Much has been made of the rise of Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) recently. And fair enough too. The price of bitcoin has gone parabolic of late, rising more than 50% over the past month alone. That's despite bitcoin falling almost 15% since this Sunday alone. In fact, between 24 January and Sunday, Bitcoin was up 74%.
Now picture this: bitcoin is up an eye-watering 977% between 16 March 2020 and today. That's enough to give anyone FOMO.
It's hard to gauge exactly how many Aussies are enjoying these gains. That's why a report from BTC Markets makes for some very interesting reading today.
Bitcoin investing surges
According to the report, more Australians are now investing in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin than in precious metals like gold and silver.
The report surveyed more than 2,000 Australian investors over this month so far. This survey found that 12.6% of investors had an investment in a cryptocurrency, whereas only 12.1% of investors held an investment in precious metal.
Nearly a third of those cryptocurrency investors made their first investment following the coronavirus-induced share market crash in March last year. Interestingly, more than half of those who own cryptocurrencies are not planning on selling anytime soon. 51% of these investors stated they did not plan to sell their coins despite the recent run-up in bitcoin prices. And 23% of them stated that they plan on holding their coins for more than 3 years.
The comparison to gold is pertinent because investors are often attracted to bitcoin for the same reasons as they are to gold. Both gold and bitcoin have finite supplies and cannot be 'printed' by governments. As such, they are touted as being 'inflation-proof' and a store of wealth and value. Indeed, some bitcoin investors describe the cryptocurrency as 'digital gold'.
Shares still win out though…
Despite the growing popularity of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, shares still dominate as Australian's favourite investment. The report states that although 12.6% of those surveyed had cryptocurrency investments, a far greater 63.6% held shares directly. 28.8% of those surveyed also reported that they owned investments in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and managed funds. 25.8% said they had an investment property, and 18.8% said they invested in 'collectables'.
At the bottom of the pile were fixed-income investments (9.9%) and annuities (7.7%).
Despite the recent success of bitcoin, the report also tells us that almost 80% of Australians are still not planning on investing in it.