“Apples to Banjos” — Comparing Gold & Bitcoin

Published on
November 27th, 2019
Duration
20 minutes


“Apples to Banjos” — Comparing Gold & Bitcoin

The Expert View ·
Featuring George Milling-Stanley

Published on: November 27th, 2019 • Duration: 20 minutes

George Milling-Stanley, chief gold strategist for State Street Global Advisors, is happy he participated in the "IPO" of gold when Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, but doesn't feel as though he has missed out on bitcoin. Milling-Stanley argues the original use case for bitcoin as a medium of exchange has been proven false and rejects the comparison of gold and bitcoin as a strategic store of value asset. Filmed on October 28, 2019 in New York.

Comments

Transcript

  • WB
    William B.
    5 December 2019 @ 03:37
    Seems that Bitcoin investors are financiers of a child pornography ring in Thailand.
  • SC
    Sean C.
    3 December 2019 @ 21:28
    I think that the beginning of this video should have come with the disclaimer that Mr Milling-Stanley is an employee of the company that manages and markets GLD. That way everybody would know this was far more a marketing piece and not independent objective analysis.
  • LH
    Luke H.
    2 December 2019 @ 08:28
    'Blockchain' is not secure by definition. Wrong assumption. Security of any given cryptocurrency or blockchain is a function of how decentralised the network is, how vigilant and robust the developer network is, and especially, how much hash power (for proof of work blockchains) is backing it. Bitcoin and maybe Monero are the only cryptocurrencies I would regard as secure, based on their record so far, and current levels of decentralisation and hash power. Having said that, both have had more than a few critical vulnerabilities that have relied upon the talent, integrity and processes maintained by the OSS developer network to avoid loss of funds.
  • zd
    zhen d.
    1 December 2019 @ 23:39
    he didn't understand bitcoin. bitcoin is a sound money, a form of money that is much more 'sound'er than gold. -- this is a simple objective fact. but hold on, most ppl, don't even know that BTC is NOT bitcoin, lol.........
  • IO
    Igor O.
    1 December 2019 @ 11:15
    Bitcoiners seems to be missing the point. When you manage X millions of somebodys money you don't go all in in bitcoin.
  • JA
    Jeff A.
    30 November 2019 @ 04:58
    Wow! This guy is so ignorant regarding 'blockchain v. bitcoin". I think it's obvious that this guy didn't make any money on the gold move since 1971. He will pass on his gold coins to his grand-kids and they can display them on their office shelves (they won't be using hand-trucks to haul his gold around). I would prefer to place a bet on something (or nothing) rather than observe something for 40-50 years and then die before I can make any money on it! He should be more worried about the money he spends on renting suits, shirts and ties for future interviews...is frumpy coming back? What have I missed?
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      30 November 2019 @ 18:26
      I don't disagree with your comment about 40-50 years, but throwing cheap shots about suits around is not, as a Bitcoiner, going to win you any friends in the Gold Community. It is not conducive to constructive dialogue or discussion, and will be seen as antagonistic by a group of people who think along the same lines about the World in many ways. I say this to you as a fellow Bitcoiner who also holds Gold. See my post below.
  • NS
    Nathan S.
    29 November 2019 @ 21:37
    Ok boomer 🤣
  • AT
    Andrea T.
    29 November 2019 @ 17:57
    How is gold an investment? Gold is money, not an investment. Saying that gold is an investment is like saying that the dollar or the euro are investments.
    • EN
      Eric N.
      30 November 2019 @ 09:58
      Why not say that a currency can be an investment? As long as you can trade what you believe to know the probability of change into a defined future timeline, you have an investment. If perhaps in your mind an investment is something you can use, then you may just as well look at golds chemical properties for electronics.
    • AT
      Andrea T.
      3 December 2019 @ 20:15
      What do you trade gold for, dollars? Euros? If so, then you'd be considering gold just a mean to get more fiat money, that is, just a commodity. If you're saying that gold can be exchanged for other goods, well in this case gold is a medium of exchange, that is, money, which is something you save, not something you invest in.
  • AT
    Andrea T.
    29 November 2019 @ 17:52
    What? There has been a free market in precious metals since 1971?! LOL. It's as true as it is true that owing GLD is the same as owing gold.
    • TJ
      Terry J.
