At the time of writing, (4 Jan 2018) the total value of the cryptocurrency market was roughly $759 billion, according to coinmarketcap.com.
While this is still far less than the total value of all mined gold on earth, estimated to be worth around $7.5 trillion, it is far more than the reserves of any single country’s Central Bank.
A the chart above shows, the US Federal Reserve still maintains the world’s largest reserves with 8,133.5 metric tonnes worth an estimated $344 billion.
However, Bitcoin’s market cap of $251 billion and Ripple’s of $146 billion are each worth more than second place Germany’s gold holdings.
Ethereum, worth $95 billion, is now worth more than China or Russia’s Central Bank gold holdings.
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 own gold reserves.
Interestingly, the UK’s gold holdings are now only estimated to be the 17th largest, at 310.3 metric tonnes (worth $13 billion), despite the country being one of the biggest proponents of the gold standard during much of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Moreover, the Bank of England’s vaults are estimated to hold 400,000 bars of gold, worth over £100 billion, it’s just that most of it is held for overseas central banks.
Below you can see a table showing the estimated value of each country’s Central Bank gold reserve’s along with similarly valuable cryptocurrencies.
However, please be advised these things change very quickly as you can see from our post last month comparing Bitcoin (And 5 Other Cryptocurrencies) vs Value Of Banknotes & Coins In Circulation.
|18||European Central Bank||$21,325,607,149|
Notes about data: The data for cryptocurrency market caps comes from Coinmarketcap.com and is almost certainly out of date. The value for gold reserves comes from the World Gold Council‘s latest rankings (as at December 2017) combined with prices from Onlygold.com (spot price of $1,313.84 per troy ounce or $42,245,656 per tonne).
Disclaimer: This post is in no way advocating people invest in Bitcoin and/or any other cryptocurrency. It is meant as an illustrative comparison only.