  • AW
    Andrew W.
    17 October 2019 @ 01:27
    Simon, thanks for the content. This is really great. I'd like to pose rebukes on the questions posed, because this is a very constructive activity. I'll post some responses here but perhaps there is a better modality for this than comments, and maybe RV could help us organize it. Re: Not battle tested in a massive disruption. -Ledger is extremely decentralized and full nodes are run by users in every country of the world. Would a world war, systemic crisis, or apocalyptic scenario bring down the Internet backbone and disconnect every country from each other, or result in the Split Brain problem? If that's the case, we have much bigger problems. So I'd prefer we discuss something closer to a gradual or rapid currency debasement, MMT, or asset confiscation sort of scenario (excessive wealth tax or turn in your BTC/gold for cash else jail). Those are the very real risks in 2020s/2030s IMO, and that's really what's at stake here in the context of BTC. These scenarios do not involve the loss of the Internet's vital infrastructure or a global concerted effort to tamper with the traffic. Re: Security -With its current market cap, the financial incentive is already there for bad actors, criminal or government, to break the protocol. While exchanges and users have been "hacked", this is the private key problem (addressed separately) and has nothing to do with BTC protocol being hacked. It has never been hacked despite the enormous financial incentive, and the smartest actors in the world are working to keep it this way. Re: Government Interception -Government interception is likely to be limited to the scope of one or a handful of nations acting to repress BTC transactions. Just as you should be keeping your gold in a separate political jurisdiction, you should also be acquiring and transacting your BTC in a separate jurisdiction. One effective way to do this is via VPN to a BTC-friendly nation over an encrypted channel that cannot be deeply inspected by any agency. There's a difference between the encryption in BTC protocol and encryption of the communication channel used to interface with the network. Encrption of the channel is how citizens in Hong Kong and China ultimately beat censorship. Re: Privacy. -Yes BTC ledger is everlasting and immutable. However, you're making the critical mistake of assuming that BTC Layer 1 itself is anything more than a monetary policy and money supply. It's increasingly accepted that Layer 1 won't be used for small-time transaction clearing. You need to understand that Layer 2 solutions can include private banking, private transaction networks, payment processing, with only net settlement occurring in Layer 1. As for long-term holding significant amounts of BTC, I would still opt to do that now on Layer 1. However, the way I procure BTC and mix up my keys provides me as much anonymity as can possibly be had compared to buying gold bullion today, which also has as much of a paper trail. The record with my bank and gold broker of buying gold is as permanent as the record of my procuring BTC on Layer 1. The record of my buying a Federally-scheduled illicit substance using Layer 2 will be as lost as the record of my buying it with cash. Re: BTC is only crypto v1.0 -BTC Layer 1 as a monetary policy and money supply is 100% complete in terms of the features required of a monetary policy. It has a well-defined central bank-like clearing mechanism with a non-fiat schedule of money supply increase. This was the key invention that we needed and now it's done. -There will always be more and more features invented in the crypto space, and by your reasoning we would never settle on one money as a result. That's why I re-iterate that the monetary policy and finite supply itself is the one-time innovation that cannot be improved on and is final. Any features you'd like to see in a cryptocurrency can be implemented on top of BTC or using BTC-backed-stablecoin cryptocurrencies that are more advanced in functionality. Re: BTC is illiquid. -Network effect is important. Yes, everyone in the world recognizes gold for what it is and not as many today recognize BTC in the same way. However, if they did, there wouldn't be a lucrative speculative component in play on BTC today. This is rapidly becoming a non-issue as every halving cycle sees BTC adoption increasing by an order of magnitude. -I would argue gold is illiquid. Despite having the network, it's very hard to transact with it without using certificates or paper gold. I recently attempted a transaction via physical and it was a huge pain. I had to buy insurance. I had to disclose to the courier what it was. Had I used gold notes, I would have required the gold to be trusted in a vault somewhere, but this makes it confiscatable as happened numerous times throughout the world last century. Re: Your wallet or your life. -The same way I don't walk around with my gold, I don't walk around with my BTC keys. You don't make any point here because I treat my BTC keys the same way I treat physical gold. They're not in my head and have the same physical storage problem that gold has. -Using custodial services for BTC is as safe as using vaults for gold. The question is whether you want to tradeoff a big trust component for the convenience. I can't disagree with you on anything else you said regarding the consequences of hard money displacement since 1970s, that we're headed to a reckoning, etc. Our disagreement seems to be solely on the instrument issue. For disclosure, I own both gold and BTC to handle the risk that I'm wrong.
