Bitcoin rush means virtual currency is now worth more than gold

For the first time in the history of the virtual currency, a single Bitcoin has become worth more than an ounce of gold.

As TechCrunch reports, the momentous, er, moment, happened following a good day for Bitcoin, and a slight slump in the price of gold in dollars. The price of one Bitcoin crept up to $1,238.11, compared to gold which was at $1,237.73, according to Bloomberg’s figures (via Engadget).

Interestingly, stats from Coindesk show that this came close to happening at the start of 2017, but Bitcoin sank back down temporarily, before storming upwards again and finally beating out gold as of now.

Bitcoin also hit a high close to this level way back towards the end of 2013, before a major fall from which it gradually recovered, gaining a lot of strength over the course of last year.

Hedge hoggers

Of course, both gold and Bitcoin are seen as hedges against traditional currency (and indeed a doomsday-style meltdown by some). However, the cryptocurrency is considerably more volatile, while gold has been pretty much steady, generally speaking, over the last half-decade.

Bitcoins can be ‘mined’ by those with powerful enough computers, although last summer, it became more difficult to make money doing this mainly due to the so-called ‘halvening’. This is a built-in anti-inflation measure whereby the number of Bitcoins which can be found in any given time is halved (obviously making it harder to uncover them).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).