Bitcoin vs Gold Parity
What is Gold Parity Day in Bitcoin?
“Gold Parity Day” in Bitcoin is a celebration of the day when the cost of a single bitcoin equaled the cost of an ounce of gold for the first time.
What Date Did Bitcoin Actually Reach Parity with Gold?
Some sources point to March 3, 2017 as the date this first occurred.
Nasdaq, Visual Capitalist, and even Bitcoin Magazine get this wrong.
Many charting websites, such as Yahoo and longtermtrends, put this date slightly earlier at March 2, 2017:
However, according to our research, the actual Gold parity date was likely December 5th, 2013.
The reason this is hidden on most bitcoin price history charts is because they use newer exchanges for their price history data.
For example, many use Coinbase.
While Coinbase was founded in 2012, it was not a very big exchange in 2013, especially when compared to MTGOX.
MTGOX was responsible for ~70% of all bitcoin trading volume on earth in 2013, so their price data is, by far, the most accurate.
For this reason, we chose to use TradingView.com, because they have all historical MTGOX bitcoin price history.
Below, you can see the candles for bitcoin’s daily price. The orange line is the price of an ounce of Gold.
As you can see, Bitcoin pierces the orange line on December 5th, 2013:
So the true date of bitcoin reaching parity with Gold is December 5th, 2013. Not March 3, 2014.
Price vs Market Cap
There is another kind of “Gold parity” bitcoin has not ever reached, and this is in terms of market capitalization (or ‘market cap’).
Market cap is what you get when you multiply the price of an asset by the number of units in existence for that asset.
For example, as of this writing on February 23rd, 2023:
- A bitcoin is worth $23,961 USD
- An ounce of Gold is worth $1,929 USD
So a bitcoin is worth ~11.79 ounces of gold.
But…the market cap of gold (~$12.7 trillion) is much higher than bitcoin’s (~$462 billion).
That’s because there are many more ounces of mined gold than there are mined bitcoins.
In fact, there are about 6,567,616,000 ounces of mined gold, while there are only about 19,262,425 mined bitcoins in circulation.
So…while a bitcoin is now worth many times that of an ounce of gold, the total value of all gold is still much higher than the total value of bitcoin.
Why is Gold Parity Day Important?
Gold has long been viewed as a store of value for its properties or rarity and unforgeability.
Many thought a digital asset, such as bitcoin, could therefore never beat gold, since it was believed to be impossible to create a digital asset that was provably rare.
However, bitcoin not only proved it could be gold’s equal, but also that it could outperform it.
For that reason, Gold Parity Day is important.