Is bitcoin the new gold standard? Ron Paul says not yet

Gold is often thought of as the go-to safe haven for investors, but with bitcoin's recent success, is the cryptocurrency the new gold?

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Former Texas Rep. Ron Paul says it's doubtful.

"I think that [bitcoin] should be made available," Paul told Stuart Varney of FOX Business' "Varney & Co." on Tuesday. "[Bitcoin's] history is short-term, so you don't know. Gold has a longer history, like 4-, 5-, 6,000 years. People have depended on it to maintain wealth."

Gold bars

Paul said the biggest problem people encounter when trying to maintain their wealth is whether they have enough freedom.

"In the Depression, people thought that gold might be a good thing to hold, so the government took it away from them ... made it illegal," he said.

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While Paul admitted Americans are doing pretty well when it comes to financial freedoms compared to other countries, he said there are still some limitations.

"There still is respect for property, but there is way too much government intervention," Paul said.

The former Texas congressman is worried that most of U.S. prosperity is dependent on debt.

"Here, we're living in a system where you can endlessly print money, take interest rates below zero, and then borrow money ... somebody has to pay," Paul said. "So when you're very much in debt, you're really not free."

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Paul said the only way to feel free is to be debt-free.