Bitcoin has become "a store of value for those concerned about other asset classes," said Gil Luria, head of technology research at Wedbush Securities. "Gold used to be the only refuge for those who have grave concerns over the global economy and monetary system."


Some are more bullish on the technology that underpins bitcoin than the digital asset itself. Peter Grosskopf, chief executive of Sprott Inc., said the blockchain system--a data structure that makes it possible to create and share a digital ledger of transactions--behind cryptocurrencies has the potential to improve gold transactions. But he doesn't see any tangible value in bitcoin.

"We will invest in the digitization of gold, but we're going to stick with gold," Mr. Grosskopf said.


Murray Stahl, chief investment officer of Horizon Kinetics, which manages $6 billion in assets, said as bitcoin becomes more established, he plans to buy more cryptocurrencies in place of gold.

Horizon Kinetics holds shares of Bitcoin Investment Trust, the first publicly traded bitcoin investment vehicle. Mr. Stahl said his exposure to bitcoin comprises between 0.5% and 1% in several portfolios, compared with 3% to 4% holdings in gold-related securities.

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