ETH, the cryptocurrency that has soared from around $100 to more than $1,200 over the past two weeks, is poised to overtake gold as a precious metal by 2018, according to an analysis of data from Bloomberg.
The price of a single 1,000-ounce gold bar is currently worth about $15,500.
The median price of gold in US dollars is about $4,000.
The gap between the two is the largest ever recorded, according the Bloomberg Commodity Index, which tracks gold and other precious metals.
A bar of gold at a warehouse in Hong Kong in March 2017.
The cryptocurrency’s market cap is roughly $17.7 trillion.
In a note published Thursday, Bloomberg Intelligence, a market research firm, said the gap between gold and cryptocurrencies is expected to widen over the next two years.
The next big move in gold’s value could come from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s planned rate hike, Bloomberg said.
The central bank on Thursday will begin the process of setting the Fed’s target range for the federal funds rate, the interest rate at which banks can borrow money and lend it out at an agreed-upon rate.
Gold futures on Thursday traded at $1.25195 per ounce, down $3.60, or 2.4 percent.
“There’s a lot of room for gold to rise from where it is today, as it’s going up against currencies that have been performing well,” said Stephen O’Brien, chief investment officer of the London-based London-listed London Gold Fund.
Gold’s rising value will boost demand for its use in jewelry and other luxury goods, but also create uncertainty around whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year, O’Briensaid.
Investors will also need to weigh the cost of rising gold against the risk that the central bank will raise rates more than once in 2018.