Both bitcoin and gold have been popular with investors looking for an alternative to US dollars. Photo: iStock

The price of bitcoin soared to a new all-time high against gold on New Year’s Day, which many analysts say is a better yardstick for measuring its value than fiat currencies being debased by rampant printing.

Lending credence to the “digital gold” narrative, bitcoin hit a high of 15.62 ounces in the early morning, surpassing its peak at the top of the 2017 bull run, according to MarketWatch data. Its price in fiat terms was $19,300 at the time of publication.

Bitcoin priced in gold bullion via MarketWatch

Many analysts are bullish on both gold, the spot price of which rose 25% in the past year, and bitcoin, which jumped 300% in 2020. Citibank’s analysts believe bitcoin’s price could hit $318,000 by the end of 2021, and similarly optimistic projections have become widespread. Even JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, once a vociferous critic of bitcoin, has jumped on the bandwagon.

Real Vision CEO Raoul Pal sold his considerable gold position to go all in on bitcoin and Ethereum. While he remains bullish on gold, he shares Wall Street legend Paul Tudor Jones’ belief that bitcoin is “the fastest horse in the race” and thinks it will reach a gobsmacking $1 million in five years.

Proponents of the digital gold narrative include Bloomberg analyst Mike McGlone and Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, an American business intelligence firm that has shifted its treasury into bitcoin, a highly lucrative move that has caused its share price to soar.

Saylor believes bitcoin is “1,000X better than gold” because of its greater divisibility; ease of storage, transport and verification; and perhaps most importantly, its genuine scarcity.

‘Rat poison squared…’

Meanwhile, bitcoin has roared past American tycoon Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. At $545 billion at the time of publication, the largest crypto has passed the the finance giant’s market cap. Bitcoiners rejoiced in the slap in the face to the legendary investor, who once dismissed the crypto as “rat poison squared.”

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Bitcoin bull Vijay Boyapati tweeted victoriously, “#Bitcoin just surpassed Berkshire Hathaway in market capitalization. How do you like the rat poison now, @WarrenBuffett?”