Disclaimer: The article is simply speculative and should not be taken as investment advice.
Let’s call it what it is: 2022 was a dramatic year for crypto. The fall of multiple cryptocurrency exchanges and the industry starting 2023 with a loss of $2 trillion gave rise to what was considered as the worst bear market in a decade.
Even so, folks like Ray Dalio remain unimpressed. In fact, the famed investor spoke about the most traditional investment opportunity – Gold – and how crypto can never match up to it.
Dalio summed up his thoughts by saying,
“It’s a very, very poor alternative to gold… Central banks, by the way, own gold, and it’s their third-largest reserve – US dollars, euros, gold, and then yen.”
Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates founder, says #Bitcoin is not a viable currency due to volatility and lack of central bank adoption in an April 12 interview. #cryptocurrency pic.twitter.com/uG2Fq5B8RR
— Mr. Crypto (@ordinalcrypto) April 17, 2023
Driving home his point, Dalio argued,
They can outlaw [Bitcoin]. They can regulate it. Central banks and countries pretty much don’t want it, anyway. So it’s not a good viable alternative… You can have it go down 80%, and if you want to have a little bit [of] it, you can have it. It’s not a big asset. It gets an amount of attention which is way out of proportion to its size.
Not all naysayers on crypto
Gold is incredibly inconvenient. It’s difficult to use, particularly when transacting with untrusted parties. It doesn’t support safe storage options like multisig. At this point, gold has less adoption than crypto, so crypto is the better bet.
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) October 26, 2022
However, the debate between gold and crypto is not new, especially as Vitalik Buterin voiced his pro-crypto opinions not long ago. He reminded Twitter users why crypto is the future of money, saying,
“Gold is incredibly inconvenient. It’s difficult to use, particularly when transacting with untrusted parties. It doesn’t support safe storage options like multi-sig. At this point, gold has less adoption than crypto, so crypto is the better bet.”
Does Buterin have a point? Do naysayers like Dalio ultimately have no leg to stand on? Let’s delve deeper.
For starters, Buterin called gold “inconvenient” and “difficult to use.” It makes sense because well, who uses gold for everyday transactions? Gold is stored in reserves by central banks in places like the U.S., is bought as a sign of wealth in places like India, but is ultimately traded for cash in both scenarios. Crypto, on the other hand, is slowly moving towards P2P transactions.
Buterin’s last point, which brings up gold’s “less adoption” as compared to crypto, is something that has started playing out already. In fact, by November 2022, the number of crypto-owners hit 402 million as adoption grew at an average of 2.9% monthly.
Conversely, investment demand for gold grew by 10% throughout 2022. These are some interesting numbers for those caught in the crosshairs of this debate.
Based on the above analysis alone, one could argue that crypto-investment will become more important in the future. It’s simple: Anyone can buy crypto, save it, and sell it when the time is right. Crypto is the better bet, as evidenced by the recent successes of Bitcoin and Ethereum [ETH], which are emerging as safe havens for investment.
What does ChatGPT say?
To help prove my point, I went to our AI friends and self-proclaimed experts on everything, ChatGPT. I began my quest for the truth by asking it the most basic question I could think of, which was simply,
“Is crypto a better investment than gold”
As expected, the classic version of ChatGPT did not give me satisfactory answers, reiterating that individual preferences depend on their risk appetite, investment conditions, and everything else taught in investing 101.
However, DAN gave me an answer to ponder about.
“Explosive growth,” “clear winner,” ‘massive returns.”
Playing the Devil’s Advocate, one could argue that these are just hyperbole statements by an AI that does not know better (yet). However, as I prodded DAN further, the AI admitted,
The last point was particularly interesting, as we can see this play out in real life too.
For instance, according to a report by Bankrate, towards the start of 2023, millennials, with 57%, led the list of crypto-investors. Gen-Z followed not far behind, with 13% investors. Gen-X and Baby Boomers rounded off the list, with 20% and 10%, respectively.
For now, maybe gold remains the top investment choice, but the tides are changing. This, despite there being not many cryptos that will be a safe choice, apart from a select few. Moreover, as technology develops, AI-enabled cryptos will see an increase too. And, maybe it’s anyone’s guess as to where this innovation will take the industry.