    • SM
      Simon M. | Contributor
      17 October 2019 @ 02:44
      Thank you, Andrew, for your thoughtful replies. You make good points but you also amplify some of the key issues I mentioned - the need for technological sophistication that vast majority does not yet have, the still developing Level 1 vs Level 2 capabilities, vulnerabilities across the BTC ecology, even if not of the blockchain itself, etc. This is not an argument about gold being better than BTC but about today's utility of gold and cryptocurrencies as safe havens. My assessment that gold offers a better safe haven right now but is based on my grasp of systemic risks, their immediacy and my personal experiences with unbridled state power. This story from today is a good example of what I was speaking about: Perhaps these people were incompetent clowns but they represent the mainstream a lot better than BTC experts. Here is a quote from a related story that should give pause to any thinking person: "Our agency's ability to analyze the blockchain and de-anonymize Bitcoin transactions allowed for the identification of hundreds of predators around the world." John D Fort, chief of IRS criminal investigations.
    • NM
      Naveen M.
      18 October 2019 @ 01:39
      Again Simon, you continue to ignore PayNyms and coinjoins through Samourai and Wasabi Wallets. As well as decentralized exchanges like Hodl Hodl (which just went open source) and Bisq and an open source payment server like BTCpay, which against reduces the central points of failure (which are rather prevalent and fragile in a gold system) for the State to hijack or destroy the network.
  • YB
    Yair B.
    17 October 2019 @ 23:30
    Probably the best case for gold I have seen in a while!
  • BG
    Brian G.
    17 October 2019 @ 22:28
    Great points! Some of the technical difficulties he discusses have technical solutions, just like multiple independent couriers is a solution to old world problems. But he is spot on that these are issues that require solutions (those solutions aren’t there yet for the average joe).
  • MB
    Mark B.
    17 October 2019 @ 21:56
    Hi Simon great interview. I guess having both gone through the same immigration process in 1978 from the USSR, where the government made you surrender your passports before leaving the country and what you could take with you was reduced to 2 suitcases per family, our world outlook was solidified by the constant need to have a "Plan-B". Having said this, you mentioned a couple of things which made me pause. If you have been preoccupied with gold for the past 5 years, then for at least 4 years you were missing out on the largesse of the existing cash cow while planing for the future. Whilst I agree that gold and, without going into the specific reasons why bitcoin are end game insurance policies, these can be bought later and cheaper than they are today because the entire world will be funnelling all available liquidity into the US as the initial "safe haven" , I agree that is fundamentally flawed but that is the reality of the incumbent financial system, the " tested equipment" in your vernacular. As liquidity flows into the US economy because really it has nowhere else to go right now (and it won't go into gold or bitcoin en masse before the proverbial hits the fan), gold and bitcoin are likely to remain steady or go down. Some will say its an accumulation period, I say its a wasted opportunity to create an opportunity to buy more of the stuff we both think will help in the future, by profiting on the back of the last hoorah of the current fiat world. In one of the comments below, you are quoted as saying that "Barter difficulties was the catalyst for the beginning of money", I don't recall hearing that, but if you did, then I would disagree because money was created so that rulers (both secular and religious) and governments could simpler tax the population, hard to take a part of a cow from a farmer, you either take the lot and he starves to death and you can't rob him later, or you get stuck with the milk that doesn't store too well...
  • TC
    Thomas C.
    17 October 2019 @ 20:40
    The point / question I would like explored is - What are the financial elites going to come up to replace the current FIAT system ? It has a process that replicates the current in that they still have control and they still get rich and richer Gold has been tried, not that it failed but the participants failed to follow the rules (little like a Keto diet. great idea, takes effort to follow). And also the elites know their is investment in Gold. So great presentation Simon - but the choice needs to be broadened - Gold, Crypto or something else ! Long, longer term Crypto but that could be 20 years. And by the way solving issues like divulging a private key can be sorted by adding some physical checks (as per gold deposit) before it is allowed to be transferred. All of these issues will be solved - probably within 10 years.
  • MM
    M. M.
    17 October 2019 @ 16:38
    I buy me a commodore 64
    • TR
      Thomas R.
      17 October 2019 @ 20:05
      There are emulators nowadays. And here some fresh software:
  • MS
    Michael S.
