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5 reasons why Bitcoin could be a better long-term investment than gold

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5 reasons why Bitcoin could be a better long-term investment than gold

The emergence of forty-year high inflation readings and the increasingly dire-looking global economy has prompted many financial analysts to recommend investing in gold to protect against volatility and a possible decline in the value of the United States dollar. 

For years, crypto traders have referred to Bitcoin (BTC) as “digital gold,” but is it actually a better investment than gold? Let’s take a look at some of the conventional arguments investors cite when praising gold as an investment and why Bitcoin might be an even better long-term option.

Value retention

One of the most common reasons to buy both gold and Bitcoin is that they have a history of holding their value through times of economic uncertainty.

This fact has been well documented, and there’s no denying that gold has offered some of the best wealth protection historically, but it doesn’t always maintain value. The chart below shows that gold traders have also been subject to long bouts of price declines.

Gold price. Source: TradingView

For example, a person who bought gold in September of 2011 would have had to wait until July 2020 to get back in the green, and if they continued to hold, they would once again be near even or underwater.

In the history of Bitcoin, it has never taken more than three to four years for its price to regain and surpass its all-time high, suggesting that on a long-term timeline, BTC could be a better store of value.

Could Bitcoin be a better inflation hedge?

Gold has historically been seen as a good hedge against inflation because its price tended to rise alongside increases in the cost of living.

But, a closer look at the chart for gold compared with Bitcoin shows that while gold has seen a modest gain of 21.84% over the past two years, the price of Bitcoin has increased 311%.

Gold vs. BTC/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

In a world where the overall cost of living is rising faster than most people can handle, holding an asset that can outpace the rising inflation actually helps increase wealth rather than maintain it.

While the volatility and price declines in 2022 have been painful, Bitcoin has still provided significantly more upside to investors with a multi-year time horizon.

Bitcoin could mirror gold during geopolitical uncertainty

Often called the “crisis commodity,” gold is well-known to hold its value during times of geopolitical uncertainty as people have been known to invest in gold when world tensions rise.

Gold is called the crisis metal so I’d assume if we enter into a recession again, gold will go up as a commodity

— Scott Hempstead (@scottytrip1) April 22, 2022

Unfortunately for people located in conflict zones or other areas subject to instability, carrying valuable objects is a risky proposition, with people being subject to asset seizures and theft.

Bitcoin offers a more secure option for people in this situation because they can memorize a seed phrase and travel without fear of losing their funds. Once they reach their destination, they can reconstitute their wallet and have access to their wealth.

The digital nature of Bitcoin and the availability of multiple decentralized marketplaces and peer-to-peer exchanges like LocalBitcoins provides a greater opportunity to acquire Bitcoin.

The dollar keeps losing value

The U.S. dollar has been strong in recent months, but that is not always the case. During periods where the dollar’s value falls against other currencies, investors have been known to flock to gold and Bitcoin.

If various countries continue to move away from being U.S. dollar centric in favor of a more multipolar approach, there could be a significant amount of flight out of the dollar but those funds won’t go into weaker currencies.

While gold has been the go-to asset for millennia, it’s not widely used or accepted in our modern digital society and most people in younger generations have never even seen a gold coin in person.

For these cohorts, Bitcoin represents a more familiar option that can integrate into people’s digitally-infused lifestyles, and it doesn’t require extra security or physical storage.

Related: Argentines turn to Bitcoin amid inflation worries: Report

Bitcoin is scare and deflationary

Many investors and financial experts point to scarcity and supply constraints for gold following years of declining production as a reason gold is a good investment.

It can take five to ten years for a new mine to reach production, meaning rapid increases in supply are unlikely and central banks significantly slowed their rate of selling gold in 2008.

That being said, it is estimated that there is still more than 50,000 metric tons of gold in the ground, which miners would happily focus on extracting in the event of a significant price increase.

Gold will never reach the promised land of ‘true scarcity’. The more the price inches up, the more it is mined, thus increasing supply, which then lowers the price. #bitcoin #gold #goldprice

— DeepSee-er (@ErDeepsee) March 7, 2022

On the other hand, Bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 million BTC that will ever be produced, and its issuance is happening at a known rate. The public nature of the Bitcoin blockchain allows for the location of every Bitcoin to be known and verified.

There’s no way to ever really locate and validate all of the gold stores on this planet, meaning its true supply will never really be known. Because of this, Bitcoin wins the scarcity debate, hands down, and it is the hardest form of money created by humankind to date.

Want more information about trading and investing in crypto markets?

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Bitcoin Miner Sell-Offs Could Keep Prices Low, Says JP Morgan

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Bitcoin Miner Sell-Offs Could Keep Prices Low, Says JP Morgan

Strategists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. believe the current Bitcoin sell-off by miners could make it difficult for the price of the asset to bounce back, especially if the trend continues.

In a note released yesterday, they pointed out that publicly listed Bitcoin miners account for 20% of all reported Bitcoin sales in May and June. It’s likely that private miners are also selling at the same rate or even higher, given that they have limited access to the capital markets.

The massive sell-off is a sharp turn in the strategy that has mostly been about holding block rewards until the market conditions get better. But the drop in Bitcoin prices and its effect on miners’ profitability means many are now struggling to meet operating costs.

According to the strategists,

Offloading of Bitcoins by miners, in order to meet ongoing costs or to deliver, could continue into Q3 if their profitability fails to improve.

Already, it has likely “weighed on prices in May and June, though there is a risk that this pressure could continue.”