      30 November 2019 @ 21:30
      Well said Andrea! I must confess I am fed up with supposedly gold expert commentators whom don't even acknowledge the huge manipulation that has gone on to control physical gold almost since the dollar floated freely in August 71! Time for RV to get someone who can give us the actual facts on this, based upon proper proof of analysis such as Dimitri Speck or Willem Middlekoop. If nothing else it might serve as a warning to bitcoin enthusiasts as to the real threat the potential new currency faces down the line, if the elite few families whom control the world determine that bitcoin like gold (post 71) must be made to "behave" in an orderly fashion that allows the Fed and the bullion banks to retain global control and keep the fiat dollar king despite the historic government, corporate and personal debt levels that a genuine free market would have cleaned out decades ago! Grant has often hinted or touched upon this previously, but please let's have someone who has through their published books provided analytical evidence of how the artificial and lightly regulated (or should that read unregulated) Comex market. by shorting bullion futures of daily values (that often exceed the physical amount of gold mined in a year or more) to smash gold's price ascent whenever it poses a threat to monetary or market control. We have even had respected UK precious metals traders provide overwhelming documentary evidence about the actions of some of these big bullion banks and how they boast they are untouchable around the wine bars of the city of London, but for literally decades the regulators have just turned a blind eye (I wonder why). So my advice to anyone thinking of buying bitcoin or gold is, by all means do, but also make sure you are prepared for potentially years and maybe decades more of frustration as genuine price discovery is completely annihilated by the cabal that has a vested interest in ensuring the fiat dollar and increasing debt remains king!
  • VS
    Victor S. | Contributor
    28 November 2019 @ 15:14
    The point is well made that only 10 years of experience you can’t make a forecast . However it is far worse than you say -Bitcoin has only traded in an economic environment! What would it do in inflation, hyperinflation, recession, depression,wars, and high growth periods.
  • RD
    Ronald D.
    28 November 2019 @ 14:14
    nonsense
  • PJ
    Peter J.
    28 November 2019 @ 09:11
    A fairly superficial set of views on both gold and Bitcoin, not my cup of tea
  • SS
    Shanthi S.
    28 November 2019 @ 05:46
    This interview felt very rushed and tense, and I don’t think it was George’s fault. The format is unappealing. I understand this format saves on production costs, but would it be possible to have a normal two way conversation format instead? Doesn’t matter if the interviewer isn’t Ed or Mike, anyone will do, but a conversation format is much more pleasant to listen to. Feel like I need a Xanax after listening to this.
  • sc
    sung c.
    28 November 2019 @ 04:40
    Stanley touts GLD etf as legit because it has over $49 billion invested in it over 15 years. Bitcoin has over $136 Billion invested in it over 10 years. If he were to look at the two with an unbiased eye, how should he vote? Clearly BTC should be the winner.
    • HV
      Helmuth V.
      29 November 2019 @ 08:35
      @Sung c, you seem to be comparing "Apples to Banyos" by comparing an ETF with the asset itself. :-)
  • sc
    sung c.
    28 November 2019 @ 04:35
    "The factors that change the price of gold can be hour to hour, day to day..." Milling-Stanley. This sounds very unstable, yet the volatility of BTC price is the reason he thinks it is not legitimate? As for time, we can't hold that against BTC since it was recently discovered, but don't all legitimate entities have a beginning, weather gold, silver, U.S. dollar, Amazon, Disney, Boing, General Motors, etc.?
  • sc
    sung c.
    28 November 2019 @ 04:27
    "We will go in all direction" is Milling-Stanley's description of BTC. Perhaps he should take a look at the logarithmic chart of BTC since inception. He will see a very predictable and stable looking chart, that if one was not told the name of the stock, anyone would agree it is very stable and predictably upward trending stock. In fact, if you had a chart like that for any IPO on the NYSE or Nasdaq, any analyst would say "BUY" with both hands.
  • sc
    sung c.
    28 November 2019 @ 04:21
    Milling-Stanley states that crypto exchanges have been hacked and that is somehow related to if BTC is a legitimate entity. That is like saying if gold jewelry and gold coins and bars are regularly stolen, that gold is not a legitimate entity. The fact that it is stolen actually legitimizes the value because people don't steal things of no value, for the most part. Art is always stolen, does that mean art is not a legitimate store of value?
  • sc
    sung c.
    28 November 2019 @ 04:14
    Milling-Stanley boasts about purchase of gold at $40 in 1971 and today it is $1500 per ounce. BTC was less than $0.01 in 2009 and today is at over $7,000 per BTC. "Hardly a comparison" is an understatement if we were to use his words.
