itcoin has left gold in the dust in recent months.
The Bitcoin Investment Trust Shares have almost tripled in value in the last twelve months, gaining more than 30 percent in the last three months alone. Meanwhile, SPDR Gold shares are down 3.78 percent in the last twelve months and up 4.49 percent in the last three months.
SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)
Bitcoin Investment Trust Shares (GBTC)
Source: Finance.yahoo.com 3/3/2017
Apparently, Bitcoin is more popular than gold among investors.
Is it just hype or something fundamental about the digital currency. It’s hard to say. What’s not hard to say is that there’s a growing mistrust of national currencies, following dubious government policies, which has pushed people into Bitcoin.
The last three months in the digital currency rally, for instance, has coincided with India and Venezuela’s efforts to get rid of old currency notes.
Prime Minister Modi and President Maduro have very little in common -- except they have pursued policies late last year that replace large notes in circulation with new notes (India) or with coins (Venezuela).
For different reasons, of course. Prime Minister Modi has been trying to fight corruption, a widespread problem in India. And President Maduro has been trying to fend off capital flight from the ailing Venezuelan economy.
Then there are a couple of advantages that make Bitcoin better than gold, at least for the millennial generation, which understands the digital currency better than the baby-boomer generation.
Unlike gold, for instance, Bitcoin is a convenient medium of payments around the globe, though for a limited number of transactions.
Then, there’s scarcity. Bitcoin supply is expected to be limited to 21 million. The supply of gold, on the other hand, is expected to increase anytime its price rises, as it provides an incentive for gold miners to mine for gold.
To be fair, gold has its own advantages, too. It can be used as an outright gift, to make jewelry, and in manufacturing of certain products.
That’s why investors shouldn’t rush to substitute the yellow metal for the digital currency in their portfolio.
Especially if they don’t quite understand the nature of the digital currency.