Oleg Andreev

Software designer with focus on user experience and security.

Author of Gitbox version control app.

Author of CoreBitcoin, an implementation of Bitcoin in Objective-C.

Lead developer of FunGolf GPS, golfer's personal assistant on iOS.

If you want to learn about Bitcoin, start with my Bitcoin FAQ or guide for journalists. I can give you an interview or provide technical and long-term economical consulting.
I am not interested in trading, mining or building fiat-to-btc exchanges.

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Bitcoin vs. Gold

Some people think that gold is easier to hide or bury than Bitcoin. They like that gold was used for 5000 years and you can touch it. They dislike 4-year old internet protocol because they do not understand it.

First of all, money is information. Gold encapsulates information “I own that much of current purchasing power” via its hard-to-duplicate physical properties. The harder it is to duplicate and easier to verify, the more liquid it is. To hide information embodied in gold, you have to hide your brick somewhere in the physical world. Since 1 kg of gold has quite a big market value for a single person, hiding it is not a big problem.

How does Bitcoin look from that perspective? Bitcoin stores information about your purchasing power using decentralized database. Bitcoin is much harder to duplicate or create (you can suddenly find some gold in the ground, but with Bitcoin supply is known in advance). Bitcoin is much easier to validate with 99,9999999999999999999% certainty using cheap commodity hardware anywhere in the world. Gold verification ultimately needs to be melt down and checked by experts, or you have to trust some certificates and less accurate checks.

How would you hide Bitcoin? Even easier than gold. If you print your private keys or passwords on a piece of metal, you can use the same hiding techniques that apply to gold. But you have also purely digital options. You can simply remember the password. Or write it on a small insignificant piece of paper. Or split the secret via Shamir’s Secret Sharing Scheme and send pieces to friends and relatives.

Finally, the killing feature of Bitcoin is that you can split your stash in 100 pieces and send them to 100 different people anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes without any single person knowing about that. If you need to buy something with Bitcoin, you can do it right away. With a brick of gold — not so much.