BITCOIN VS GOLD: WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF INVESTMENTS?

By Moksha Grover

Today, most people have shifted their focus toward investments for the purpose of strengthening their financial position. While there are many ways to strengthen one’s financial position, investment is considered to be the most apposite way. The covid pandemic has taught us a lot about different aspects of life. However, most importantly it has highlighted our way of savings and investments. During tough phases like lockdown, almost everyone suffered financially and was forced to make compromises within their lifestyle. Only those who made wise money decisions at the right time were left uncompromised.

During the pandemic, it was observed that more and more people started investing in safe-haven assets. The most popular safe-haven investment during the covid pandemic has been gold. Gold investments, as we all know, are said to give good returns most of the time. It is also viewed as one of the safest options for investments. However, nowadays, investment in gold is being challenged by cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are now being regarded as the new hot cake in the world of investments and are said to give even more returns than gold. The most trending and successful cryptocurrency is Bitcoin.

WHAT IS BITCOIN?

Bitcoin is termed a digital currency which is free of any central control or the oversight of banks or governments. Instead, it depends upon peer-to-peer software and cryptography. It is also known as digital gold because its properties are very similar to that of gold. Like gold, bitcoin too has a fixed supply and derives its value through its limited supply and growing consumer demand. Some of the pros and cons of this cryptocurrency are: –

PROS

  • Since bitcoin is entirely digital, it can be easily sold a transferred to another person’s account.
  • Bitcoin has the potential to give higher returns on investments because of its growing market.
  • Bitcoin can be used as a currency everywhere. It can be used for payments at any store that accepts bitcoin.
  • Investing in bitcoin now could lead to big payoffs down the road. Because bitcoin is an emerging investment and has the potential to increase in value.

CONS 

  • There is a greater degree of risk involved in bitcoin as it is extremely volatile and susceptible to large fluctuations.
  • Bitcoin is subjected to scams or stealing as it is completely digital and so web-based wallets have the possibility to be hacked.
  • Bitcoin’s value is totally dependent upon the phenomena of demand and supply. If the demand for other cryptocurrencies increases more than the demand for bitcoin, its value can decrease.

WHAT IS INVESTMENT IN GOLD?

Gold is a valuable yellow metal and is used for various consumer goods such as jewellery, and it is not in abundance. Gold is a must for all the special occasions in India ranging from weddings to other special functions. In fact, one of the largest markets for gold is found in India. Gold has a big significance in the country’s cultural value and is considered to be a store of value, a symbol of wealth and status and a fundamental part of many rituals. Investment in gold gives fruitful results most of the time. Some of the pros and cons of Gold investments are: –

PROS

  • Investment in gold is always a stable option as its value increases over time; even if the economy gets into recession, its value will not decrease.
  • If you have your gold stored in a precious metals IRA, it will be stored in a specific, safe vault that is overseen by a custodian who will manage your account. These accounts are often insured up to a certain amount, much like a traditional bank account, so you can rest easy knowing your investment is safe[1].
  • Gold is considered to be an ideal baseline for trading purposes and is being used up as long as civilizations have been around. So it is durable in nature.

CONS

  • Gold can be used as a currency only during an economic crisis. It cannot be used as a currency to buy something in normal times.
  • When you invest in gold you need to keep that physical item stored carefully and safely.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BITCOIN AND GOLD

CHARACTERISTICSBITCOINGOLD
Legality, Transparency and safetyBitcoin has safety issues and is not that transparent and legalGold ranks above bitcoin in safety, legality and transparency.
VolatilityBitcoin is extremely volatile. It is more susceptible to market whims and newsGold is a safer asset and is less volatile
Baseline ValueBitcoin has less baseline value as it is based on a full banking system and many people don’t have access to online banking services.As gold is used in a variety of ways, therefore, it has more baseline value than bitcoin.
RarityRareRare
LiquidityLiquidLiquid

WHICH TYPE OF INVESTMENT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED? GOLD OR BITCOIN

According to billionaire Ray Dalio, bitcoin is just a digital version of gold but he prefers physical gold over bitcoin. “If you put a gun to my head, and you said, ‘I can only have one,’” says Dalio. “I would choose gold.” Here’s why he prefers investment in gold over bitcoin[2].

