Gold is a better bet than Bitcoin as market risk rises - Goldman Sachs
While gold prices remain anchored around $1,800 an ounce, Bitcoin has suffered significant losses falling roughly 20% in January, its worst start to the year since its inception. Bitcoin last traded around $36,000 per token, down more than 50% from its record highs in November.
In a report published last week, commodity analysts at Goldman Sachs said that slower economic growth in 2022 will continue to weigh on the leading cryptocurrencies.
"While there is not yet talk of recession, our economists forecast a material deceleration in US growth," the analysts said. "It is important to remember that risk-aversion is a major driver of investment interest in gold vs. assets such as equities and, to an even larger extent, vs. Bitcoin. In our view, gold is a risk-off inflation hedge while Bitcoin is a risk-on inflation hedge. For investors looking for a way to hedge their portfolios from risks of a growth-slowdown and falling valuations, we believe a long gold position would be more effective in the current macro environment."
The analysts noted that although Bitcoin saw record nominal returns last year, the market's risk-adjusted returns underperformed the overall market.
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"As we have often said, we believe this is driven by crypto's lack of use beyond a digital store of value, indicating to us that it is still too early for crypto to compete with gold or the dollar for defensive asset investment flows," the analysts said.
Bitcoin hasn't suffered alone as investors start to pare back risks in their portfolios. The volatile tech sector has suffered significantly, with the Nasdaq down more than 11% since the start of the year.
Thursday has been particularly devastating for Facebook; the social media company dropped more than 20%, losing more than $200 billion in value during the session. The selloff was prompted after the company reported a drop in daily active users for the first time in 18 years.