Given Bitcoin's "capitalisation" failed to hit even $10bn until well after the crisis , it's safe to say that more capital moved, in almost any single U.S. state, from stocks to corporate bonds, than from anything to Bitcoin. Being optimistic about the future of a technology is fine. Being delusional about its history is not.
Regarding Cyprus, wealthy Cypriots--by and large--bought German and Greek government bonds, not Bitcoin.
Bitcoin came into existence in January of 2009. What was it supposed to do? Start stealing its owners' money and go negative?
Also, everything rose in 2009. The S&P 500 was up 23%. Bonds were up, commodities were up...that's what happens after you scrape past a global financial meltdown. Sure, Bitcoin was up like five thousand percent, but that's the difference between a tens of millions and hundreds of billion in market capitalisation, things that are very volatile and things that are not, and venture versus mature.
Those who've hedged with crypto's as a trading vehicle are likely to win again during the next inevitable downturn.
Bitcoin may be an alternative to gold but it is not the same.
1) Gold has intrinsic value.
2) Gold is a tangible asset.
Now, I know that I've committed a straw man argument myself by using a contrived example. To that, I'll say that the only "value" one has by having gold in the real world is that other people will trade you for it. But this is exactly the opposite of intrinsic value. The value of gold being entirely fabricated by people's desire to hold it.
Gold's value comes from its (a) millennia-long history of stably holding value across cultures and technological domains and (b) its tangibility and physically-enforced scarcity. Its intrinsic value is a fraction of its market value, in part because the inflated price deters lots of uses.
a) crypto holders believe that the value will hold because as more individuals use it to store their net worth, the harder it will become to
manipulate. ie. a history of price growth/eventual stabilization will occur in time.
b) its algorithmically-enforced scarcity, which many people believe is as valid as physically-enforced scarcity. So long as hash-based cryptography always works.
There is one feature gold has over Bitcoin that cryptocurrencies cannot replicate: resilience across technological domains. Gold holds value without computers or electricity. Bitcoin does not. Gold, on the other hand, cannot travel at the speed of light. TL; DR each solves different systems of trade-offs.
That's recursive - you're basically saying that gold has value because it has historically being valuable. Which begs the question of why it has been valuable.
I'm not saying that this doesn't add some (most, in fact) value to gold. I'm just saying that this isn't a property that is enabled by anything specific to gold.
With money, you want five things: fungibility, durability, portability, cognizability and stability .
On fungibility, gold is an element. It can only be extracted, not produced in a conventional sense. In fact, before the 1669 discovery of phosphorous, humans had only purified, from oldest to newest, copper, lead, gold, silver, iron, carbon, tin, sulfur, mercury, zinc, arsenic and antimony .
Out of those, lead, gold, silver and mercury are chemically stable, though only gold and silver are also physically durable. Both are easy to recognize, though more metals are "silvery" in color than yellow.
Gold won due to stability, in large part because of a few flukes. For most of human history, growth was flat and gold mining was minimal. When we actually started growing, the major powers were using gold. The rate at which they added to global gold supplies happened to mirror their economic growth; this gave gold a few decades of price stability. That memory, together with the millennia of use, forged a cultural memory in the furnaces of the industrial revolution that remains, vividly, to this day .
> That's recursive
Cultural memories, like trust, are re-enforced by network effects. Your observation is correct. Gold got where it got, in part, due to luck and then just stuck.
Can that be replicated? Perhaps. I personally think our obsession with gold is silly. But engineering that properly means understanding why it happened in the first place. At least amongst Bitcoin enthusiasts, I come across the types of comments you see others making in this thread, as opposed to bona fide introspection and defenses.
Your last point brings up an interesting tangent, if gold wasn't treated as a store of value, what would its price be? Would it be similar to diamonds where synthetic ones are half the price? Are you aware of any sources that try to answer this question?