After first surpassing searches to ‘buy silver’ earlier this year, bitcoin’s triumphant rise throughout 2017 was reflected in the growing number of Google searches it sparked around the world.
Bitcoin has grabbed headlines this year after its value sky-rocketed, making some of its early investors overnight millionaires.
Adrian Ash, director of research at BullionVault, said ever-rising equity markets meant some private investors believed their stock investments were “invincible”.
“With the US stock market setting fresh all-time highs day after day, it’s no surprise gold prices have retreated,” he said.
“Investment insurance is being discounted because equities seem invincible. Brexit isn’t worrying the FTSE, and Catalonia’s independence crisis has so far failed to dent Europe’s bull market.”
Bitcoin has “distracted” investors, Ash added, further pushing down private interest in gold. “Altogether that’s made interest from new gold investors the weakest since the metal’s half-decade price lows of end-2015, just the UK referendum and Trump’s election shock helped gold enjoy its strongest annual rise in six years,” he said.
However, larger investors and wealth managers continue to demand holdings in gold, with BullionVault reporting an increase in institutional gold investing.
“While Bitcoin steals financial headlines and clickbait, rising gold demand among larger investors matches the trend reported among some wealth managers and, in Germany, a solid upturn for institutional gold investing,” Ash said.