Frank Holmes, CEO of US Global Investors and one of the more prominent natural resources capitalists in the country, called Bitcoin an alternative to gold, but stated that he preferred the physical store-of-value asset to its digital counterpart. In addition, he issued a stern warning to ‘millenial’ traders who have failed to do their homework on Bitcoin and precious metals such as gold.
Speaking in an interview with Kitco News on May 17, an organization that deals in precious metals trading, Holmes highlighted the fact that BTC and cryptocurrency wallets increased since 2018, despite the falling coin prices of last year’s crypto winter,
“What’s important during this whole year is that even though the price fell 80% to 90% depending on the coins, you had an increase of wallets out of people buying bitcoin, and that’s a sign that we’re ready for the next bull cycle. ”
In addition to increasing adoption, Holmes found the conditions of January 2018’s collapse to be somewhat favorable for a coming bear cycle. Compared to the traditional markets in 2008, which catalyzed one of the worst global recessions in history, the crypto markets of early 2018 were not overleveraging, which Holmes believes will allow them to recover more quickly,
“This [correction] can be a year, and we’re slowly climbing out of it, and [bitcoin] is becoming an alternative asset class like gold.”
Despite being receptive to a bullish cycle ahead for Bitcoin, Holmes reiterated that he prefers gold to BTC, stating that the latter is not a replacement for real-world precious metals. He also cautioned younger investors not to become too caught up in cryptocurrency, and to consider other asset classes, including as a way to contribute patriotically to the U.S.,
“[Millennials] should do their homework, they should open up a history book on why gold is so significant… why the great ‘love trade’, that if you love your country you should have gold in reserve. If you have a crisis, your paper money goes down in tremendous value. Gold is what bailed out Britain, getting it over to Canada, and then trading to get weapons from America, it was gold that did it.”
Holmes gave another prediction that the price of gold would rise with the easing of central banks around the globe, particularly in Europe, causing a decrease in value for fiat currencies that would push traders into precious metals. He highlighted the looming trade war between the United States and China that will ultimately lead to negative rates. He claimed the EU to have “massive” negative real interest rates with “no hope of them rising.” He further chastised EU governments for continuing to print money, and made the statement “you better buy gold, and you better back up the truck and have that minimum 10% golden rule.”
The geopolitical uncertainty brewing around U.S.-Chinese trade relations could further contribute to investment interest in cryptocurrency–similar to early April’s Brexit craze–as traditional economies and fiat currencies appear less certain.