Gold bug and Bitcoin skeptic Peter Schiff was just 17 years old when the yellow metal set its true all-time price high. Meanwhile, Bitcoin (BTC), a much younger asset, sits close to its inflation-adjusted all-time high after just three years of downward pressure.
Gold reached a price of $678 U.S. dollars in 1980, according to a breakdown from Visual Capitalist. Accounting for inflation, based on calculations from Officialdata.org, $678 in 1980 held the same buying power as approximately $2,142 in 2020.
The precious metal technically broke its U.S. dollar all-time high this year, hitting $2,075, according to TradingView data. Its 1980 record purchasing power level remains unbroken, however. Since its push to $2,075 in August, gold has retraced in price, sitting near $1,778 per ounce at the time of publication.
Bitcoin hit its last all-time price high in 2017, tagging $19,891.99, according to Coinbase’s price index. Accounting for inflation, Bitcoin’s record high stands at $21,131.02 in terms of value, Officialdata.org indicates.
Gold has stood the test of time as a store of value for thousands of years, undergoing price discovery in each era as people determine the metal’s worth through buying and selling. The game has potentially changed with BTC though, which is similar to a digital representation of gold — a commodity with scarce supply used for value storage. Bitcoin touts lower barriers for storage and transaction, also holding a defined limited supply.
Economist Schiff has pitted gold against BTC many times, often discounting Bitcoin’s worth. While gold moves slowly in price compared with Bitcoin, Schiff likes gold for its wealth-maintenance role.
Bitcoin has ridden a dramatic price rally in recent weeks, reaching within $100 of its Coinbase all-time price high. Raoul Pal, a macro investor, recently indicated his intention to sell his gold stack and buy more BTC.
“I have a sell order in tomorrow to sell all my gold and to scale in to buy BTC and ETH (80/20),” he tweeted on Nov. 29. “I dont own anything else (except some bond calls and some $’s),” he said, adding: “98% of my liquid net worth. See, you can’t categorize me except #irresponsiblylong.”
Amid Bitcoin’s upward surge, people are reportedly exiting gold in droves, as seen in recent record outflow numbers.