Is Bitcoin the New Gold?
America is diving into a trade war with some of its closest allies and economic competitors. As America’s biggest trade war in history looms, experts say the war could position bitcoin as “the new gold.”
“Trade War Will Launch Bitcoin as the New Gold,” explains Forbes in an article headline earlier today.
The reason is simple: crypto is significantly more useful in today’s digital economy than gold. It’s usable for exchanging value. It’s fungible and transferable. It’s accessible to anyone with a computer, a smartphone, and an internet connection. It’s more widely accepted among younger investors:
“I’m sad to tell the gold bugs, their day is over,” explains Forbes contributor Clem Chambers.
“Crypto, and right now bitcoin especially, is the new gold. It is better at doing what gold lovers like to do with gold, store it for the day before the end of the world when they expect gold will be the only thing that will retain value.”
For decades – even millennia – gold has occupied a dominant position as a disaster-resistant asset. Regardless of where the global economy goes, or if society collapses, you can depend on gold to hold some value.
Could gold’s position really be slipping? Could gold be losing its niche position?
“…there is a market need for an asset as insurance again disaster and gold has filled that niche for a very long time,” explains Forbes. “It is losing the niche to bitcoin and losing it fast.”
Chambers goes on to provide significant evidence that gold is losing its position to cryptocurrencies.
Was Bitcoin’s Recent Bitcoin Spike Caused by China’s Elite Avoiding the Devaluation of the Yuan?
One interesting point Chambers makes is the spike in the price of bitcoin that occurred on July 17, 2018. The price of bitcoin suddenly rose into the $7,000 range after spending weeks in the mid to low $6,000s. Other altcoins didn’t experience a similar gain. Chambers believes this rise was linked to gold losing its position as a disaster-resistant asset:
“What caused the sudden unexplained spike is now clear to me. It is Chinese devaluation. It was the insider reaction to imminent, planned, significant and perhaps rolling Chinese currency devaluation that set off this rally.”
“It was a group of insiders buying bitcoin for Chinese yuan before the devaluation that took place two days later struck.”
In other words, Chinese government officials – or someone else with knowledge of China’s forthcoming Yuan devaluation – was taking steps to protect the value of their assets. Instead of waiting for the Yuan to be devalued, these insiders purchased large quantities of bitcoins.
It’s important to note that the devaluation process has been ongoing for weeks, so it wasn’t a surprise announcement. However, the devaluation of the Yuan accelerated significantly last week, perhaps motivating China’s wealthiest to move some of their holdings into a disaster-resistant asset.
“Very rich and powerful people, in the know, dumped their yuan for bitcoin as bitcoin may as well be dollars and can become dollars quickly.”
It’s an interesting theory – and Chambers could certainly be right. We don’t have a good explanation for bitcoin’s sudden and rapid spikes over the last week. The first spike occurred on July 17, with the second spike occurring on July 23/24. On both of these occasions, the price of bitcoin jumped significantly – first to the $7,000 range and again to the $8,000 range – without a corresponding jump in other cryptos.
Could China’s elite be to blame for the sudden price in bitcoin? Chambers certainly believes so:
“That is what I believe happened to bitcoin. Chinese insiders stuffed billions of RNB into BTC before the pace of devaluation upped its tempo on the 19th. That repricing is holding because China will devalue more as a counter-move to the trade war.”
If the theory is true, then it provides a significant look into the upcoming trade war. Chinese billionaires aren’t holding onto their Yuan in the hopes it will build value over time, nor are they swapping their Yuan for USD, EUR, or GBP. Instead, they’re purchasing bitcoin – a cryptocurrency that may be insulated from any trade war.
If the trade wars continue to accelerate, then bitcoin may continue to become the preferred “hedge”. Bitcoin is a global currency. It’s not tied to any particular country. When the trade war subsides, the world’s elite can transfer their wealth into the national currency of their choice – whether it’s the Yuan, the USD, or the EUR.
Based on Trump’s recent actions, the trade war shows no signs of slowing down in the near future, and global economic uncertainty could continue to grow. That could cause the price of bitcoin to continue to rise – just like the price of gold once rose in periods of economic instability.