The invention and development of gold ETFs provided an easy means for individual and institutional speculators to trade gold without having to deal with the messy process of buying, storing and insuring the stuff for themselves. Most people who bought ETFs couldn't care less about gold the metal. For them, gold was simply another paper trading vehicle or source of paper "diversification." What gold wasn't to these buyers, by and large, was something that they were actually interested in for gold's intrinsic worth as a commodity. Gold was being bought by them for essentially the exact same reasons that people have been buying Bitcoin: Pure speculation about doomsday scenarios, combined with a greed-laced ambition to capitalize on such calamities. Indeed, if people had bothered to look at gold's intrinsic worth as a commodity, they would have never bought it in the past few years.