If bitcoin is “digital gold,” then we should be able to get bitcoin’s future price by looking at the total value of all gold, then dividing by the total number of bitcoins. Our downloadable bitcoin to gold calculator will show you why the future price of bitcoin may be around $433,000.
Way back in 2018 (that’s a decade in crypto years), I made ten predictions about the next ten years of bitcoin. I said bitcoin would look less like “digital money” and more like “digital gold.” Today, those predictions are looking eerily accurate.
In the spirit of transparency, I don’t always get it right: I later calculated that the price of bitcoin should be $13,333.33, based on the velocity of money equation. That assumed people would use bitcoin as “digital money,” which still hasn’t happened.
Instead, the story today is that bitcoin is like digital gold. Bitcoin is not a medium of exchange, but a store of value. This is the story that JPMorgan, Bridgewater Associates, and even The Wall Street Journal are telling investors.
Stories matter. (We wrote the book on it.) As Nobel prize-winning economist Robert Shiller said, “Big things happen if someone invents the right story and promulgates it.” The more people tell the story of “bitcoin as digital gold,” the more they act as if the story is true.
The “bitcoin is digital gold” story invites comparison to actual gold:
- Like gold, there’s a limited supply of bitcoin (only 21 million bitcoin ever).
- Like gold, new bitcoin is produced by “miners” spending a lot of energy to produce it.
- Like gold, bitcoin can be used to diversify an investment portfolio. (Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.)
Fidelity tells investors bitcoin is not correlated with other assets, i.e., it does its own thing. But very few investment houses are telling people to use bitcoin as digital money. (Given the meteoric rise in bitcoin’s price, that would be a foolish thing to do.)
If everyone starts believing bitcoin is digital gold, this matters a lot, because gold has an actual price.
What’s the Total Value of Gold?
To get the potential value of all the bitcoin in the world, let’s start with the current value of all the gold in the world. This calculation is pretty simple: total weight of all the gold in the world, multiplied by the current price per ounce.
The problem is finding the total quantity of gold. The World Gold Council estimates just over 200,000 metric tons of gold have been mined, but other estimates differ. Unlike bitcoin, gold is a physical object that can be lost, hidden, or misreported.
Let’s go with 200,000 metric tons, since it’s conservative (and easy to remember). At a current gold price of about $1,294.00 per ounce, this means all the gold in the world is worth about $9.1 trillion.
Now let’s imagine all the bitcoin (remember: 21 million) will be worth the same when they’re mined. $9.1 trillion / 21 million = $433,333 per bitcoin.
If you really believe that bitcoin is digital gold – that total bitcoin supply will eventually be worth the total gold supply – then you believe the target price of bitcoin should be $433,333.33.
Maybe you believe bitcoin should be worth 80% of gold, because it’s not as shiny. Maybe it should be worth more than gold, because it’s digital. You can adjust the assumptions and instantly calculate your own target price if “bitcoin is digital gold.”
As the meme kids might say: if you believe bitcoin is GODL, then you should probably HODL.