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What Makes Bitcoin a Currency and an Asset?
You might have heard people referring to Bitcoin as a currency and an asset and got confused. Find out why Bitcoin takes the two positions below.
Someone once argued that a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is not similar to a traditional fiat currency or asset. He argued that cryptocurrency lacks a stable and formal structure. By structure, the person was talking about issues like the centralized control of fiat currency, the physical format of notes, coins, or an asset like gold.
Such an argument should raise fundamental interest in determining whether Bitcoin qualifies as a currency or an asset. Even without delving into the details, it’s essential to appreciate that Bitcoin has grown in its acceptability and functionality. Today, many businesses will accept Bitcoin payments. Moreover, many employers are paying their employees with Bitcoin.
What Makes Bitcoin a Currency?
It is essential to consider several relevant factors to understand why Bitcoin is a currency. First, from the very definition of Bitcoin as a digital currency, it is easy to conclude that it is a currency. Otherwise, we would not categorize it as a digital currency or compare it with fiat currency when differentiating the two.
Second, Bitcoin is a currency because it meets some fundamental money features. First, a currency acts as a medium of exchange. And this means we can use it to buy and pay for goods and services. Although not all businesses or brands accept Bitcoin, many are already accepting Bitcoin payments. Some major brands that accept Bitcoin payments include Starbucks, Overstock, AT&T, and Microsoft.
You can use Bitcoin to pay for regular purchases, such as your meal, or shop in many places today as an exchange medium. Not all businesses accept Bitcoin payments today does not mean they will not take it in the future. Compared to fiat currencies, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are very new, so acceptance is still a problem.
Currency is also a store of value. And this implies that you can save money or currency, and it won’t lose worth when you decide to retrieve it in the future. Bitcoin also meets this criterion because some people buy and hold Bitcoin for extended periods. Although the price of Bitcoin can fall in the future, it can also rise. Moreover, it is unlikely that Bitcoin will become valueless in the future.
Finally, as a unit of account, you can use the currency to value goods or services and calculate income, debt, profit, wealth, and losses. Bitcoin serves a similar function as fiat currency. Since it is countable, you can use Bitcoin to account for wealth as the value of goods or services. For example, your number of Bitcoins can represent part of your wealth.
What Makes Bitcoin an Asset?
When it comes to classifying Bitcoin as an asset, we should start by defining an asset. Without going into specifics, an asset is any resource with economic value. Additionally, countries, organizations, or individuals can own or control assets. From this definition, an asset also stores value. And I have already argued that Bitcoin is a store of value.
Individuals, countries, or organizations can be responsible when it comes to ownership and control. An individual, an organization, or a government can own and control Bitcoin. You can decide to buy Bitcoin and do it as you wish. For example, you can use your Bitcoins for trading using platforms like Immediate Edge
Bitcoin is a currency and asset because it is a digital currency that people can use to buy or pay for items and services. It can be held as a store of value, owned, and controlled by organizations, individuals, or governments. The fact that Bitcoin is still an emerging concept could make it challenging to understand. But with time, it will become clearer that Bitcoin serves as both a currency and an asset.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes
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