Although financial systems have built on gold’s enormous usability and scarcity, Barry Silbert believes that handing over the wealth to the future generations will involve less use of the highly-valued metal. Arguing that gold shouldn’t weigh down a modern investor’s portfolio, he said:
“It’s game over (for gold). Digital currencies like bitcoin are the future. It’s time to drop gold, go digital, go Grayscale.”
Silbert further highlighted gold’s depleting use cases, citing a steep reduction in its use in electronics and more inclination toward ornamental value. He pointed out that unlike gold, as the price for Bitcoin rises, it becomes more liquid, a better medium of exchange, and a better store of value. Grayscale’s #dropgold initiative has also played an important role in sparking this conversation and creating awareness.
While Silbert’s support for Bitcoin over gold was evident, he mentioned that crypto’s path to global adoption requires a three-fold approach that included educational awareness, custody, and revamping the trading infrastructure. Focusing on the use cases, Silbert said,
“Bitcoin is the digital gold, Ethereum token is used to power smart contracts, and then you have tokens focusing on things around identity or provenance.”
These varied applications of crypto offer tremendous opportunity for the underbanked sector, primarily around cross-border payments and remittance, and removing financial friction for micropayments. As an example, Silbert stated,
“If you’re (a merchant) able to bypass the banks and save 5% while avoiding the cost of charge-backs and fraud, there’s a lot of savings.”
He also envisioned a futuristic wallet, that could hold USD, Bitcoin, and other tokens such as Libra in unison, which he claimed was the key to drive real mass adoption. Nearing the end of the interview, the prominent technologist commented on some of crypto’s upcoming milestones and expected disruption.