  • Gold has thousands of years of historical record as a store value and doesn’t face the same competition risks as bitcoin has
  • Unlike bitcoin, gold is very less volatile. Its volatility is just one-fifth of the volatility of bitcoin.
  • Cryptocurrencies can never replace metals like gold and silver as they are being used for centuries in every corner of the world and have a very strong economic standing as compared to bitcoin. So Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin can only help increase the value of these metals but cannot replace them.
  • Gold has offered a very high degree of longevity but such degree of longevity offered by bitcoin is highly questionable.

FINAL VERDICT

Both bitcoin and gold have their own advantages and disadvantages. For now, it is very hard to predict whether an investment in gold will result in better returns or investment in bitcoin. Bitcoin, today is said to be giving more returns than gold. It is alleged that Bitcoin’s market cap will surpass gold’s market cap by 2030. However, nothing is for sure now. Many people prefer gold investments, at the same time many people have shifted towards investments in bitcoin. Bitcoin has a fantastic upside and limited downside, while gold has a more traditional risk-reward balance[3]. Bitcoin is good for short-term investments and getting high returns on it and gold is good for long-term investments and gives relatively lower returns than bitcoin. It is completely the choice of the investor regarding the kind of investment he/ she wants to take up. An investor can invest in bitcoin or gold or in both. It is completely the choice of the investor. But it is advisable to invest in both bitcoin as well as gold as it will help you diversify your investments and increase your chances of high returns.


[1] ‘BITCOIN VS GOLD: WHICH IS BETTER?’, NATIONWIDE COIN & BULLION RESERVE < https://nationwidecoins.com/bitcoin-vs-gold-which-is-the-better-investment/> accessed 11th September 2021

[2] Jade Scipioni, ‘Bitcoin vs. gold: Here’s what billionaire Ray Dalio thinks, make it (4th August 2021) < https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/04/bitcoin-vs-gold-heres-what-billionaire-ray-dalio-thinks.html> accessed 11th September 2021

[3] Ravi Singhal, ‘Gold vs Bitcoin: Which one is a better option for investment?’, The Economic Times (8th August 2021) <https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/cryptocurrency/gold-vs-bitcoin-which-one-is-a-better-option-for-investment/articleshow/85148997.cms?from=mdr accessed 11th September 2021

All you need to know about Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography to verify transactions, which makes counterfeiting and double-spending practically impossible. Cryptocurrencies are not regulated or facilitated by a central or regulating authority, instead it uses decentralized network called blockchain technology. Since cryptocurrency are not issued by any central authority, it makes them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

Understanding Cryptocurrency

The first cryptocurrency named Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or a group of people named Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. It was put into use in 2009 when the currency’s implementation was released as open-source software.

Cryptocurrencies are based on the blockchain, a distributed public database that keeps track of all transactions and is updated by currency holders.

Cryptocurrency units are formed through a process known as mining, which entails employing computer processing power to solve complex mathematical problems in order to earn coins. Users can also purchase the currencies from brokers, which they can then store and spend using encrypted wallets.

You don’t possess anything concrete if you own cryptocurrency. What you possess is a key that enables you to transfer a record or a unit of measurement from one person to another without the involvement of a trustworthy third party. Although Bitcoin has been present since 2009, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies are still in their infancy in terms of financial applications, with more to come in the future. Bonds, stocks, and other financial assets might all be traded via the technology in the future.

Types of Cryptocurrency

  • Bitcoin:
    As mentioned earlier, Bitcoin was invented in 2008 and is the first cryptocurrency that was invented. Bitcoin is still the most popular and well-known crypto currency.
  • Ethereum:
    Ethereum is a blockchain platform that has its own cryptocurrency, Ether (ETH) or Ethereum. It was created in 2015. After Bitcoin, it is the most widely used cryptocurrency.
  • Litecoin:
    This money is quite similar to bitcoin, but it has moved faster to build new innovations, such as speedier payments and processes that allow for more transactions.
  • Ripple:
    Ripple was founded in 2012 as a distributed ledger technology. Not only can Ripple be used to track cryptocurrency transactions, but it can also be used to track other types of transactions. Its creators have collaborated with a number of banks and financial institutions.

How to buy cryptocurrency?

