Home / Money / Personal Finance /  Gold vs Bitcoin: Which haven is a better investment this Diwali?

The Diwali season has kickstarted with a bang from Saturday onward with Dhanteras where usually the demand for gold is traditionally on the rise. In India, buying gold on Dhanteras is somewhat very common as the yellow metal symbolises wealth, security, and financial well-being. Gold is also seen as a so-called haven against hedging returns amidst macroeconomic uncertainties. But gold alone is not seen as a haven anymore. Cryptocurrencies especially the star Bitcoin are referred to as digital gold. In the past, Bitcoin has been taken as an alternative to gold when it comes to investment in havens. With that being said, which haven is a better investment option this Diwali?

Palash Udhwani an Investment Analyst with Kunji explains the similarity between Bitcoin and gold which is a lot by the way.

Touted as digital gold, Udhwani said, "BTC has a lot of similar characteristics to gold, namely global availability, high demand, and low supply. The supply and emission of BTC in the market cannot be altered as it is algorithmically programmed. The same factor helps in driving the price of BTC over time. The total emissions of BTC in circulation decrease over time as emissions get halved every four years."

As per the data from Kunji which is India's first crypto asset management platform, in the past five years, Bitcoin has outperformed gold in the past five Diwali.

Bitcoin witnessed a gain of 312.5% on the Diwali of October 19, 2017, while gold witnessed a surge of 29.5%. Further, on Diwali held on November 6, 2018, Bitcoin recorded gains of 196.3% versus gold soaring by 36.1%, however, it needs to be noted that the yellow metal saw an upside in the gains while Bitcoin's gain narrowed from the 2017 levels. Notably, on Diwali which was held on October 27, 2019, Bitcoin and Gold both saw a narrowing in their gains to 99.9% and 11% respectively. However, during Diwali 2019, Bitcoin still performed better.

During November 14, 2020, Diwali, Bitcoin recorded a gain of 18.7%, while gold however tumbled by 11.6%. But on the Diwali of November 4, 2021, bitcoin declined drastically by 68.9% versus gold which only shed about 6.7%. In 2021, gold performed better than Bitcoin. Overall, in 5 years, Bitcoin gave more returns than gold.

The returns on BTC might look attractive, but the broader crypto landscape provides us with many more opportunities to extract higher alphas.
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The returns on BTC might look attractive, but the broader crypto landscape provides us with many more opportunities to extract higher alphas. (Kunji data)

Over the five years, while the average return on gold investment would have been around 11%, the same for BTC is around 111.7%.

For a competitive quantitative analysis, Udhwani said, if you had bought gold worth 50,000 for each year starting in 2017 on Diwali, your current portfolio value on an investment of 2,50,000 would have been 2,79,150. If you had purchased BTC with the same, the return would have been 5,29,250.

Udhwani said, the returns on BTC might look attractive, but the broader crypto landscape provides us with many more opportunities to extract higher alphas. If you had taken positions in BTC along with a set of promising quality altcoins, a similar trend could be seen in the same.

Giving an example, Udhwani said, you invest about $600, around 50,000, across six good quality altcoins from the previous 5 Diwali. The same with a combination of BTC would have given a return of 659.624 %, and a pure altcoin

play would have achieved a 1207% return. The altcoins used here in the strategy are ETH, BNB, LTC, XRP, ADA, and LINK.

According to the expert, BTC, being a vital asset with a history of more than a decade, has also inspired a lot of other decentralised projects and protocols, which provide huge upside potential if proper strategic positions and risk management are taken.

Talking about the current state of the bitcoin-gold correlation, Udhwani said, until the market achieves its peak hawkishness, pressure on gold and other semi-investment metals like silver and platinum is likely to persist. As investors are drawn in by a strong dollar despite rising interest rates, the correlation between bitcoin and gold has reached its highest level in the past 12 months.

Also, Udhwani added, "Although Bitcoin is regarded as "digital gold" and a hedge against inflation, investors don't agree much like the yellow metal. As inflation has risen over the past several months, the value of Bitcoin and gold has drastically decreased. It resulted in a correlation at a year-high of +0.4. A strong dollar and high bond yields may lure investors away from the precious metal and Bitcoin."

On Saturday, at the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading above the $19,200 mark and its 24 hours gain is around 1.5% on CoinMarketCap.

As per Good Returns data, 22 carat gold in India is available at 47,000 in 10 gram on Saturday up by 750 from the previous day. While the 24 carat in 10 gram is priced at 51,280 apiece higher by 830 from the previous day.

Meanwhile, on Friday, at MCX, gold futures maturing December 5 ended at 50,635 up by 492 or 0.98% from the previous day's levels.


Disclaimer: The views and recommendations made above are those of individual analysts or broking companies, and not of Mint.

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