Letter #233: Bitcoin Is Money, Not A Commodity
Read now to learn how calling Bitcoin a "commodity" is a mistake at best and an attack at worst.
I recently read an article from a popular Bitcoin platform that was celebrating the 8th anniversary of the date when a U.S. regulator decided to call Bitcoin a commodity. The writer went so far as to herald the event as a “significant milestone” for Bitcoin, and his approval for that classification by the government was obvious throughout his writing on the topic.
If popular Bitcoin platforms are falling into the trap of believing that Bitcoin is a “commodity”, is it any wonder that the world at large is confused about what Bitcoin really is?
Bitcoin Is Not A Commodity
Let’s put the argument to rest — Bitcoin is not a commodity, no matter what the U.S. government, or any government for that matter, says. For example, an internet search on the question of “what is a commodity” returns the following answers:
A commodity is “a raw material or primary agricultural product that can be bought and sold, such as copper or coffee.”
“Commodities include agricultural products such as wheat and cattle, energy products such as oil and natural gas, and metals such as gold, silver and aluminum.”
“Commodities are most often used as inputs in the production of other goods or services.”
Do any of those definitions sound at all like Bitcoin? No. Bitcoin isn’t a raw material and it certainly can’t be used to directly produce any good or service; Nor is it agricultural, an energy source, or a metal (notwithstanding it’s frequent comparisons to gold).
In short, Bitcoin does not really resemble a commodity in any form or fashion, and the U.S. government’s decision to classify Bitcoin as a commodity is unfathomable — at least unless we consider its motives for misclassifying Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Is Money
The truth is that Bitcoin is money. It always has been and it will remain money for as long as the Bitcoin community decides to use it as a store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account. After all, satisfying those purposes is what makes something money – what any government may say on the matter is irrelevant.
Bitcoin does without a doubt satisfy the basic purposes of money:
Bitcoin is used extensively as a store of value. A fiat-to-Bitcoin chart from any of your favorite exchanges will immediately show just how well Bitcoin stores value over long time frames.
Bitcoin is used extensively as a medium of exchange, albeit in limited circles (for now) when compared to the overall size of global markets. Still, there are hundreds of thousands of people globally using money for purchases, salaries, and more.
Bitcoin’s usefulness as a unit of account is only beginning to take shape. That said, it can be best seen in the crypto space, where most altcoins and other digital assets are priced in Bitcoin as often as, or even more frequently in some cases than, they’re priced in fiat currencies.
I’ve written an entire series of articles on why Bitcoin is better than fiat currencies. Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it — you can use Bitcoin and find out for yourself.
With Bitcoin’s superiority over fiat in mind, is it any wonder that governments, the purveyors of the fiat currencies that benefit them so much, are incentivized to misclassify such a strong competitor to their own dismal monetary contender?
Considering the above, I position that the U.S. government’s decision to call Bitcoin a commodity was not a “significant milestone”, but rather a calculated attack designed to hamper Bitcoin’s ability to quickly reach its full monetary potential.
Attacks of that nature will not succeed.
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This is not financial or business advice. This newsletter and related content are for informational purposes only. Cryptocurrencies and digital assets can be risky. Always do your own research before making any sort of investment.