The method of comparing these stores of value is based on market cap calculated by the current spot price multiplied by total supply. The data comes from a Google sheet with scripts designed to automatically pull current data from finance websites on price and commodity supply. The spreadsheet does the math and ensures the result is sorted by market cap.
Right now and for the foreseeable future, Gold is the largest store of value by far, worth a total of $11.4T. Silver remains number two at $1.4T.
But clearly Bitcoin and Ethereum are on the way!
About prices: In the case of metals, the spot price is the current price at which a raw ounce can be bought and sold for immediate delivery. The spot price fluctuates based on many factors including investor sentiment. For Bitcoin and Ether, the price is what the token can be bought for in exchanges like Coinbase.
About supplies: The total number of ounces of precious metals changes based on mining and industrial loss, but generally this is very slow to change. For crypto currencies, the math of Bitcoin establishes that there will never be more than 21 million Bitcoin. But they are put into circulation slowly through mining. We use the current number in circulation, including those that may not be accessible due to lost wallets. For Ether, a different method for establishing the number was built into the protocol and that is changing as this is being written. Within a matter of weeks, a small amount of Ether will be burned during each transaction. This will likely be positive for price, which again makes the point that market cap is a key number to track.
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