    17 October 2019 @ 18:59
    I appreciate Simon at least raising some good questions on Bitcoin (on the rest of the crypto currencies, fire away). I never hear any constructive counterpoints on Bitcoin. From Jamie Dimon, to Buffett & Munger, "it's a fraud"," it's rat poison squared", which is actually very accurate. Bitcoin is rat poison to Washington DC and Wall Street, as it spread's like stage 4 cancer through the entire legacy financial system. I have bought gold, silver, and the miners prior to 2017, and for the most part, nothing but Bitcoin since. The only metric I care about is if the network is performing flawlessly, not allowing any double spends, or fraudulent transaction's. As of today, that is the case. The Lindy effect tells me that every day that goes by, the network is more reliable, trusted, and secure. That is all it needs to do to completely disintermediate the current corrupt, fractional reserve, global banking system, as the network effect's continue on their exponential path. Simon also made some great points and analogies on gold. Overall, another RealVision home run, and a great time for a Gold-Bitcoin debate!!
  • AV
    Adrianus V.
    16 October 2019 @ 12:56
    Not so knowledgeable about bitcoin.
    • WT
      Walter T.
      16 October 2019 @ 16:00
      More like clueless... but the Bitcoin maximalists are equally annoying.
    • NB
      Nicholas B.
      16 October 2019 @ 17:03
      I would agree. I also like Walter's statement about Bitcoin Maximalists being equally annoying. There is truth to that but I have found more Bitcoiners who appreciate Gold as well than Gold Bugs who appreciate both.
    • PG
      P G.
      17 October 2019 @ 04:19
      Ironically you just proved him right and the point he was making: "keep it simple stupid". To the masses gold is simple Bitcoin is not.
    • SC
      Sean C.
      17 October 2019 @ 16:52
      So @Adrianus V. what did he get wrong about bitcoin?
  • LA
    Lucas A.
    17 October 2019 @ 16:04
    He cites China as an example of how governments ultimately control blockchain networks built on the internet. I've lived in China and on of the first things my first acquaintance there taught me was how to get around the Great Firewall, which turned out to be incredibly easy. To truly stop Bitcoin in China, the CCP would have to turn off the internet itself, which would be economic suicide. And with internet satellite networks like SpaceX's getting closer to becoming a reality, not even that will be enough.
  • TS
    Taranvir S.
    17 October 2019 @ 13:50
    the last few mins were the key highlights
  • JB
    Jeff B.
    17 October 2019 @ 13:40
    wow...Never heard a person's mind so clear.
  • LS
    Leigh S.
    17 October 2019 @ 10:58
    great analogies Simon
  • SB
    Sean B.
    17 October 2019 @ 10:16
    Very good questions on the ramifications of actions today on regime changes in the future. Very thought provoking!
  • ah
    ahmed h.
    17 October 2019 @ 08:15
    Brilliant interview - best in this series so far - i liked how he asked the questions about BTC rather than answering them
  • IK
    Ian K.
    17 October 2019 @ 04:45
    Thanks a lot for the video. Answering the raised questions: 1. The market crash hasn't tested Bitcoin yet. This is true as Bitcoin has been around just 10 years. 2. Bits storage has not been tested. Well, if we talk about gold derivatives, certificates which is the majority, then it will have the same problems as it's just recorded in databases. However, Bitcoin ledger is way more simple, robust, and distributed across thousands of computers across the world, including exotic places like mountains. Sees from the accounts are usually stored offline in fire, waterproof facilities. Even if the whole world lost electricity, you will be easily able to access the Bitcoin network once the electricity is back. 3. Storing BTC is way more comfortable and safer than physical gold, not even mentioning robbery. Storing BTC is way more comfortable and safer than physical gold, not even mentioning robbery, which is almost impossible with BTC. 4. Transacting with BTC is better as well with its speed, fees, divisibility. 5. As for payment privacy, BTC is not as popular means of payment. I am not sure it will be relevant until it reaches a 10 trillion cap. You don't pay with gold either. If you compare BTC to the current system, then it's not private either. 6. Taxes. It is different in each country. As far as I know in the US, there is a $500-600 threshold for small purchases. But again, people don't really spend BTC for coffee. 7. Trust. I personally trust cryptography and mathematics more than the current fiat system. Bitcoin cryptography is pretty straightforward, which is not the case for the fiat systems where nobody understands what's going on. 8. There are a lot of 3rd party services with great UI/UX where you can buy, sell, store your BTC if you don't want to deal with self custody. 9. Do I prefer Gold over Bitcoin as a safe-haven? It's all about sizing. I would suggest 70/30 Gold/BTC. First of all, the safe-haven has been proved yet. Second, BTC is more than a hedge against the whole legacy system. It's a piece of Internet 3.0, a trust layer for lots of things in our life which is public, relatively cheap, accessible 24/7. 10. Finally, BTC is a new asset class, which I definitely want to see in my portfolio.
  • RM
    Rick M.