There are 3 steps involved in purchasing of cryptocurrency. Please find them below:

Step 1: Choosing a platform
Before choosing a platform, compare various platforms on the basis of which cryptocurrencies are on offer, what fees they charge, their security features, storage and withdrawal options, and any educational resources. Typically, there are two main platforms which one can choose for trading of cryptocurrency:-

  • Traditional brokers: These are online brokers that allow you to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies as well as other financial assets such as stocks, bonds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These platforms are known for having reduced trading fees but fewer crypto features.
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges: There are a variety of cryptocurrency exchanges to choose from, each with its own set of cryptocurrencies, wallet storage options, interest-bearing account options, and other features. Asset-based fees are charged by several exchanges.

Step 2: Funding your account
After you’ve decided on a platform, you’ll need to fund your account before you can start trading. Most crypto exchanges allow users to buy crypto with fiat (government-issued) currencies like the US Dollar, British Pound, or Euro using their debit or credit cards, though this varies per platform.

ACH and wire transfers are also accepted by some sites. The payment methods that are accepted and the time it takes to deposit or withdraw money vary each platform. Likewise, the time it takes for deposits to clear varies depending on the payment type.

Fees are an essential consideration. These fees could include transaction fees for deposits and withdrawals, as well as trading fees. Fees will vary depending on the payment method and platform, so do your homework ahead of time.

Step 3: Placing an order
You can use the web or mobile platform of your broker or exchange to make an order. If you wish to buy cryptocurrencies, go to “buy,” select the order type, enter the number of coins you want to buy, and confirm the order. Orders to “sell” follow the same procedure.

There are other ways to invest in cryptocurrency as well. PayPal, Cash App, and Venmo are examples of payment platforms that allow customers to buy, trade, or store cryptocurrencies. In addition, the following investment vehicles are available:

  • Bitcoin trusts: Bitcoin trusts can be purchased with a conventional brokerage account. Through the stock market, these vehicles provide regular investors with access to cryptocurrency.
  • Bitcoin mutual funds: You can select between Bitcoin ETFs and Bitcoin mutual funds.
  • Blockchain stocks or ETFs: Blockchain companies that specialize in the technology behind crypto and crypto transactions are another way to indirectly invest in crypto. Alternatively, you might invest in blockchain-related equities or exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

How to store cryptocurrency?

Once you’ve purchased cryptocurrency, you’ll need to keep it safe to avoid being hacked or stolen. Cryptocurrencies are typically stored in crypto wallets, which are physical devices or online software that securely store the private keys to your cryptocurrencies. Some exchanges offer wallet services, allowing you to store your funds directly on the platform. However, not all exchanges or brokers will automatically give you with a wallet.

There are a variety of wallet providers from which you can choose. The terms “hot wallet” and “cold wallet” are used to describe two types of wallets-

  • Hot wallet storage: “Hot wallets” refers to cryptocurrency storage that use internet software to safeguard your assets’ private keys.
  • Cold wallet storage: Unlike hot wallets, cold wallets (also known as hardware wallets) save your private keys on offline electronic devices.

Cold wallets typically charge fees, whereas hot wallets do not.

Union Budget 2022 and Cryptocurrency

  • In the Union Budget 2022-23, the government has imposed a 30 percent fixed tax rate on all crypto trading profits, with the goal of introducing the Digital Rupee in 2022–23.
  • The Digital Rupee, India’s first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project, will be a digital version of the rupee that would be fully regulated and overseen by the government.
  • The Finance Ministry has suggested a 30% tax on the trading of all virtual assets, including cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, in these regulations. Losses on these crypto-assets cannot be offset at a later point, according to the report. This means that any losses incurred when trading these assets will not be offset by other sources of income and will be carried forward to later years.
  • Virtual currency gifts are likewise subject to taxation, with the recipient carrying the burden of any such deductions.
  • Further elaborating on the taxes approach for such virtual currencies, the Finance Minister stated that all crypto transfers exceeding a specific monetary level will be subject to a 1% TDS deduction, which will aid the authorities in keeping track of their movement in the economy.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES VS FIXED DEPOSITS

The Indian government and Indians have consistently been into reserve funds. In contrast to the westerners, India has high family esteems. The blood relations and relatives are consistently there to help each other additionally monetarily.

The bread worker of the family puts something aside for the eventual fate of the child(ren). In India, it is never similar to labouring for 40 hours per week, being paid according to the hours and chilling toward the end of the week and being down and out by Monday morning. India’s practice of venture is a drawn-out game that considers ages ahead.

The Indian government understood this before long freedom and subsequently made a great deal of plans that come as retirement plans. The banks that go under the Reserve bank of India likewise concoct approaches and plans to work with their clients into long haul arranging that implies least danger and a good speculation.

