At the time of writing, (January 4, 2018) the total cryptocurrency market value is around $759 billion, according to coinmarketcap.com.
While this is still far less than the total value of all gold mined on earth, estimated at about $7.5 trillion, it is far more than the reserves of any central bank in any country.
The graph above shows, that the Federal Reserve still holds the largest reserves in the world with 8,133.5 metric tons valued at about $344 billion.
However, Bitcoin’s market cap of $251 billion and Ripple’s $146 billion are each worth more than Germany’s gold holdings in second place.
Ethereum is worth $95 billion, which is now more wealth than China’s gold or Russia’s central bank.
Value of UK Gold Holdings Vs Cryptocurrencies
At the time of writing, 7 cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, NEM, and Stellar) are worth more than the Bank of England’s gold reserves.
Interestingly, UK gold holdings are now only estimated to be 17th largest, at 310.3 metric tons (worth $13 billion), even though the country was one of the biggest proponents of the gold standard through most of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Furthermore, it is estimated that the Bank of England’s vaults hold 400,000 bars of gold, worth over £100 billion, most of which is destined for overseas central banks.
Below you can see a table showing the estimated value of each country’s central bank gold reserves along with cryptocurrencies of similar value.
However, please be aware that these things are changing very quickly as you can see from our post last month comparing Bitcoin (and 5 other cryptocurrencies) against the value of notes and coins in circulation.
|18||European Central Bank||$21,325,607,149|
Data Notes: The cryptocurrency market caps data comes from Coinmarketcap.com and is almost certainly out of date. The value of gold reserves comes from the most recent World Gold Council rankings (as of December 2017) along with prices from Onlygold.com (spot $1,313.84 per ounce or $42,245,656 per ton).
Disclaimer: This post is in no way advocating for people to invest in Bitcoin and/or any other cryptocurrency. It is intended as an illustrative comparison only.