Gold investors are kidding themselves if they’re counting on a “bitcoin bump” for gold prices.
It is of course understandable why long-struggling gold GCQ8, -0.91% investors are hoping for such a boost. Bitcoin BTCUSD, +2.04% is up more than 11,000% year-to-date, while gold bullion has gained 11%. The yellow metal has even lagged the stock market: the S&P 500 SPX, +0.02% has gained 20% since the beginning of the year, including dividends.
Hope is not a strategy, however. Even if bitcoin and bullion are correlated — a big “if” that I will discuss in a moment — gold investors are forgetting that both bitcoin and bullion could just as easily re-establish their correlation by bitcoin plunging as gold skyrocketing.
Read: Here’s what’s driving bitcoin buyers’ rush to ‘millennial gold’
Furthermore, the gold market remains much larger than the combined market cap of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Currently, for example, the market-cap of the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies is $338 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com. That’s just 4.4% of the current market value of all above-ground stocks of gold in the world ($7.7 trillion, according to data from the World Gold Council).