  • sc
    sung c.
    28 November 2019 @ 04:11
    So if Gold's IPO was 1971, 40 years ago, and BTC hass 11 years of IPO since it is also not correlated to money as per Milling-Stanley's own words, there is only a 30 year separation between the two.
  • AP
    Ash P.
    28 November 2019 @ 02:53
    When Fed insiders deign to comment on bitcoin you’ll notice they never question it from a feature perspective except to say 1. It makes it harder to stop bad behaviour (or strictly speaking behaviour that is deemed bad by the state – which at times has included things like rum and helping slaves escape) and 2. It makes it harder to implement monetary policy (i.e. surreptitious taxation in the form of seigniorage). Neither of these are bugs...they are features. These guys and gals work with money and know it when they see it. And they recognize Bitcoin instinctively as money – though they can’t bring themselves to admit it. So, what is money? Read David Graeber, Jared Diamond or lately Ammous – historians and anthropologists are pretty good at this. Money evolves – something starts as a rare curiosity to become a collectible. That scarcity causes it to become coveted - wanted - which increases it's value, so it becomes a store of value. When enough people recognize its value, they being to willingly trade it (i.e. it becomes a medium of exchange). Money is ultimately a technology – one version is supplanted when a superior one comes along. Gold is a current version along with fiat. Bitcoin now has a 10-year record – one that surpasses everything. The question is not settled yet, but it’s off to a good. I won’t broach the other items raised in this interview except to point you to Saifedean Ammous’ book. It’s all there – you’ll find a clear and comprehensive rebuttal. The IPO comment was a non sequitur. I have no ideas how it's relevant at all. That someone as thoughtful, intelligent and experienced as George Milling-Stanley hasn’t cottoned onto what bitcoin is yet tells me one thing - I’ve got some time to quietly accumulate. The rest of you go about your business - ignore bitcoin if you want. No, please do.
    • KO
      Kyle O.
      1 December 2019 @ 00:31
      :100: - I'm convinced it's a generational problem. As a digital native, this isn't hard to grok. This guy (accomplished as he is) has never had to deeply reason with "what money is" in a natively digital economy.
  • AW
    Andrew W.
    28 November 2019 @ 00:19
    Only argument George makes against BTC are its young age and the idea that it's trying to become a store of value after failing to become a medium of exchange. The hypocrisy given that gold has in modern times failed as a medium of exchange yet has done very well as a store of value makes me wonder why he uses that point at all. BTC has a future chance of becoming a medium of exchange after it becomes a stable store of value, and the tech to do that is being developed today. He says all the cryptocurrencies' wallets have been hacked -- this is absolutely not the case. He admits the blockchain has never been compromised, which is all he had to say on that front. Nothing close to the counter-arguments we needed against Simon M.
    • JM
      John M.
      29 November 2019 @ 00:49
      But if Bitcoin quantity is fixed at 21 million (and bitcoins lost each year as people die without disclosing passwords ie total # bitcoins actually shrinks each year after hitting the 21 million mark) why will it "become a stable store of value"? It should be increasing in value over time I would think, given growing acceptance.
    • JW
      Joel W.
      2 December 2019 @ 21:04
      Andrew W., you are incorrect that gold has ‘failed as a medium of exchange’. Gold is obviously terrible at buying coffee, but works perfectly well for buying more expensive things, e.g., cars. I have used gold this way myself. Bitcoin can also be used for more expensive purchases, just like gold.
  • JB
    John B.
    27 November 2019 @ 22:53
    I want to know when George's health routine IPO is, he's 72?! Looks more like 50
    • TE
      Tito E.
      30 November 2019 @ 14:24
      Completely! What is it George? Gold flakes in your cereal?
  • ra
    rehan a.
    27 November 2019 @ 22:49
    Is it bitcoin week again :( ?
  • JJ
    James J.
    27 November 2019 @ 22:23
    You seemed confident in your statement that there was a fortune in gold in a vault in London. Australia has a fortune in gold in London but auditioning it is problematic for the custodians.
    • AW
      Andrew W.
      28 November 2019 @ 00:21
      Exactly. If the gold is there, why not allow for unlimited independent audits? What exactly are they scared of?
  • TE
    Tito E.
