Phil Geiger is the Managing Director of Concierge Services at Unchained Capital. In this interview, we discuss how a robust protocol and monetary policy, a vital utility for energy producers and a committed community of hodlers, makes Bitcoin an extremely low-risk investment.
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No other scalable commodity, currency or asset has as robust a fixed supply issuance as Bitcoin. 21 million coins. That’s it. The rough consensus governance process, miners’ financial incentives, and a highly decentralized node verification process combine to make this digital scarcity rigid. No altcoin can compete. “Digital scarcity is a one-time phenomenon” – Phil Geiger, April 2020.
There are those that have been pushing the edges of this assumed commitment. They are motivated by different concerns, chiefly that a declining supply will impact security: how can a 51% attack be avoided when the volume of Bitcoin issued becomes significantly low and eventually finishes? Can transaction fees alone secure the network?
But it is the fixed supply schedule that supports Bitcoin’s value, from which all other considerations follow. According to Phil Geiger, these 21 million coins already exist. Both in terms of the supply schedule and the fixed limit. This is what underpins the huge investment by miners: a transparent monetary policy, and scarcity that supports the price. Changes to this could seriously damage minings assimilation into energy production.
This is what makes, in Phil’s view, Bitcoin an extremely low-risk investment compared to other assets (both digital and physical). The proof is in the hodling behaviour. Using Bitcoin is vital for the transition of Bitcoin from a defensive store of value to a productive medium of exchange, the fact that those hodling Bitcoin for more than a year is at an ATH shows investors still remain extremely confident in its long-term success.
So, what about long-term security? Decreasing block rewards will incentivise miners to maximise the use of block space. Combined with more users this should drive up Bitcoin transaction prices, thereby supporting the transition to a post-block reward world. The issue is whether there are enough incentives to ensure miners don’t game the system. This needs to be debated. But, making Bitcoin inflationary isn’t the answer, because this is the essence of Bitcoin.