Bitcoin’s parabolic price rise was the big story of 2017 – putting the spotlight on the cryptocurrency market. While gold’s performance was a solid 13%, it was a fraction of the 13-fold increase of bitcoin by the end of the year. Some commentators went as far as to claim cryptocurrencies could replace gold. Cryptocurrencies may become an established part of the financial system. But, in our view, gold is very different from cryptocurrencies, as gold:
- is less volatile
- has a more liquid market
- trades in an established regulatory framework
- has a well understood role in an investment portfolio
- has little overlap with cryptocurrencies on many sources of demand and supply.
These characteristics underpin gold’s role as a mainstream financial asset that will likely continue to resonate in today’s digital world.