Bitcoin's Battles: Volatility to 'Drive Investors to Gold', Ethereum to 'Dethrone' It
Bitcoin (BTC) volatility could drive investors back to gold, predicts Jake Klein, Executive Chairman of Australian gold mining company Evolution Mining. In the meantime, the price of ethereum (ETH) could skyrocket and potentially exceed the value of the top cryptocurrency within the next five years, per Nigel Green, CEO and Founder of financial advisory and asset management business deVere Group.
Klein told US broadcaster CNBC in an interview that,
“I think that the volatility in the crypto space is going to ultimately lead to people coming back to gold.”
For Evolution Mining, owner of five mines in Australia and one in Canada, such a scenario would be mostly beneficial, taking into account the company’s production of about 681,000 ounces of gold in its 2021 financial year.
Pitting the precious metal against crypto, the miner’s executive said that bitcoin “still has a long way to go before it demonstrates the longevity and security that gold has demonstrated over so many years” to investors across the world.
Despite bitcoin’s increasing adoption by institutional investors, numerous legacy finance heavyweight players, such as Ray Dalio, Founder of major investment firm Bridgewater Associates, continue to claim they would rather own gold than crypto.
However, a February survey indicated that cryptoassets were more popular than gold among surveyed US investors. This said, data for last year suggests that bitcoin’s price is capable of skyrocketing at a pace that is unattainable to the metal.
Between January 1 and December 31, 2020, bitcoin’s price rose by a robust 294.3%, while gold’s price increased by 23.4%. While both assets reported price hikes, the cryptocurrency’s growth rate was more than twelvefold than that of the precious metal, according to an analysis by online trading platform Capital.com.
Ethereum as the world's number one crypto
Meanwhile, Green wrote in a note to investors obtained by MSN that “ethereum will continue to outperform bitcoin in 2021 and will, ultimately, exceed its rival’s value,” taking over the role of the world’s leading cryptocurrency.
The latest London upgrade to the Ethereum network, which comprises a phased shift from a proof-of-work protocol to a proof-of-stake, expanded storage capacity and processing power for smart contracts, among others, is one of the key factors that could boost the crypto’s price in the coming years, according to deVere Group's CEO.
“These upgrades represent a major boost not just for Ethereum but for blockchain technology itself,” according to Green. “Ultimately, this will mean that its value will exceed that of Bitcoin—probably within five years.”
Currently, this is far from reality, as bitcoin's market capitalization totals about USD 840bn, and ethereum's some USD 351.4bn, according to data from CoinGecko.
Earlier this month, Dan Morehead, CEO and Founder of Pantera Capital, lowered the estimated BTC price tag for this year and said that ethereum will keep outperforming it.
Ethereum has "further to run" than bitcoin, as it's a younger coin, but the technical improvements, such as the London upgrade and the Ethereum 2.0 rollout, as well as Ethereum's use in decentralized finance (DeFi), will help the coin "continue to outperform bitcoin," Morehead argued.
Last month, crypto venture firm Dragonfly Capital's General Partner Kevin Hu and Junior Partner Celia Wan argued that it is highly unlikely that ethereum will become a "popular currency," but it still may compete with bitcoin in the long run.
Additionally, there seems to be no time for Ethereum to rest, as industry insiders speaking to Cryptonews.com suggested. While it has a first-mover advantage in its quest to become a decentralized universal computer, there are a growing number of other chains also offering the infrastructure for running decentralized apps (dapps), and some of these appear to be eating substantially into Ethereum’s share of the pie.
Meanwhile, over the past month and year, ethereum has outperformed bitcoin when it comes to price. At the time of writing, ethereum increased 64% over the past 30 days and 610% over the past 12 months. Bitcoin is up 44% in a month, and 273% in a year.