Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has forecasted that Bitcoin will become a serious flight-to-safety asset within the next five or 10 years.
In an episode of Coinbase’s Around the Block podcast, titled “The State of Crypto and Where It’s Headed with Pomp,” said the flagship cryptocurrency’s market capitalization is not yet big enough to act as a serious flight-to-safety asset.
However, that could change in the next five or 10 years when the crypto economy grows to become “a significant enough percentage of the global economy.” Only after that could Bitcoin be treated as digital gold in the sense that people do a flight to safety towards the asset when things go sour.
“I think we’ll see that probably change over time. I could see in the next five or ten years as the crypto economy really becomes a bigger percentage of the global GDP that people will actually flee to Bitcoin as the sort of ‘new gold’ if you will, but that hasn’t happened yet,” the billionaire said.
Armstrong noted that he had overestimated the chances of Bitcoin acting as a hedge against inflation in the current macro environment. “I thought it might actually draw more attention to Bitcoin in this kind of environment, but it looks like we’re a little too early,” he said.
Bitcoin Fails to Act as a Hedge Against Inflation
Bitcoin managed to gain more and more value in 2021 as inflation was starting to pick up momentum. Even some prominent banks and high-profile investors put forward the theory of Bitcoin acting as a hedge against inflation.
For instance, Paul Tudor Jones, an American billionaire hedge fund manager, told CNBC in mid-October 2021 that he regards Bitcoin as a better hedge against inflation than gold. “It would be my preferred one over gold at the moment. Clearly, there’s a place for crypto. Clearly, it’s winning the race against gold at the moment,” he said.
Similarly, strategists at JPMorgan said in late October last year that inflation concern was driving Bitcoin’s rally. “We believe the perception of Bitcoin as a better inflation hedge than gold is the main reason for the current upswing, triggering a shift away from gold ETFs into Bitcoin funds since September,” they said in a note.
However, the leading cryptocurrency failed to maintain its upward trend in 2022 despite record inflation figures. Instead, the coin extended losses as more and more central banks started raising rates in a bid to tame inflation.