Indians have been assorted as far as their way of life. However, the one thing that ties each Indian is the affection for gold and silver. Furthermore, once more, customarily talking, gold is the image of Laxmi, the goddess of abundance. Gold is skilled to the lady and lucky man during the marriage. Gold is likewise worn as a piece of DRE gems. Monetarily talking, holding a resource can be utilized in good and bad for ages ahead.

Another exceptionally famous monetary instrument that Indians put resources into is the FD or the proper store. Be that as it may, with the new headway of computerized money, will a normal Indian embrace crypto? Allow us to see the distinctions and similitudes.

FIXED DEPOSITS VERSUS CRYPTOCURRENCY

Duty exception: When you put resources into FD, there are various areas under which you can put your cash in. For this venture that you pronounce, the public authority is informed of your system and you may get some thought under tax cut. Then again, the Indian government isn’t a too crypto master, and thus, there is no assessment exclusion on the benefits you make from putting resources into crypto.

Government-upheld: For making a FD account with your bank, the means are very simple. A stacked financial balance is a great idea to go to make a FD account. While then again, crypto speculation expects you to make a record with an exchanging stage, that, in a typical case, isn’t empowered by any administration.

Fixed return: according to the approach picked by you, your bank and your residency of FD, you will undoubtedly get a decent return. This generally doesn’t change. Regardless of whether it does, it doesn’t change too regularly. Likewise, the adjustment of the level of return isn’t an excessive amount to give a shock to the financial backer. Then again, crypto rides an exciting ride. One second the profits are multiplied and the following second you lose half of the cash you contributed. The recurrence of progress and the extent of progress is humongous.

Value-based expense: FDs are long haul plans and the passage and leave focuses are by and large ceaseless till development. Individuals for the most part don’t leave their FD plan before it develops. No exchange occurs and subsequently there is no exchange cost. Unexpectedly, since the crypto market is unstable, individuals settle on fast choices. They enter, stay for quite a while, exit and afterward return when the costs hit profound low. The quantity of passage and leave focuses is an excessive number of and this brings about a ton of conditional expenses.

No requirement for any exchanging or trade stage: For beginning a FD account, you simply need a ledger. What’s more, having a financial balance has been supported by the PM Jan Dhan Yojna. For putting resources into crypto, the client needs to have a confirmed record with an exchanging stage, connect the ledger and afterward begin to contribute.

Unpredictability: FDs are a speculation that individuals don’t contact. Individuals either start a FD for their retirement or they let it mature. The venture of crypto isn’t immaculate. The sum determined for the interest in the crypto is each effectively moved and flowed for putting resources into other cryptos or to encash into the neighbourhood cash.

Long haul Plan: FDs are long haul plans. So is the crypto venture. However, just favourable to crypto financial backers get this and are enduring. Henceforth, despite the fact that both FD and cryptos are long haul venture vehicles, many utilize the last for momentary addition.

Uncommon: FDs are not uncommon. Would you like to open a record? Fantastic! Go on. Would you like to mine bitcoin after 2140? Apologies, you can’t. Crypto accompanies a limited inventory and thus are uncommon. FDs are run on conventional cash and we would i be able to have quite a few customary cash notes as we need.

No mining: These backings the above point. There is no mining or additional work to change your conventional cash over to be put resources into FD. For cryptos, you need to mine new tokens to keep up with their dissemination or somebody mines and sells them so others can put resources into them.

Least danger: FDs are the most secure, least danger implying monetary arranging technique. When you store cash, you can fail to remember it till it develops. Cryptos involve the financial backers’ time and consideration. You lose your center, you may lose a ton!

Expansion rate and pace of revenue: As the swelling rate is higher, customary instruments like FDs and RDS don’t give incredible help. Despite the fact that crypto gets your heart beat quicker, an individual with great exploration on crypto can enter the market, stay for the time, bring in astounding cash and exit astutely. He/she doesn’t hang tight for the 5-year residency to get over.

Indians love to put cash in any case, love to contribute as long as possible and need their cash to develop. While certain individuals are daring people, some are more conventional. Venture techniques resemble food decisions. It depends from one person to another. One that works for you probably won’t work for your companion. Subsequently, it is consistently fitting to comprehend one’s necessities and needs and choose what best accommodates their objective.