Bitcoin on Pace to Clear More Than Double the Transaction Volume of Gold in 2018

Francisco Memoria
  • Bitcoin is set to clear over two times the transaction volume of gold this year.
  • The flagship cryptocurrency hit parity with an ounce of gold last year, when it started surpassing its transaction volume.

Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, has been clearing a larger amount of transactions than global gold markets for well over a year, a trend that doesn’t appear to be slowing down, despite the crypto ecosystem’s bearish trend.

The data, first spotted by social media personality Kevin Rooke, shows bitcoin’s transaction volume surpassed that of the global gold markets since the beginning of last year, before its bull run that led to a near $20,000 all-time high, and is on track to process $1.1 trillion of transaction this year, while gold will process $0.4 trillion.

Interestingly, bitcoin surpassed gold at about the same time it hit parity with an ounce of gold. The flagship cryptocurrency is often seen as a “digital version” of the precious metal, which has been seen as the de facto store of value for thousands of years.

Bitcoin enthusiasts believe the cryptocurrency can serve as a store of value, just like gold, but with a few advantages. In fact, both are often compared, with most bullish BTC price predictions being based on it taking a portion of the gold market.

As CryptoGlobe covered, experienced crypto analyst Willy Woo stated earlier this month that BTC will “have a bull run” after its value significantly drops because of a “flash dump,” just like gold did in WFC (Wall Street Financial Crisis).

Bart Smith, Head of Digital Assets at Susquehanna International Group, one of the largest privately-held trading firms in the world, has touted bitcoin is “digital gold” and the “reserve currency” of the crypto space, as it can be used for cross-border money transfers.

Veteran entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has recently warned its over 700,000 Twitter followers they should get ready for an economic crash. Per his words, the USD is bound to crash in the future and, to hedge, investors should buy gold and bitcoin.

The famous Winklevoss twins, who founded the Gemini crypto exchange, have also argued bitcoin could see its price grow 30 to 40 times earlier this year, as its market cap could hit $5 trillion, if it manages to disrupt gold’s $7 trillion market. They said:

…we think that there's a potential appreciation of 30 to 40 times because you look at the gold market today, it's a $7 trillion market. And so a lot of people are starting to see that, they recognize the store of value properties. So we think regardless of the price moves in the last few weeks, it's still a very underappreciated asset.

At press time bitcoin is trading at $6,500 after rising 1.44% in the last 24-hour period, while one ounce of gold is trading at $1,191.8 after rising 0.66%, according to Yahoo Finance.

Top Crypto Trends for 2019

Cryptocurrencies are a new form of asset that are designed to work as a medium of exchange like any other currency. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, paved the way in 2009, and now there are more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies available according to CryptoCompare. Although it’s been a decade since Bitcoin’s launch, cryptocurrency has yet to achieve mass adoption as it faces many challenges from within and without. Still, many financial analysts are confident that prices will soar as institutional investment flows in 2019 and beyond.

Cryptoassets hit an incredible peak in December 2017 when the Bitcoin price reached $20,000. 2018 however, saw prices collapse across the board as the enthusiasm of 2017 waned with failed ICOs and inactive projects.

One possible factor that contributed to the slump is that US regulators are yet to approve an ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) application. Another project that is highly anticipated to move markets is the new Bakkt Exchange, from NYSE parent company ICE (Intercontinental Exchange) which will likely herald a new era of institutional investment.

There is however a lot of positive development within the cryptoverse itself. In 2019, some new trends are emerging which observers should monitor closely, as they have the potential to foster enormous growth. Let’s take a look at some of these new positive trends.

Leaner Companies

We have seen many failed cryptocurrency projects in the last 2 years, and one reason for their failure was lack of funding. Crypto giants like Bitmain Technologies, ShapeShift, and many blockchain-based social media platforms like Steemitwere forced to reduce their staff because of the lack of investment in this sector.

These companies are the victims of the prolonged bear market, and they were forced to shelve their expansion plans because of poor financial planning and many other mismanagement issues. The new trend therefore, is for crypto startups is to cut their operational costs to survive in the crypto ecosystem. These new, leaner companies may indicate a more resilient industry in the long-term.


Another primary issue is scalability, and it seems to still be a problem in 2019. Ethereum for example, had to postpone its Constantinople upgrade due to a serious, smart contract vulnerability threat. The update was scheduled to launch at the start of this year but was delayed  after an independent research firm detected the flaw.

There are many new projects surfacing that claim to work on improved algorithms or protocols. These algorithms and protocols are not fully developed, but promise a hybrid of proof of stake and work. Developers on projects around the world are working hard on the problems of scalability, and if progress is made, 2019 may set the stage for broader crypto adoption.

More User-Friendly Apps

The Lightning Network is seeing a great deal of activity in 2019 in its role as a second layer payment feature. Still, developers are trying to further improve the LN protocol to make it more secure, faster and cheaper to conduct crypto transactions. As work continues, the Lightning Network is turning Bitcoin into a faster and cost-effective medium of exchange. You can expect more development in LN protocol in 2019 as developers are creating more apps that are both intuitive and user-friendly. You can find the best trading software reviews here to learn more about these apps.

Security Tokens Vs ICOs

After regulatory authorities began targeting Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), Security Tokens - which explicitly acknowledge their regulatory obligations - are being launched throughout the globe.

The new name also seeks to avoid much of the negative stigma of the ICO, which has become associated with failed projects and even outright scams. Jurisdictions such as Malta, Switzerland and Singapore are more accommodating towards Security Token sales, adding to investor confidence in this newer token model.


Another obstacle for the crypto ecosystem is lack of educational resources. More efforts have been made recently to make crypto education more accessible. New York University for example has taken the initiative by introducing a graduate level certification in digital currencies. Now that prestigious institutions such as NYU and the London School of Economics begin to spread the word about cryptoassets, the industry is further cementing itself in the public consciousness.

The Availability of Bitcoin ATMs

2019 may see the introduction of Bitcoin ATMs in several major cities in the United States.

With 30 new machines installed in Chicago, and over 100 in Philadelphia, prospects are looking good. These new ATMs are solely for Bitcoin transactions, but some regular ATMs in New York are now also offering crypto services. These new services require an account with  Bitcoin payment provider LibertyX, and users can purchase up to $3,000 worth of Bitcoin daily using a debit card.


Cryptocurrency looks set once again in 2019 to gain traction. While the industry is young, and in many ways still recovering from the spectacular boom and bust of 2017 and 2018, it still inspires a great deal of enthusiasm and interest globally. These trends in 2019 will be closely watched.