Store of value
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A recognized form of exchange can be a form of money or currency, or a commodity like gold, silver or financial capital. To act as a store of value, these forms must be able to be saved and retrieved at a later time, and be predictably useful when retrieved.
Storage of value is one of several distinct functions of money. The other functions are the standard of deferred payment, which requires acceptability to parties a debt is owed to, and the unit of account, which requires fungibility so accounts in any amount can be readily settled. It is also distinct from the medium of exchange function which requires durability when used in trade and to minimize fraud opportunities. See functions of money.
Alternative stores of value
- real estate - ownership in actual deeds in protectible controllable land.
- precious metals - ownership in gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
- precious stones, ancient artifacts, ancient coinage.
- collectibles, e.g. original art by a famous artist or antiques.
- livestock ownership and control (see African currency).
- stock ownership in a company which is a system to exchange human labor for value.
- digital currency, e.g. Bitcoin  Peercoin
While these items may be inconvenient to trade daily or store, and may vary in value quite significantly, they rarely or never lose all value. This is the point of any store of value, to impose a natural risk management simply due to inherent stable demand for the underlying asset. It need not be a capital asset at all, merely have economic value that is not known to disappear even in the worst situation. In principle, this could be true of any industrial commodity, but gold and precious metals are generally favored because of their demand and rarity in nature, which reduces the risk of devaluation associated with increased production and supply.
- Sharf, Samantha (5 December 2013). "Bitcoin Gets Valued: Bank Of America Puts A Price Target On The Virtual Tender". Forbes. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- Linguistic and Commodity Exchanges by Elmer G. Wiens. Examines the structural differences between barter and monetary commodity exchanges and oral and written linguistic exchanges.