When it comes to recognition as "money" and a "store of value," bitcoin outcompetes gold on its practicality and versatility, said Clem Chambers, CEO of ADVFN and author of the bestseller "101 Ways to Pick Stock Market Winners."
"I could not take enough gold out of the country for it to be useful to me if I had to leave the country; if I was a South Korean and I thought the North was going to drop a bomb on my city, if I was an Iranian that was running away from people in Iran. There are all sorts of reasons why I would want to take a lot of money abroad. I can't take more than $10,000. In gold, I can't carry enough, it's too heavy. I can't take, say, 20 kilos of gold to the airport..."
Retail investors that bought bitcoin prior to the cryptocurrency's all-time high in December 2017 are still in the market, Chambers said.
He added that novice investors may have experienced an "expensive learning curve" when they bought at a bad time, but "for those that are sensible, for those that are just acquiring it to build up a position in bitcoin for maybe five or six years' time...then I don't think there's much to be worried about."
Bitcoin prices have dropped from December 2017 record highs to find support in January 2019. It has since rebounded by more than 115%.
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On bitcoin's price rally in 2019, Chambers told Kitco News that the trade war can be thanked.
"As far as I'm concerned, it's the trade war with China. The Chinese have always been big bitcoin people, and I think they are afraid that the Yuan is going to get knocked down," he said. "If you have a lot of Yuan, you'd want to get out of that.