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> 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 [1].

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 [2].

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 [3].

> 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.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_chemical_element_d...

[3] https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/6252203.pdf




So what you're saying is that gold is JavaScript - it got significant early adoption because the alternatives (like VBScript) were worse, and then that just amplified until it boosted it into an unassailable position. ;)




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