'Gold Wins Out' Over Bitcoin - Goldman Sachs
“Gold wins out over cryptocurrencies in a majority of the key characteristics of money,” Goldman said in a note to clients this week, disproving the idea that bitcoin is the “digital gold” due to its limited supply.
One of the arguments against the popular cryptocurrency is digital wallets, in which users store purchased bitcoins and which will always be vulnerable to hacking.
Another reason for distrusting bitcoins is that their future is somewhat unknown due to “significant regulatory risks.”
For example, China introduced a ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and shut down some cryptocurrency exchanges last month. And just last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke in support of regulating cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin also faces uncertainty from possible network or infrastructure risk, which already came to light this summer when bitcoin split into two, creating a new digital currency known as bitcoin cash.
On top of that, there are other cryptocurrencies that are trying to compete with bitcoin, such as ethereum. As of now, there are more than 1,000 different digital currencies that exist and are tradable.
Bitcoin’s price volatility is also worrisome. According to Goldman, bitcoin's fluctuations averaged almost seven times that of gold this year alone.
“[Gold] is clearly better at holding its purchasing power, and has much lower daily volatility,” the note said. “Cryptocurrencies are not the 'new gold' despite their recent popularity.”
In a separate section dealing with precious metals, Goldman Sachs said that gold remains a “relevant asset class” sought as a safe haven in response to “fear.”
“We believe that precious metals remain a relevant asset class in modern portfolios, despite their lack of yield,” the bank said. “They are neither a historic accident or a relic.”