A Marketwatch commentary posted today claims that the most significant long-term threat to gold’s value as an investment is the rising popularity of digital currency, such as Bitcoin. From the article:
If you just wanted a reliable place to stash your cash, you had two options — deposits in banks in a currency controlled by governments, or else gold. There wasn’t anywhere else to go.
But new digital currencies such as bitcoin are explicitly designed as an alternative to paper money — and indeed largely mimic gold in their limited supply. Of course gold has been a medium of exchange for a few thousand years — and bitcoin for about five minutes. Still, as it and its rivals grow in importance, gold will have a genuine competitor.