Clif High’s estimation that three ounces of gold would be equal to a Bitcoin in price by this time next year remains a bizarre proposition that is not impossible to achieve.
In a way, a predicted Bitcoin price rise from a meager $1180 to more than $13,000 seems attractive and the technicality of how that would be the case defies common understanding of the law of demand and supply. It could be a repeat of the 1979/1980 scenario.
This link to a historical event particularly fits in with the fact that High’s data sets have been proven accurate in other instances and his latest estimate show that Bitcoin price would be hinged on the rising price of gold - from $1206 today to about $4,800 by March next year, about a 300 percent increase.
Working it out
Between 1978 and 1979, the price of gold recorded more than 120 percent growth from $207 to $455, the highest in its history, due to high inflation because of strong oil prices, Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and the impact of the Iranian revolution, which prompted investors to move into the metal.
By January 1980, gold hits record high at $850 per ounce though for a while as investors seek safe haven - that’s a 310 percent increase between 1978 and January 1980.
Figuring out the total amount of gold that has ever been produced is hard. However, going by rough estimates, there are approximately six bln ounces of gold available - that is 375 ounces of gold to one Bitcoin in terms of production if we are to go by the fact that about 16 mln Bitcoins have been mined so far.
Its production rate does not necessarily translate to a higher price for either even though the number of ounces to be extracted later are unknown and it is certain that there could only be a finite 4.8 mln Bitcoins more to be mined in the next 123 years according to its whitepaper.
Other strengthening factors
One Bitcoin would be harder to get than an ounce of gold even as interest in the pricing arrangement of both commodities is increasing. Though they both show the potential to become more valuable with time, the catch-up Bitcoin played recently has cast doubt on the outlook for gold as the future’s main store of value. More so, until last year, the price of gold slide for the previous three years.
Somehow, the argument that either gold is overpriced or Bitcoin is undervalued is already adding a twist to the discussion. Different opinions are being formed as the common knowledge that Bitcoin’s value has been growing as well as the understanding of its usefulness has been improving among more people from various sectors.
Coupled with its thinning supply which has been influencing its price and the fact that it could be considered advantageous over gold in several ways including cutting out shady bank practices - though its reliance on electricity and the Internet is still a key argument that has been made against it, a sudden surge could not be overruled.
More of the growing millennials who choose to look in its direction are finding Bitcoin handy and easier to relate with more than gold despite its intrinsic value, its tangibility and its record centuries of existence.
Bitcoin is decentralized, easily moved, harder to counterfeit and gets increasingly difficult to mine over time. These basic features which have been spreading more, stand to favor Bitcoin even to make its price climb far above High’s estimate of $13,000 and its market cap correlatively increase to as much as $40 bln or more in a 12-month period.