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SE01EP06 — Gold: Currency or a Commodity?

Gold: Currency or a Commodity podcast image

Throughout booms, busts, global wars, and times of prosperity, gold has proven itself to be the commodity consistently at the heart of global evolution. As our need and desire for it increase scientists are already proposing ways to harvest it from more hard-to-reach places such as the ocean.

One thing that is for sure is as has been the case for the last 6,000 years, gold undoubtedly has a place in everyone’s future.

In this 6th episode of the Trading Places podcast, we explore the past, present, and future of gold.

Tune in and you’ll learn:

01:45 — How gold became the first global money

"The durability of gold and its physical properties meant that it won out over other things. It doesn’t corrode. It doesn’t rust. They’ve pulled gold bars from the bottom of the ocean that have been there for 40 years in a sunken submarine and they’re as good as new. It’s that durability and malleability — gold is very easy to melt and divide. It just became the most convenient source of value, but it was also sufficiently rare…"

10:44 — How gold can be used as a personal investment

"Gold also is perceived as a major part of investment in the country. A lot of households feel that buying gold is as if you’re secure in your future. You know, it’s the easiest way of putting your money in the safe place when you need it. It’s easy to just sell it off and turn it into cash the day you want it."

13:28 — How gold is treated by some cultures more than just a commodity

"In India, even men dress up extravagantly. Clothes in Indian weddings? I’m sure you must have heard they’re like larger than life. Gold is an essential item for weddings in our country. Be it privileged class wedding, or even if it’s a house, which is economically a very low economical status, they will still want to go and buy the minimum amount of gold that they can…"

13:50 — What the global market for gold as a commodity looks like

"The Chinese and the Indians are probably regarded as the two biggest consumers of gold. These are [countries with] large populations and people that have had a history of a lack of faith in paper money. Gold is still very much in the psyche of the average Indian, the average Chinese person, as where you put your savings."

19:44 — What makes gold valuable

"Gold is truly a global market. The easiest way think about it is in terms of how much new gold is produced as a starting point. Throughout the world, about 3,200 tons is produced annually. To put it in context though, the estimate is that all the gold that’s ever been mined since antiquity, still exists and you can’t destroy it."

25:12 — How Bitcoin became gold 2.0

"The whole idea of, of Bitcoin is very much designed around some of those qualities of gold. When they make it by tapping on the computer and consuming large amounts of electricity, they call it mining. This idea that there’s limited increase of supply and ultimately a finite amount. Satoshi is trying to replicate in some ways that what did make gold attractive, but make it more meaningful to people in the modern era…"

Where to find this episode:

Anchor | Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts


Rachel Williamson


Sean Russo — managing director and founding principal of Noah’s Rule. Sean largely works with gold mining companies, helping them to build mines and provide them with selling strategies.

Nikita Bhandari — founder of the jewelry business in India.

Producer: Sonny Sanjay Vadgama

Showrunner: Sergey Faldin

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