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I'm confronted by someone who states that Satoshi Nakamoto never compared Bitcoin to gold in the monetary sense (not about mining).

However, I'm sure that I recall a quote from Satoshi stating Bitcoin is digital gold which was used several years ago in the debate of Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash as an argument that Bitcoin is a store of value and not a means of payment.

I'm failing to find it again. The only thing I found is about Bitcoin mining, but this isn't in the meaning I need to prove.

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    This elephant is Bitcoin and different users calling it different things: i.imgur.com/mKsF28k.png
    – user103136
    Sep 6, 2020 at 13:12
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    There is an allegedly complete collection of Satoshi's public writings at satoshi.nakamotoinstitute.org. The github repo has everything in json format which you could search for the word "gold". I got 66 hits which you should be able to go through fairly fast. Sep 6, 2020 at 16:44
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    In pondering what the usefulness of Bitcoin might be, there are many interesting and pertinent considerations, but "What Satoshi intended" isn't really one of them. Perhaps his motivation and intent is of historical interest, but it does not change what Bitcoin is today. And anyways, arguments about 'store of value vs payments' are naïvely mutually exclusive.
    – chytrik
    Sep 8, 2020 at 22:24
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    Thats not a problem, people are free to have opinions about what Satoshi intended, but such opinions have no affect on what bitcoin is. Someone arguing that it "was never meant to be scarce" can simply be directed to the lines of code that defined the block subsidy in the original codebase. We don't need to read between the lines of Satoshi's writings on that point, scarcity was hard-coded in from day one. Whether that means Satoshi saw BTC as a gold equivalent (or not) doesn't change the reality of it being such a thing (or not).
    – chytrik
    Sep 8, 2020 at 22:38
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    @user2284570 I think that the questions you posed in your comment replies are great, but I mean to point out that the answer to them doesn't depend on what Satoshi intended, it instead depends on what the reality of Bitcoin is. And in the debate about what Bitcoin is, opinions about Satoshi's intent are rather inconsequential.
    – chytrik
    Sep 8, 2020 at 23:49

2 Answers 2

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Where did Staoshi Nakamoto stated that bitcoin is gold or digital gold?

He didn't.

Not in any of his public writings.

an argument that Bitcoin is a store of value and not a meant of payment.

In his original whitepaper, Satoshi Nakamoto was very clear that they saw Bitcoin as a means of payment.

What is needed is an electronic payment system

The whitepaper does not mention the phrase "store of value". Since they were undoubtedly aware of this property of currencies, we must infer it was not of primary importance in the motivation for the design of Bitcoin.

So it would be surprising if there is any evidence available that would conclusively prove that Nakomoto completely changed their mind about this.


See also Breakdown of all Satoshi's Writings Proves Bitcoin not Built Primarily as Store of Value

Did Satoshi build Bitcoin to serve primarily as a store of value, or did he build it for making payments?

To answer this question, I went straight to the source. Thanks to the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute’s archives I was able to read every single thing Satoshi ever posted publicly. Comments from 260 forum threads, 63 emails, and his original source code.

After reviewing all of Satoshi’s writings, I can confidently state that Bitcoin was not purpose-built to first be a store of value. It was built for payments.

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Satoshi compared Bitcoin mining to gold in the digital realm in his original design paper (white paper): https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Satoshi wrote:

"The steady addition of a constant of amount of new coins is analogous to gold miners expending resources to add gold to circulation. In our case, it is CPU time and electricity that is expended."

This is literally Satoshi drawing a parallel between Bitcoin and gold in terms of their creation process and is akin to saying Bitcoin is like digital gold. Both Bitcoin and gold involve a resource-intensive extraction process.

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    The question is titled "Where did Staoshi Nakamoto state that bitcoin is gold or digital gold?". Saying a characteristic of the creation of A is analogous to a characteristic of the creation of B is not saying A is B. It is not saying that A and B have any other characteristics in common. Apr 18 at 14:40
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    Hi Adelle - welcome to bitcoin.se, and thanks for contributing. Please note that we try like to keep content helpful, direct, and on-point, and consider everyone to be asking questions in good faith. Please take a look at the tour and read the expected behavior section in the help center.
    – Hannah Vernon
    Apr 19 at 15:39

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