Niall Ferguson a British economic historian has said in an interview with Breaker Mag that he believes bitcoin is “an option on digital gold.”
The historian, who is world famous and the author of fourteen books on financial topics, with titles including “The Ascent of Money,” suggested that bitcoin is “only money in a very limited sense.” He emphasised the fact that it is problematic as means of payment due to its massive volatility.
However, he did claim that in the near future, bitcoin could be used as a form of insurance policy. He pointed to the fact that BTC owners had private keys and related this to people hoarding gold and precious stones.
He also stated that the future of money would be digital, although he expressed some misgivings about stablecoins, which are digital currencies that are designed to provide minimum volatility and pegged to fiat currencies, commodities or algorithms. He said, “Stablecoin builders should remember that Bitcoin is an unusual kind of asset, which isn’t closely correlated to other asset classes. Investors like that idiosyncrasy.”
With regard to stablecoins, he also said that fiat money had performed well recently in terms of inflation and that “building a substitute for something that has been doing well since its inception in the 1970s is not an obviously winning strategy.”
A universal payments system for equality
Ferguson also said in the interview that he hoped that communities worldwide would adopt a universal payments system that levelled the playing field for everyone and included the “huge class” of people who are outside the financial system, and have to rely on cash and payday loans.
Avoid centralised control
Most significantly, Fergus also revealed that he was afraid that “huge centralised entities” might gain control over customer payments. He said: “My nightmare would be that Amazon, Google, or Facebook creates some hugely popular version of a digital dollar at which point every transaction is going to be monitored by the network platforms’ big data and [artificial intelligence] AI systems, to an even greater extent than is already true.”