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20 January 2021
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Bitcoin has actually only taken 2% of gold market cap, new data suggests

Bitcoin (BTC) has much further to go to suck away even 10% of gold’s market cap than old data claims, a popular indicator reveals.

Highlighting numbers from Bitcoin’s realized cap on Jan. 12, Ki Young Ju, CEO of on-chain analytics resource CryptoQuant, said that the cryptocurrency had taken far less of gold’s market cap than previously claimed.

Realized cap cools Bitcoin numbers game

As Bitcoin grew in price towards the end of 2020 and hit all-time highs of $42,000 last week, a narrative appeared that investors were swapping gold for BTC, and that Bitcoin had thus taken around 7% of the precious metal’s market cap of $10 trillion.

Using realized cap, which calculates market cap in a different, more precise manner, the real “theft” from gold actually stands at 2%, says Ki.

Unlike market cap, the metric measures the price at which each bitcoin last moved, and excludes coins on centralized custodial exchanges, thus excluding speculative movements. The total is also kept lower by long-lost BTC, which will have last moved at likely far lower prices than today’s.

“People said $BTC took 7% of the Gold market cap. No, it’s not. There are unclaimed, unreachable, and lost Bitcoins. Based on the realized cap, it’s just 2%,” he tweeted alongside a realized cap chart.

“If digital gold replaces 10% of the $XAU market cap then the $BTC price would be $154k.”

Bitcoin realized cap chart. Source: Ki Young Ju/ Twitter

Bitcoin’s realized cap stood at $227 billion on Wednesday, while its standard market cap was $645 billion.

BTC performance beats gold fair and square

Despite its arguably slower progress, Bitcoin is still faring extremely well against gold, which failed to recoup its losses in BTC terms even as BTC/USD dropped to near $30,000 on Monday.

Bitcoin bought 18.6 ounces of the precious metal at publishing time, according to data from Buy Bitcoin Worldwide.

Bitcoin’s correlation to gold was trending towards zero this week, down markedly from highs seen in October.

Bitcoin rolling 90-day returns correlations chart. Source: Digital Assets Data

Previously, commentators noted that Bitcoin has already transferred all of gold’s $10 trillion market cap in its 12-year history.

As Cointelegraph reported, however, criticism from gold fans remains, with gold bug Peter Schiff casting doubt on both Bitcoin’s status as a safe haven and institutional investors’ interest in it.

“Bitcoin traded near $42K on Friday and near $30K on Monday. An asset that drops 28% over a weekend is not a safe-haven, a store of value, or a viable hedge against #inflation,” he tweeted this week.

“If you want to gamble on #Bitcoin, buy Bitcoin. But if you want to hedge against inflation buy #gold.”

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