Bitcoin is many things to many people – why people choose to own hold bitcoin depends on their circumstances and views of what bitcoin is today and what it could become in the future. These views have been the subject of misunderstanding, confusion and debate. Historically, such debates have revolved around whether bitcoin, the native asset, is a store of value, medium of exchange, alternative asset, all of the above, or none of the above. Additionally, it is still undetermined whether the underlying blockchain is best used to facilitate wholesale clearing and settlement, consumer payments or the anchoring and timestamping of arbitrary data.
The truth is, as the ecosystem matures, Bitcoin may simultaneously serve many functions – either foundationally or through incremental layers. One of the beautiful things about Bitcoin is that its success is not predicated on serving a singular purpose.
In this piece, we will focus on the view that Bitcoin is an aspirational store of value. We explore the inherent characteristics that position Bitcoin to fulfill this role in the future, consider whether it is being used in this way today, and discuss factors that may drive greater demand for such utility.