Gold and bitcoin buyers are different groups of people, according to Jeffrey Currie, the global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs.
“In our view, bitcoin is attracting more speculative inflows relative to gold,” Currie said in an interview with the Financial Times.
According to the analyst, gold ETF holdings are at their highest level for over four years, and there is “no evidence of a mass exodus from gold.”
While bitcoin’s lack of liquidity and high volatility is a good investment for day traders, the same characteristics do not attract the long-term investors, who enjoy the stability of gold, Currie said.
Currie’s comment comes as Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said he can see a world in which bitcoin is a form of currency.
“I read a lot of history, and I know that once upon a time, a coin was worth $5 if it had $5 worth of gold in it. Now we have paper that is just backed by fiat…Maybe in the new world, something gets backed by consensus,” he told Bloomberg.
Despite JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s remarks that he would fire any trader selling bitcoin, Goldman’s chief is less critical.
“I don’t have an investment in it, but I’m not willing to pooh-pooh it, and that’s why I say I’m open to it,” said Blankfein.
Another major bank – Credit Suisse – has called bitcoin a speculative bubble.
“From what we can identify, the only reason today to buy or sell bitcoin is to make money, which is the very definition of speculation and the very definition of a bubble,” said Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam.
Such speculation “rarely led to a happy end” throughout history, he added.