The most popular way to describe bitcoin is “digital gold.” Bitcoin may serve other purposes for other users, but it’s this simple, compelling catchphrase that’s been the most widely accepted use-case offered up by crypto advocates who are out spreading the word. Everyone knows gold. Now, everyone knows bitcoin.

But there’s a problem: it has no basis in reality, at least so far. We can see this by looking at how bitcoin’s relationship with real interest rates has evolved over time.

First let’s accept a simple logical premise. If there is a future wherein bitcoin is fully adopted for its “store of value” use-case, it will trade something like gold does today relative to real interest rates and inflation. It won’t happen instantaneously — it’s not like bitcoin will hit some market cap and suddenly everyone agrees to trade it like gold. No, it would gradually take on this role as more people buy it for this purpose and eventually the buying and selling behavior that commands price action will skew towards something like gold, which moves inversely to real interest rates. Simply put: if this narrative is true, the bigger bitcoin gets, the more it should trade like gold. At any specific snapshot of time, the two don’t necessarily