    27 November 2019 @ 21:18
    George, Once all doubt you and everyone has about Bitcoin is gone, its price will either be zero or very very high. I'm happy to hold what i have and buy once in a while. Same as i do with gold.
  • TC
    Thomas C.
    27 November 2019 @ 20:38
    On a positive note George has a definite view on Crypto and a vested interest in Gold. In reality the same reason Gold my increase in value is the same reason Crypto may also increase. He is clear and direct in his points and certainly they make sense in the financial world since the 1970, since Gold was cut as a banking asset to currency. But things may change, change despite huge central bank opposition to a ctypto world where decentralised money is the norm. He may be right in timing - it may happen slower than we wish unless the population insists on it. At this point George has valid points but he needs to be a little more open to change.
  • EL
    Ed L.
    27 November 2019 @ 20:12
    Ok boomer! BTC FTW
  • TM
    The-First-James M.
    27 November 2019 @ 18:13
    Voted this up because I feel on the whole, a lot of good points were raised. Where I nearly fell off my chair in shock was when George asserted that all crypto wallets have been hacked. I'm sorry, but this is utter BS, and demonstrates a lack of even basic understanding of the underlying architecture. No Bitcoin wallet has ever been directly hacked! Exchanges have been hacked, passwords stolen and funds siphoned off, but this only serves to illustrate why one should take custody of their own Bitcoin and not leave it in the hands of am exchange. I also found myself switching ofd when the "Blockchain not Bitcoin" meme was quoted as if by rote. The fact is Bitcoin is the longest running and most heavily secured Blockchain by a country mile. It's also never been hacked; despite George's assertion to the contrary. I say the following as Gen-Xer, not a Millennial, but when George stated he would need at least 40 - 50 years to determine whether Bitcoin will become a strategic asset, my response was/is that you have to be in it to win it! I say this as somebody who hold Hold as a strategic asset, but would it not make sense to hold 1-3% of your net worth in Bitcoin in-case your reasonably well-argued position of doubt and scepticism is wrong? If not, you'll miss it. Of you're wrong, you'll still have yoir Gold coins to pass on to your Grandchildren (wouldn't it be hilarious if they traded them in for Bitcoin ;) ). Regarding the volatility, at least Bitcoin has trended up and to tje right over the last decade. Also, you can take advantage if indicators such as the Mayer Multiple to accumulate at low points. Any value in excess of 75% is the buy zone for me. As a final note, I would like to say that the war against Bitcoiners and Gold holders is a pointless one. We all share many of the same perspectives and opinions, re. Sound Money. Why fight over which one is better?! It's completely counter productive. Respect skeptical souls like George for his age-enhanced perspective of history. Attacking people like him is not worthwhile - you will not change his mind if you deploy this tactic. Instead, why not take the view that maybe, just maybe, Gold and Bitcoin may both have a worthwhile and important future role to play, and own both. To counter George's skepticism, here's a recent presentation showing Mark Yusko at his finest: https://youtu.be/gTg6LkUi-DM
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      27 November 2019 @ 18:15
      God, my spelling sucks! I hate typing on a phone keypad. Realvison, we desperately need an edit function for our posts. Even if, for posterity, there's an argument to not allow this, at least give posters a 15 minute window after posting to correct spelling errors, etc...
    • AP
      Ash P.
      28 November 2019 @ 03:39
      Thanks for the link man. Brilliant!
    • TJ
      Terry J.
      29 November 2019 @ 16:44
      I totally agree with Ash - the link to Mark Yusko's presentation is much appreciated James. Time for RV to get Mark back again soon. You are also so right about the madness of not having at least a tiny exposure to BTC just in case it does go to the moon. If it's such a small percentage of your portfolio that if it becomes worthless and it doesn't hurt, where's the downside? Few speculations in the history of investing have had such asymmetric upside potential!
  • AK
    Antti K.
    27 November 2019 @ 15:53
    Blockchain without cryptocurrency is just a slow and inefficient database.
    • DH
      Daniel H.
      28 November 2019 @ 06:55
      It's true with cryptocurrency too.
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      28 November 2019 @ 13:07
      Except with Cryptocurrency, I can trust that what I see has not been modified/tampered with.
  • FS
    Fagundes S.
