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Mining Bitcoin with Computers More than Four Times More Expensive than Mining for Gold

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All the gold in the ocean is a strong argument for Bitcoin, true believers in the cryptocurrency say.

The supply of Bitcoin is fixed at 21 million, and a worldwide network makes it available at low cost to anyone who’s interested. There are about 197,000 tons of gold above ground and two-thirds of it has been mined since 1950.

Mining has advanced since the 49ers panned for gold in California’s Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento. Gold that can’t be profitably recovered today may be a moneymaker in the future and expand the supply.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, French President Francois Hollande, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi take part in a euro zone EU leaders emergency summit meeting in Brussels, Belgium, July 7, 2015.
Yves Herman

The analysts said low interest rates slow the move to Central Bank Digital Currencies, known as CBDCs. But if CBDCs are widely adopted, people might choose to keep their money at the central bank.

“If that occurs at scale, it would disrupt legacy bank franchises and impact financial stability,” the analysts said. “Credit card volumes, interchange fees, payment transaction fees, and deposit interest margins could be seriously affected.”

Cash isn’t yet a dinosaur in the digital age, but some are reluctant to accept it for routine transactions—even as the coronavirus pandemic abates.

In New York City, sometimes it does no good to whip a dollar out of your wallet and remind a cashier demanding use of a debit card of the fine print on Federal Reserve notes reading, “This Note Is Legal Tender For All Debts, Public and Private.”

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