    17 October 2019 @ 03:13
    Simon, great interview thanks! What percentage of your portfolio do you keep in gold? What’s the remaining breakout if asset classes by %?
  • DH
    Dale H.
    17 October 2019 @ 01:45
    Content very good. Music terrible.
  • WB
    William B.
    17 October 2019 @ 01:22
    Wish I’d had Simon as my economics prof. Maybe psych and philosophy prof as well.
  • PC
    Peter C.
    17 October 2019 @ 01:05
    1 smart dude but showing his bias
  • JL
    James L.
    17 October 2019 @ 00:33
    Terrific! Fantastic! Though provoking!
  • CL
    Clinton L.
    17 October 2019 @ 00:07
    After listening I realize it's pure genius to convince others that you should hold their gold.
  • CL
    Clinton L.
    16 October 2019 @ 23:47
    Banks & credit have 6he same systemic risk as crypto currencies?
  • ID
    Igor D.
    16 October 2019 @ 23:46
    Is this guy trying to teach people how to sail 16th century ships or how to compound value?
  • RK
    Robert K.
    16 October 2019 @ 23:04
    His “questions to ask yourself” are pure gold. Excuse the pun.
  • JB
    James B.
    16 October 2019 @ 22:50
    Barter difficulties was not the catalyst for the beginning of money. There is no record anywhere of barter preceding the use of money, in fact credit precedes money's emergence. David Graeber's "Debt: the first 5000 years" is most revealing on this and other points. Gold is solidified labour.
  • JS
    Jason S.
    16 October 2019 @ 20:36
    "I've spent a lot of time thinking about these things." Not even aware of multisig solutions.
    • SM
      Simon M. | Contributor
      16 October 2019 @ 21:07
      Jason, there is a difference between availability of technological solutions and their real life efficacy in a crisis that may lead to a degraded cyber environment or a systemic disruption. Would a multisig wallet help in a situation where one lost access to the second device or cannot reach a cosigner? And what if one cannot access the networks? There are no 100% solutions but, at least, with gold, we know what has and has not worked in the past disruptions. We are yet to find out about crypto currencies and digital assets.
    • JS
      Jason S.
      16 October 2019 @ 21:43
      I agree there are plenty of question marks about where the technology goes and how solutions develop. Clearly there is risk here, and with that risk there is the possibility for asymmetric reward. The point you were making in the video was about individuals being 'broken' to access their keys. There are currently available multisig solutions to address that, which you made no mention of in the video - you were either ignorant and/or being intellectually dishonest. Your reply to my comment here makes me think it was some combination of both. If you or anyone reading this is interested in learning, I recommend starting with
  • NM
    Naveen M.
    16 October 2019 @ 21:12
    What is the cost of running a "full node" for gold? Who can afford to validate transactions, store their "private keys", create a censorship resistance network, especially for exchange that is not in person, with gold? The same problem for gold back in 1933 exists today. It is far too costly to have individual sovereignty with gold (see Venezuelan governments problems repatriating their gold from a foreign bank). Therefore, a gold-based system will still develop central points of failure that will be tapped into by States. And my goodness is this guy uneducated about bitcoin (and no mention of lightning, coinjoins, etc. whatsoever given his privacy concerns)
  • PW
    Phil W.
    16 October 2019 @ 20:54
    Eloquently put Simon!!!!!
  • LP
    Lauri P.
    16 October 2019 @ 19:01
    Solid first half, but the bitcoin part is a series of embarrassing questions that for most part have very good answers and solutions.
  • JA
    Justin A.
    16 October 2019 @ 18:59
    This seems like the perfect place to get some smart peoples opinions on a project that I have been looking into that combines gold and blockchain. Yes I know there have been many attempts at this but this particular project comes out of a respected gold authority the Allocate Bullion Exchange (ABX). The highlights are 1:1 Allocated, NO vaulting fees, YIELD generating, physical gold and silver tracked on the blockchain I know it sounds like there is a catch for those of us wanting exposure to gold and crypto but other than being in its infancy I haven't found it yet. I apologize in advance that this is a referral link but this is the only way to give access to the videos explaining the system. It isn't a MLM but their is a yield generated for referrals so if you have a huge network there is even potential to make money from the system even if you don't invest in it. Here is the link : I am most interested if anyone in this community has vetted this project and either found red flags or is an investor. Simon I would love your opinion on this! If you have other questions let me know and we can talk offline.
  • CH
    Charles H.