    27 November 2019 @ 14:57
    Another legacy commenter who doesn't understand BTC. But that's OK. It is quite complicated. We should not underestimate just how complicated and how multidisciplinary Bitcoin really is. I mean you’re talking about thermodynamics with hardware, you’re talking software computer networking. The latest advances and distributed systems, economics and game theory which is a huge portion of all of this. Bitcoin’s the real deal. The results speak for itself - BTC has TOTALLY crushed Gold since 2009. It is extremely naive to think its second decade of life will be any different. BTC is just starting. Pointless interview.
    • JM
      John M.
      29 November 2019 @ 01:07
      I think you are suffering from GDS (gold derangement syndrome)
  • FS
    Fagundes S.
    27 November 2019 @ 14:51
    Bitcoin is up 100% this year alone even after a 30% drop. It has been rising since 2010 and is the hardest money mankind knows and will have a huge market by 2025. Its Sharpe ratio beats everything. By far the best investment of the past decade. Are you betting against it now at 11? It's extremely Luddite to dismiss it. BTC can't be stopped. The genie is out of the bottle. Sorry gold bugs, you can accept it or not, but BTC doesn't care and the network keeps working and growing. Read Trace Mayer, Saifedean Ammous, Andreas Antonopolous. Check the Stephan Livera and TFTC podcasts. BTC is the Internet of money. Freedom.
    • CB
      Clifford B.
      27 November 2019 @ 18:42
      the only reason btc got to this absurd valuation is through tether printing. but I'm happy for the gains. speculation has paid off.
    • JB
      James B.
      30 November 2019 @ 16:19
      Beginners to the Bitcoin space would do well to check out Peter McCormack's What Bitcoin Did podcast.
  • CH
    Chris H.
    27 November 2019 @ 13:41
    the bitcoin believers will hate it but he makes valid points, it's not a medium of exchange, it will never get to a transaction volume that will allow it to be used as money, there is no reason to believe that it is digital gold other than that is what the heavily invested would like you to believe. Fiat is in trouble, but bitcoin isn't the answer.
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      27 November 2019 @ 17:39
      "it will never get to a transaction volume that will allow it to be used as money". You need to do some reading about the Lightning Network..
  • BG
    Bruno G.
    27 November 2019 @ 13:06
    i waited for this...it was BAD 1) the price of Gold is not a free market when you can create gold derivatives out of thin air greater than the annual mine supply in a short period of time to hammer the price down. Please interview Graig Hemke of TF Metals report to stop this BS contention. 2) the ETF GLD is not a 1:1 relationship, it is leveraged and manipulated. Again interview Graig Hemke if you want to give your viewers the truth. HIS presentation was just varying degrees of the truth or falsehoods Gold is manipulated by the Banks a) it makes money for them and b) it serves the government because it makes the dollar look strong relative to gold so they have no reason to stop it Quit putting these Ass clowns on who don’t tell the truth!
    • CB
      Clifford B.
      27 November 2019 @ 18:35
      bitcoin was created out of thin air.
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      28 November 2019 @ 13:09
      ... and a sh*t ton of hard work and intellectual capital...
    • NI
      Nate I.
      29 November 2019 @ 03:57
      Aren't bitcoin derivatives just around the corner? Bitcoin futures are trading. Don't the same thin air concerns apply?
    • JA
      J A.
      29 November 2019 @ 19:50
      Hear Hear Bruno @JamesHenryAnd - the daily gold price data EAST vs SPOT vs WEST 1970 - PRESENT tells the story. Anyone talking gold without citing these facts is posing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJc1jVGl3hA&t=943s
  • CB
    Clifford B.
    27 November 2019 @ 10:53
    Finally someone who "gets it" logically and tactically.
    • FS
      Fagundes S.
      27 November 2019 @ 15:06
      Numbers show how much he "gets it". Bitcoin outperformed Gold every single year since its since it exists, it's almost comical. Besides Gold, Bitcoin outperformed all bonds, stocks and assets in 2019 as usual. Ten years, every single year, gold is losing value against BTC. If you want BTC, you'll have to shell out more and more of your gold. 1 BTC = 2009: 0.000001 oz 2010: 0.0001 oz 2011: 0.005 oz 2012: 0.01 oz 2013: 0.1 oz 2014: 0.5 oz 2015: 0.5 oz 2016: 1 oz 2017: 6 oz 2018: 6 oz 2019: 6.5 oz 2020: "This time it will be different"
  • GE
    Glenn E.
    27 November 2019 @ 09:30
    Not a good interview
    • GH
      Georg H.
      27 November 2019 @ 12:47
      Right? A very good one indeed.