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28 Jan, 2019 12:33

Bitcoin investors switching from virtual coins to paper gold, investment strategists say

Bitcoin investors switching from virtual coins to paper gold, investment strategists say

The plunge of cryptocurrencies has forced investors to seek other safe havens in traditional commodities, like precious metals. Investing analysts have revealed that many are turning to gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The world's most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin, has been trading below $4,000 for nearly three weeks. Other major digital currencies, including Ethereum and Ripple (XRP) have also fallen sharply since the beginning of the year.

The crypto market selloff has changed the investment climate, CEO of Van Eck Associates told the ETF Edge program. While back in 2017, when bitcoin reached its historic peak above $20,000, demand was “a little bit” shifted away from gold, now investors are reportedly switching back.

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“Interestingly, we just polled 4,000 bitcoin investors and their number one investment for 2019 is actually gold. So gold lost to bitcoin and now it’s going the other way,” Jan Van Eck said.

The cryptocurrencies’ falling liquidity raises serious doubts of their ability to serve as a store of value, while the precious metal has already proven itself, the founder and chief investment officer of Seymour Asset Management believes.

“Not only have we lost all liquidity on the underlying [commodity] but truly outside of the existential blockchain argument, it’s been very difficult to argue store of value which is really what we started hearing about,” Tim Seymour said on Wednesday. “Gold is a store of value and there’s no disputing that.”

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On Monday, US gold futures rose 2.5 percent to $1,300.6 per ounce, keeping a nearly seven-month peak reached in the previous session on Friday.

At the end of the last year, analysts from the Russian network of audit, valuation and consulting firms, FinExpertiza, called bitcoin the most disastrous investment of 2018. Instead of the cryptocurrency, which cost its investors more than 71 percent in losses last year, it was better to pour money into palladium, which became the best performer among major metals, the research concluded.

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