The Illusionist
6 min readMar 25, 2023

“From Gold to Bitcoin: Exploring the Role of Human Psychology in Accepting Store-of-Value Assets Across History and the Digital Era”

What is the role of human psychology in accepting things?

Human psychology plays a significant role in the acceptance of new ideas, behaviors, or objects. Acceptance can be influenced by various factors, including personal experiences, cognitive processes, social influences, and emotional responses. Here are some key aspects of human psychology that contribute to the acceptance of things:

Familiarity: People tend to accept things that they are familiar with or have been exposed to repeatedly. This is due to the mere-exposure effect, which states that people tend to develop a preference for things they encounter frequently.

Cognitive biases: Cognitive biases, such as confirmation bias and availability heuristic, can shape how people perceive and accept new information. Confirmation bias leads people to favor information that confirms their existing beliefs, while the availability heuristic causes individuals to overestimate the likelihood of events based on the ease with which they can recall similar instances.

Social influence: The opinions and behaviors of others can significantly impact an individual’s acceptance of things. Factors like social norms, peer pressure, and conformity play a role in shaping what people accept and adopt.

Emotional appeal: People are more likely to accept things that evoke positive emotions or that they associate with positive experiences. Emotional appeal can be a powerful persuasive tool, as it engages people on a personal level and can create a strong connection with the subject matter.

Perceived benefits and risks: Individuals often weigh the potential benefits and risks of accepting something new. If the perceived benefits outweigh the risks, people are more likely to accept the change.

Trust and credibility: Trust in the source or the person presenting the information can influence acceptance. People are more likely to accept information from sources they perceive as credible or authoritative.

Personal values and beliefs: An individual’s personal values, beliefs, and worldview can shape their acceptance of new ideas or behaviors. People tend to accept things that align with their values and beliefs while rejecting those that contradict them.

Sense of control and autonomy: People are more likely to accept things when they feel a sense of control and autonomy over the decision-making process. Giving individuals the freedom to make their own choices and explore options can enhance acceptance.

Understanding these aspects of human psychology can help in developing strategies to promote acceptance and facilitate change, whether it be the adoption of new technologies, embracing different perspectives, or adopting new behaviors.

How has gold become a store of value throughout history?

Gold has been considered a store of value throughout history due to a combination of its unique physical properties, cultural significance, and economic factors. Here are some key reasons why gold has become a store of value:

Scarcity: Gold is a rare and finite resource, which contributes to its value. The limited supply of gold creates a sense of scarcity, which makes it more valuable as a store of wealth.

Durability: Gold is a highly durable metal that does not corrode, tarnish, or decay over time. This property ensures that gold can be stored and preserved for long periods without losing its intrinsic value.

Divisibility: Gold can be easily divided into smaller units without losing its value. This makes it a practical medium for storing and exchanging wealth.

Portability: Gold has a high value-to-weight ratio, making it relatively easy to transport and store. This portability has made it a convenient way to store wealth throughout history.

Intrinsic value: Gold is a tangible asset with intrinsic value, unlike fiat currencies, which are backed by the trust in the issuing government. This tangible nature of gold has made it an attractive store of value, as it is perceived to be less susceptible to inflation and economic turmoil.

Historical and cultural significance: Gold has been associated with wealth, power, and prestige since ancient civilizations. It has been used as a form of currency, as well as in jewelry, art, and religious artifacts. This long-standing cultural significance has reinforced gold’s status as a store of value.

Universal acceptance: Gold is recognized and valued across different cultures and geographical locations. This universal acceptance has made it a reliable store of value and a medium of exchange in international trade.

Hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty: Gold has traditionally been considered a safe-haven asset during times of economic uncertainty, political instability, and high inflation. As gold tends to maintain its value or even appreciate during such times, it is viewed as a reliable store of wealth.

These factors have contributed to gold’s enduring status as a store of value throughout history. Even today, gold continues to be a popular investment vehicle and is often included in diversified investment portfolios as a hedge against inflation and economic risks.

How is Bitcoin a superior store of value in this digital era compared to gold?

In the digital era, Bitcoin has emerged as a potential store of value that offers some advantages over gold. While both assets have their unique properties and use cases, here are some reasons why some people consider Bitcoin to be a superior store of value compared to gold:

Digital nature: Bitcoin is a purely digital asset, making it well-suited to the modern, technology-driven world. It can be easily transferred, stored, and managed electronically, whereas gold requires physical storage and transportation.

Decentralization: Bitcoin operates on a decentralized network, which means it is not controlled by any single entity or government. This decentralization makes it resistant to manipulation, censorship, and confiscation. Gold, on the other hand, can be subject to government intervention and seizure.

Portability: Bitcoin can be easily transferred across borders with minimal fees and without the need for intermediaries. Gold is much more challenging to transport, especially in large quantities, due to its weight and the need for secure transportation.

Divisibility: Bitcoin is highly divisible, with one bitcoin being divisible into 100 million smaller units called satoshis. This makes it easier to use for transactions of varying sizes. Gold can also be divided, but it is more challenging to do so accurately and requires specialized tools.

Transparency and security: Bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain, provides a transparent and secure record of all transactions. This level of transparency and security is not available for gold transactions, which often rely on trust and third-party validation.

Programmability: Bitcoin is programmable money, which means that it can be integrated with various digital applications and smart contracts. This programmability allows for new and innovative financial products and services to be built around Bitcoin. Gold lacks this programmability, limiting its use cases in the digital realm.

Limited supply and controlled issuance: Bitcoin has a capped supply of 21 million coins, and its issuance follows a predetermined schedule. This ensures a level of scarcity and predictability not seen in traditional currencies, which can be subject to inflationary pressures. While gold also has a limited supply, its annual production rate is less predictable.

In conclusion, while Bitcoin offers several advantages as a store of value in the digital era compared to gold, it also has its own set of challenges and risks.

What if Amazon or online stores were to accept Bitcoin as a medium of value to exchange its goods and services, similar to how Tesla previously accepted Bitcoin for car purchases?

If Amazon were to accept Bitcoin as a medium of value to exchange its goods and services, similar to Tesla’s earlier acceptance of Bitcoin for car purchases, it would have substantial implications for both Amazon and the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem:

Mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies: Amazon is one of the largest and most popular online retailers globally. Accepting Bitcoin for payments would bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream, potentially encouraging more people to use digital currencies for everyday transactions.

Enhanced credibility for Bitcoin: Amazon’s acceptance of Bitcoin would signal to other businesses and consumers that cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, are a legitimate and reliable form of payment.

Increased demand for Bitcoin: As more people use Bitcoin to make purchases on Amazon, demand for the cryptocurrency is likely to increase, potentially driving up its value.

Improved user experience for cryptocurrency holders: For those who already own Bitcoin, being able to use it for purchases on Amazon would provide a convenient and seamless way to spend their digital currency.

Challenges and risks: Amazon would need to address various challenges and risks associated with accepting Bitcoin, such as price volatility, regulatory concerns, tax implications, and transaction processing times. Implementing solutions such as payment processors that convert Bitcoin to fiat currency instantly could help mitigate some of these issues.

Impact on other businesses: If Amazon were to successfully integrate Bitcoin payments, other businesses might feel compelled to follow suit to remain competitive and cater to the growing demand for cryptocurrency payment options.

In summary, if Amazon were to accept Bitcoin for its goods and services, it could drive mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, enhance the reputation of Bitcoin.

The Illusionist

Enthusiast in #Bitcoin, #digitalassets, finance, and technology. Minimalist, exploring astrology & finance. Believer in HODL philosophy.