However, JP Morgan strategists point out that it’s not all gloomy. One silver lining is a drop in the cost of mining Bitcoin from around $18k – $20k earlier in the year to $15k this month. This is due to the drop in hash rate and mining difficulty over the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, the cost of production varies based on the size of the miner. According to Arcane Crypto, large miners spend around $8,000 to produce one Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Securitize Capital says the cost of production might be over $20k for some miners after adding overhead costs and interest rates.

Bitcoin Price 69% Away From ATH

Bitcoin price has declined by more than half compared to its value at the beginning of the year. It’s also down 69% from its all-time high as it hovers around the low 20k range in the last few weeks.

Several factors have pushed the crypto markets over the edge, including the crash of Terra’s ecosystem and the near-insolvency of crypto firms such as Celsius and 3AC. But the Fed hike in interest rates has been the primary factor behind the drop.

Almost every other niche in the space, like non-fungible tokens and decentralized finance, has reported losses too. With most miners also having debt obligations, selling their Bitcoin stash appears as the best course of action to stay afloat.

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All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Bitcoin Energy Consumption Declines as Miners Grapple With Falling Revenue

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Bitcoin Energy Consumption Declines as Miners Grapple With Falling Revenue

Bitcoin mining is no longer consuming as much energy as before, according to a Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index report, which shows a 25% decline in energy use since the start of the month.

Per the index, the current energy consumption of Bitcoin is 10.65 gigawatts, significantly lower than the 14.34-gigawatt on June 6. This means its annualized consumption is at 93.33 terawatt-hours, putting it below countries like Argentina and Norway in energy consumption.

At its peak, the BTC network needed 16.09 GW of power. The drop in the consumption from its record high of 150 terawatt-hours in May is likely due to the drop in mining hash rate. 

Bitcoin hash rate is the computing power needed to create a block on the Bitcoin network and has dropped to 199.225 exahash per second (EH/s) over the last two weeks. This came after the mining difficulty reached a record high of 231.428 EH/s on June 13. It has now dropped by almost 14% since then.

The index estimates the energy consumption by using a profitability threshold using “different types of mining equipment as the starting point.” 

With Bitcoin prices nosediving to below $20,000 this month, some miners have also gone offline as mining proved less profitable. This explains the consecutive drop in the consumption and hash rate.

Miners are Selling Their Bitcoin Holdings

Additionally, the drop in the price of Bitcoin has left several miners in a lurch as they struggle to sustain their operations. A recent report by Arcane research shows that publicly traded Bitcoin miners sold all the coins they mined in May.

This is usually against the strategy of most miners, which is to hold their Bitcoin for better market conditions. But with profitability nosediving and many miners struggling to generate a positive cash flow, they are selling their holdings. 

According to the report, many miners sold their Bitcoin to cover operational expenses and pay off debts. One of such is Bitfarms which decided to sell 3000 Bitcoin for $63 million to improve corporate liquidity.

Energy consumption of Bitcoin mining has been one of the major criticisms of the network and cryptocurrency industry. But recent research by Michel Khazzaka reveals that the traditional banking sector uses 56% more energy.

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Coinbase to Offer Nano Bitcoin Futures Contracts via Third Party Brokerages

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Coinbase to Offer Nano Bitcoin Futures Contracts via Third Party Brokerages

Coinbase will list a derivatives product called the nano futures contract on Monday.

This will be the first product listed on the Coinbase Derivatives Exchange, offering investors the opportunity to buy a contract linked to the price of one-hundredth of a bitcoin. Customers can purchase the Nano futures contract through third-party brokerages. Customers will not be able to buy the nano futures contract from Coinbase directly until the exchange receives a license to operate as a futures commission merchant. The exchange first applied for the license on Sept. 16, 2021.

U.S. customers have a healthy appetite for crypto derivatives

Coinbase floated the idea of bringing derivatives to its U.S. customer base after purchasing derivatives exchange FairX in January this year.

Americans have long been trading derivative products on foreign exchanges, sinking their teeth into high-leverage products that U.S. exchanges have lacked, indicted by the volume of crypto derivative trades in December 2021 surpassing that of spot trading. Binance alone recorded $52.5 billion in derivative trade volume during the 24 hours ending Friday afternoon, compared to $12.7 billion in spot products. Coinbase enjoyed $1.7 million in spot trading during the same period.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the new nano futures contract will not offer leverage-type bets that drive volume on exchanges like Binance.

Challenges Coinbase faces

A report by Barron’s suggests that it would take a long time for derivatives products to generate significant income for the company.

The new Coinbase product will enter a market of established crypto derivative products, while the company battles cash flow problems.

In March, the CME Group announced micro futures contracts linked to one-tenth of the price of bitcoin and Ethereum.

To add pressure, Moody’s Investors Services recently reduced Coinbase’s guaranteed senior unsecured notes from Ba2 to Ba1, relegating its corporate debt to “junk” status, with the potential for future downgrades. Ba ratings are assigned by Moody’s to credit obligations containing speculative components, considered to be a serious credit risk. Moody’s cited Coinbase’s reduced revenue and cash flow due to the current crypto market downturn as reasons for the downgrade. Coinbase’s recent employee layoff did not count in its favor, with the rating agency still seeing threats to the company’s profitability.

Dan Dolev, a senior analyst at Mizuho, believes that the new product does not address the central issue of competitors offering zero trading fees, which would severely affect revenue if Coinbase were to compete.

Coinbase’s shares fell precipitously on May 3, 2022, from $130.15 to $62.71 at market close on Friday.

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