Two years ago, the value of Bitcoin slumped so badly that the digital currency was being written off as a failed experiment.
No longer. Bitcoin has charged back, and as of today (March 2), for the first time ever, one Bitcoin is worth more than a troy ounce of gold.
The milestone is inherently arbitrary: If gold were traded in pounds or kilograms, Bitcoin would still have a long way to go. But the appearance of a brand new currency trading at the same value of millennia-old gold is symbolically significant.
Bitcoin declined with the 2014 collapse of the Mt. Gox exchange in Japan, along with lingering doubts about whether a currency with no nation’s backing was ready from primetime. Its resurgence is fueled in part by its increasing popularity in China, where it’s both mined in large numbers and has become a popular investment vehicle.
And bitcoin has also been bolstered by the political turmoil of the past year. The currency thrives in uncertain economic times, and both the Brexit vote and the trade policy reforms promised by Donald Trump suggest we’re right in the thick of one now.
Traditionally, gold has been the safe harbor of choice, a refuge for investors fleeing uncertain financial markets. It may now have company.