A report published by leading U.S.-based crypto exchange, Coinbase, has argued that Bitcoin (BTC) offers a distinct advantage over gold. They state that Bitcoin is afforded these advantages by its lack of dependence on physical supply chains.
While the report’s authors assert that “Bitcoin and gold are fundamentally similar as scarce and globally accessible units of value,” Coinbase advances that gold’s recent supply squeeze, resulting from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, has highlighted Bitcoin’s superior global accessibility.
Bitcoin offers advantages over gold
In a report published on May 2, Coinbase argues that the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the advantages that BTC offers over gold, asserting that “Bitcoin does not rely on fragile physical supply chains and is truly globally accessible.”
Coinbase emphasizes the recent price gaps exhibited by gold markets worldwide, as disruptions to supply chains result in disparate levels of scarcity across different markets.
The report notes a roughly 4.5% divergence in the price of gold in New York and London. This divergence resulted from a lack of gold bars that are used to settle Comex’s futures contracts.
The report notes that the Perth Mint in Western Australia has recently increased production of gold kilobars to meet supply shortages — with at least 11,000 bars being shipped to New York.
COVID-19 pandemic has minimal impact on mining
Coinbase notes that while “gold refineries, miners, and supply chains have been disrupted, Bitcoin’s core protocol continues to function as designed” — with Bitcoin’s hash rate reapproaching all-time highs in recent weeks.
Further, the report asserts that “Bitcoin will be approximately as scarce as gold,” however, possesses the distinct quality of teleportability.
“Bitcoin’s rate of new supply is ~3.6% per year and will soon drop to ~1.7% on May 12th, setting it on par with gold’s historic scarcity. As gold miners and refineries have gone offline, Bitcoin’s global mining ecosystem seems resilient according to hash rate measurements in recent days.”
Coinbase also notes that Bitcoin markets are currently posting year-to-date gains of 20% and 12% respectively.