The Briefing

Gold: is it more than just bling?

Money, security, and all-out splurge.

January 13, 2022
Reading time 2 min.

🌈 A quick taster for you:  

  • Today's monetary system is no longer linked to gold. 
  • Gold is still considered crisis- and inflation-proof.
  • All the gold in the world could fit under the Eiffel Tower.

🧐 Why do I care?

Whether it's the Olympics, Scrooge McDuck, the Nasa space telescope, or Fort Knox, there are lots of myths and stories surrounding the topic of gold. But why is there such a fascination? Why do we find gold so valuable? And what role can it play in our lives today? We’re here to give you an insight into what this precious metal is all about.

🔍 What exactly is happening here?

  • From cattle exchange to gold coins.
    Way back when, neighbors used to barter and exchange using things like livestock and crops, but those things didn’t really work on a bigger scale. Little gold coins were much more convenient! The Bank of England thought so too, and in 1844 they wanted to make things even more convenient by linking paper money to their gold reserves. Thus the gold standard came into being, and from 1900 it was recognized by almost every central bank in industrialized nations around the world. This gold standard meant that citizens could exchange a banknote for gold at their central bank at a fixed exchange rate. Today, however, our currency system is no longer linked to gold. There are flexible exchange rates between all currencies, which makes it easy for us to pay with our credit card in far-flung lands.
  • Gold vs. Bitcoin
    It can seem like two different worlds. On the one hand there’s weighty and tangible gold. Then, on the other hand, there’s the new digital cryptocurrencies. But there are actually more parallels than you might first think. Both units are finite. There’s only a finite amount of gold on the planet, and there’s a cap of 21 million units of Bitcoin. Gold has always been considered inflation and crisis proof — should money lose value, gold will continue to hold its value. Which is why lots of investors invest in gold when the money market seems uncertain. And investors are now also turning to Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation, as it also exists independently of the money market. In principle however, cryptocurrencies are very risky investments and, at the moment, prices are currently falling.
  • Three golden facts
    22m³! All the gold in the world would fit into this sized cube.
    23! That's how many gold medals Michael Phelps won at the Summer Olympics.
    499.478.897! The number of streams of Harry Styles' song Golden.

🤓 What does this mean for me?

When we think of gold, we can think about more than just necklaces and fancy watches. Gold is part of our economy and has fascinated people around the globe for centuries. Yes, it’s often used to demonstrate wealth and prosperity —  but it can also be used as the mother of all investments!

Have a great rest of your week, see you next Thursday!

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