Forget Gold, Bitcoin is Backed by Time

Travis Patron is a digital money researcher and author of The Bitcoin Revolution: An Internet of Money. Here he explains why bitcoin may be an intrinsically valuable form of money because it is regulated through time-bound algorithms.


One of the most common criticisms of bitcoin is it is not backed by anything, nor is it intrinsically valuable. However, pundits have long been arguing that the US dollar has no intrinsic value and neither does gold.

The utter misconception of this economic principle as it relates to bitcoin is too large, and too important to ignore. Everything from Danish tulips in the 15th century to stacks of paper USD notes have had some degree of intrinsic value. What we need to debate is the quality of intrinsic value attributed to each.

What cryptocurrency investors and enthusiasts must understand is that bitcoin is not only a financial asset with considerable intrinsic value, but it is regulated by a universal constant unlike any man-made money system that has come before it – time itself.

This universal construct allows us to plot the supply schedule of bitcoin, meaning it is highly predictable while also being uncheatable through the manipulation found in traditional monetary policies.

Algorithmic regulation

The argument goes that dollars are backed by the US government and the largest force of military might on the planet, but what is backing bitcoin? Even if programmable, digital money brings intrinsically valuable capabilities, how can we have faith in it if there is no core party overseeing its acceptance and adoption?

At the very root of what makes the bitcoin network tick is a regulatory algorithm determining that new blocks of bitcoin will be mined on average every 10 minutes. This ‘uncheatable’ maths which is intelligently constructed by system design, ensures that

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