Bitcoin volatility will drive investors back to gold, says mining firm chairman

PUBLISHED: Thu, 19 Aug 2021 08:18:51 GMT
Weizhen Tan
CNBC
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Key Points
  • Volatility in cryptocurrencies will drive investors to return to gold, says Jake Klein, executive chairman of gold mining firm Evolution Mining.
  • Bullish investors view bitcoin as digital gold and a hedge against inflation, expecting it to appreciate over time.
  • Both bitcoin and gold prices have swung between gains and losses this year.
Close-up of physical coins of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum in a wallet full of FIAT money coins. Photo: via Flickr

Wild swings in cryptocurrencies will eventually drive bitcoin investors to return to gold, says the executive chairman of gold mining firm Evolution Mining.

Jake Klein said bitcoin still has a “long way to go” before it demonstrates the kind of “longevity and security” that gold has proven to offer investors over the last 70 years. 

Cryptocurrencies are “running a massive amount of speculative money,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday.

“I think that the volatility in the crypto space is going to ultimately lead to people coming back to gold,” Klein said.

Gold prices fell last week, and analysts say they will likely drop further. Hedge fund manager David Neuhauser told CNBC earlier this week that the decline in gold prices is a “massive buying opportunity” for investors now.

Still, Klein said the two can coexist — there are opportunities for gold to “sit alongside” bitcoin, as opposed to bitcoin posing a threat to the precious metal.

Bullish investors view bitcoin as digital gold and a hedge against inflation, expecting the cryptocurrency to appreciate over time.

American investor Tyler Winklevoss, who founded Winklevoss Capital Management as well as Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, said last year that “bitcoin is gold 2.0” — and that it will disrupt gold.

Billionaire investor Kevin O’Leary said in April that “bitcoin will always be the ‘gold.’ Ethereum will always be the ‘silver.’”

However, there are also other investors who disagree.

Hedge fund manager Ray Dalio, despite owning an undisclosed amount of bitcoin, said earlier this month: “If you put a gun to my head, and you said, I can only have one, I would choose gold.”

Bitcoin topped $48,000 over the weekend – the highest level since May. As of Thursday morning during Asia hours, however, it pared some gains to last trade above $44,000, according to CoinDesk data.

The weekend spike followed a sell-off in June and July, when bitcoin fell below $30,000.

Gold prices have also been swinging between gains and losses this year. From levels above $1,900 in January, prices fell to above $1,700 in March.

In June, the precious metal spiked to nearly $1,900 again, before paring gains to trade above $1,700 in August.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal and Jade Scipioni contributed to this report.

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