Golden statistical Showers May grow Flours?
Throwing some easily-begotten stats around and seeing what sticks.
History is fleeting, we lose it all the time. The Library of Alexandria was destroyed a long time ago, back before the printing press could save extra copies of the valuable books which probably could have taught modern man SO much. Sorta reminds us BitCoiners of the need for Simple Payment Verification (SPV), no? So it's very hard to come up with examples of money in human history. The "What is Money?" article used wampum from the 17th century to shed some light on BitCoin. It would be GREAT if we could closer examine the time period prior to Lydian Electrum coins, to see when grain (flour?) was money, as it surely was in Mesopotamian empires pre-dating even the Egyptians and Greeks. Would it not make logical sense that the word "grain" was used as the smallest unit of currency, such as a BitCoiner might use "bit" or "satoshi" or "BitCoin token" today, which then fed the usage of "grain" for the smallest unit of metallic money? Did you know the "Parable of Talents", while metaphorically referring to not wasting your human talent, is a direct reference to a measurement of gold-- the talent-- in ancient Israel? We could learn a LOT from flour grains and non-immutable libraries, but instead we have to take what we can get. So let's "play" around with some, perhaps too easily obtained, numbers about gold and silver we might be able to use in future discussions about Money.
How much silver & gold currently above ground?
(in the market)
190,000 metric tonness of gold
1.6 million tonnes of silver
source: SDBullion.com 2018
Always-interesting ratio: 8 silver to 1 gold (calculated from above, 8.4 to be exact)
At 32,150.7 troy ounces per tonne, that's 6.1 billion troy ounces of above-ground gold as of 2018.
If each gold 1 troy oz coin (assuming property fineness of gold) was worth $35 per coin in 1971 before Nixon went off the gold standard, then in 2018 there was enough money in the world for just over $200 billion in total world money supply, and that's just in gold (doesn't include silver).
que the reading music:
1.6 mm tonnes silver * 32,150.7 troy/tonne = over 50 billion troy ounces. At $1 per troy ounce of silver (circa 1795-1964) that adds another $50 billion to the total money supply (doesn't included nickels, and copper pennies).
$250 billion in world money supply is plenty, at least up until Nixon that is. Before Nixon, the US monetary base (what Craig might refer to as "cash" in the system) was < $50 billion. The United States certainly isn't ALL the money in the world, but what if it's about 25% or 20%? If that's the case, than all the money humanity needed up until a short while ago was available in 2018's gold-silver tally.
Specifically, the US's 1970 tally of $50 billion x 5 (using 20% market share of money) = $250 billion. Gold and Silver got your back. But while the 2018 amount of gold/silver would be great for the world on a true metal currency in say 1966, what about the population growth from 1966 to 2018 increasing demand?
Population-based Need for Money?
Worldmeters.info says 3.5 billion people in about 1966 and 7.6 billion in 2018. So maybe we're falling behind? But we'd have to figure out cash-wealth per human, which likely has gone down with population and improvements to velocity of money (digitization, credit cards, etc.....). Let's skip that likely very real effect.
This would lead us to conclude that worst-case, gold and silver supply may be lagging demand by upto 100% of all the gold and silver that's ever been produced by mankind. Seems like a big number, but probably not as bad as it could be. There's a "Moore's Law" to every commodity, not just computations per second. Maybe it doesn't obey Gordon Moore's numbers, but loosely speaking, technology allows faster production in modern times than the past. It means 100% is something we could probaby quickly catch-up, by overproducing metals by 2% over the next 50 years, or something like that. Much more manageable, given we've indeed been off a world gold/silver (precious metals, PM) standard for 50 years.
Another factor to consider in the value of a commodity such as gold, or oil (or BitCoin?):
While technology might slightly improve modern man's ability to get commodities like gold and silver out of the ground, against this trend is the deepness of gold and silver on our earth's crust. "Easy" gold has been panned, mined, extracted. We know this from the oil markets; we didn't used to need to frack shale underneath Ohio or Western Pennsylvania and risk man-made earthquakes in order to get oil 100 years ago. But now we do, as the "low hanging fruit" effect is prevalent in commodities.
Perhaps what these calciulations mean, is that gold and silver could again serve as sound hard money.
Maybe it's time to take Gold with a GRAIN of salt, or a BIT of skepticism...
...as the money of our future?
For the purposes of BitCoin, the question isn't so much can gold and silver still do its 2,600 year old "job"; but, after going off the gold standard for 50 years, is BitCoin (BSV) better than precious metals, and will it gain monetary market share in the NEXT 50-1,000 years?
This author likes BitCoin's chances, but like any theorist would prefer to see more experimental evidence. Unlike perhaps all the mavens of the cryptocurrency craze, however, this author doesn't think the 2009-2020 corridor is sufficient evidence.
In the future, I will focus more on the nature of BitCoin as a commodity, and how to derive the VALUE or PRICE of a commodity such that it can relate to BitCoin. Perhaps the "What is Money?" article doesn't delve deeply enough into the topic?
One thing is certain tho:
As a world society, we're getting used to the ease-of-use qualities of digital currencies, but perhaps will never quite get used to BAD government's being able to electronically PRINT such digital currencies.
BitCoin enters our existence as a unique time indeed. While maybe gold and silver's days are not quite over, "there's a new sheriff in town" looking to see what it can do. Welcome to the show that never ends, BitCoin!