“Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other is gold.” The nursery rhyme really just doesn’t have the same ring when you change the word “gold” to “Bitcoin”, but according to a Bloomberg report, “buy Bitcoin” has become a more commonly googled phrase than “buy gold”.
Bitcoin’s surge over gold also comes at a time when the United States Stock Market is doing especially well–a factor that normally contributes to a dip in gold’s value. This is because gold is often used by stock investors as a sort of safe haven, a stable placeholder when the stock market gets rocky.
Crypto Buzz is Catching the Attention of New Investors
Research director Adrian Vash of the London-based BullionVault said in a recent report that in addition to the well-performing stock market, the “noise” around cryptocurrency is “distracting” investors. These two factors combined have “made interest from new gold investors the weakest since the metal’s half-decade price lows of end-2015.”
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While the price of Bitcoin is extremely volatile, more and more investors are turning from traditional assets towards cryptocurrency. Despite its volatility, Bitcoin has risen more than 700% in value in just the past year, while gold has risen 11% over the same timeline – not a bad return in the world of traditional investing, but not comparable to Bitcoin. According to Bloomberg, Bitcoin’s growth was thirteen times the growth of the “best-performing commodity” that it was tracking.
Two Very Different Animals: Gold Has “Demonstrated Reliability”
Both Bitcoin and gold are continuing to be mined, though the mining process looks extremely different for each one. One Bitcoin is currently worth about US$7400; an ounce of gold is about US$1320. According to a report from Thomson Reuters GFMS, the estimated market cap for gold when all of the gold in the world has been mined is approximately US$7.07 trillion dollars.
Bitcoin’s future is very uncertain, but if the token value of Bitcoin manages to reach approximately US$33,700, the market cap for when all 21 million Bitcoins have been mined will match that of gold. Some analysts expect Bitcoin to reach US$10,000 before the end of the year.
All that being said, gold has “demonstrated reliability”, in the words of APMEX. The precious metal has been held and traded as a commodity for centuries, and that will not change overnight, no matter how quickly Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general continue to skyrocket.