    16 October 2019 @ 12:39
    great talk, I like the questions he asked: On the bitcoin transparency, it's actually very easy to hide your transactions using coinjoins, so if you really want you can hide your transactions. With gold I would say it's almost impossible to hide your ownership unless you already have gold. If you are buying today, surely you will be registered somewhere? Unless you buy privately I guess. Plus then having to store it becomes problematic, how do you hide your gold? Complete agree that BTC has not yet been tested in an economic crisis, which will be the ultimate test. I would argue that people know as much about gold as they do with bitcoin. I for one I have no idea where and how to buy gold, yet I can buy bitcoin with a click of a button. I am sure I can find out where two buy gold for sure, but similar arguments go for bitcoin. It's not rocket science it just takes a little time. Vulnerability of bitcoin over the internet is actually a real one, however gold can and was previously confiscated by governments. If the fight gets to that level, bitcoin transactions can be adapted to become more hidden and it would becomes a cat and mouse game between governments.
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      16 October 2019 @ 18:00
      You're right. I own Gold, but there's an electronic trail of every transaction. I once purchased with cash, by my personal details were taken and recorded as part of a transaction. I suppose if you were wealthy enough, you could set up a BVI-registered company and buy it via this entity but you'd have to be pretty wealthy to justify tje expense of doing this. Personally, I've never been able to purchase Gold without needing to identify myself in some way during the transaction process.
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      16 October 2019 @ 18:01
      *but my personal details, even...
  • BH
    Bachar H.
    16 October 2019 @ 09:52
    A lot to learn about Gold from this gentleman however as soon as he started talking about having a record for bitcoin when buying a cup of coffee i realized he's not keeping up. Privacy is coming through schnorr signatures as a second layer to the bitcoin network :)
    • MP
      M P.
      16 October 2019 @ 15:42
      Additionally, he is using flawed analogies for Bitcoin. Bitcoin is not a commercial R&D product like Commodore 64 or Ford Model T. It is an organically growing base layer protocol like TCP/IP, but for value.
    • NB
      Nicholas B.
      16 October 2019 @ 17:06
      There were many comments that Simon made, which made apparent his lack of the technical understanding of Bitcoin. Also, most of those analogies were poor. I agree with you though regarding Simon's knowledge of Gold which is incredible.
  • NB
    Nicholas B.
    16 October 2019 @ 17:01
    Great video, I like Simon, but his questions were extremely one-sided. Many of his Bitcoin questions could conversely be questioned of gold. Gold is great because of what it is, but many discredit technology because it is new. They are as focused on the future as Blockbuster or Kodiak. If it is not the old, it is fake, or wrong, or impossible, or a scam. Simon never finished the story about the individual who was "Cracked" for his bitcoin keys, which was misleading. Same with the government controlling the internet. How many people have had their gold or money stolen in their properties? Sure it's nice in first world countries where we can pay fiduciaries to keep our gold, but this isn't a global standard. There seems to be this oxymoronic sentiment from gold bugs or legacy financiers where, in the same sentence, they chastise the current corrupt system with monetary debasing and corporate fraud bailouts or mismanagement of fiat printing but then chastize Bitcoin or the idea of a different system entirely as well. If you are comparing apples to oranges or possibly green apples to red apples, you will see some differences, but don't mistake the cultural context from which you are measuring both absent of the outward features. Great series, cannot wait to continue on.
  • JG
    John G.
    16 October 2019 @ 15:37
    For people who are ignorant about the times in which we live, Simon's discussion is a must. Fortunately I think people who listen to RV already know this. I have never heard the it explained so clearly tho.
  • KS
    Karen S.
    16 October 2019 @ 14:28
    Monero and Zcash
    • SM
      Sebastian M.
      16 October 2019 @ 15:22
      Can we say Zcoin third :D
  • JH
    Jesse H.
    16 October 2019 @ 14:47
    Brilliant, Simon. Thank you, sir!
  • JR
    Joe R.
    16 October 2019 @ 13:37
    Thanks Simon! Such a great talk. I loved the questions for further thought.
  • RM
    Richard M.
    16 October 2019 @ 12:49
    Simon makes everything so clear and concise - wonderful presentation!
  • MB
    Markus B.
    16 October 2019 @ 12:44
    Brilliant - a masterclass
  • MS
    Malcolm S.
    16 October 2019 @ 11:49
    This is the best interview I've heard. Profound explanations in simple terms. Time well spent (if time could be weighed!).
  • AW
    Andrew W.
    16 October 2019 @ 09:54
    Great talk! There are strong rebukes that can be made for all of the questions posed by Simon. Those who have studied BTC should be able to come up with those rebukes. But this is what makes the process so important and why this kind of talk is so valuable! Thank you for this content.
  • MB
    16 October 2019 @ 07:45
    Just great!