Written by Christopher Liew, CFA at The Motley Fool Canada
Bitcoin (CRYPTO:BTC) hasn’t closed above US$50,000 in 2022. When the world’s most popular cryptocurrency soared to as high as US$67,566 on November 8, 2021, crypto bulls were quick to claim that BTC is the new gold. However, the euphoria was short-lived, because the price went on a tailspin.
A flash crash in December 2021 sent the crypto tumbling. As of January 19, 2022, BTC investors are losing by 9.85% year to date. Ethereum outperformed BTC last year, although it’s doing worse thus far this year (-15.93%). However, besides the top two cryptocurrencies, Solana (CRYPTO:SOL) could be the better digital asset for growth investors to buy right now.
Bitcoin and gold
Goldman Sachs is one of the institutions that is bullish on Bitcoin. Based on the American investment bank’s latest research report, the top crypto has the potential to cross the US$100,000 mark in the coming years. The report added that BTC could probably be the new gold.
After a two-year hiatus from cryptocurrencies, Goldman reopened its crypto desk last year and has been monitoring blockchain since. The bank also believes people can use crypto as a hedge against inflation. Meanwhile, gold prices hit US$1,843.20 per ounce on January 19, 2022, the highest level in two months.
According to market observers, investment interest in the world’s most precious metal is returning due to inflation worries. Barrick Gold’s CEO Mark Bristow said cryptos can’t beat gold as an inflation hedge. Michael Armbruster, managing partner at Altavest, said, “We could not be more bullish on gold over the next six months or so, as the U.S. economy begins to decelerate.”
Armbruster is bullish, because Treasury yields are trending higher. He added that it will turbo-charge gold prices to US$2,000 or more if the yields peak soon. Goldman’s bold prediction seems to have no basis, given the current turbulent times in the cryptocurrency market.
Reports say that after record highs in 2021, the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are more unpredictable than ever. However, despite the lack of regulation and volatility, new cryptocurrencies and uses are developing all the time.
New crypto solutions
If you’re unfamiliar with Solana, it’s now the fourth-biggest cryptocurrency after BTC, ETH, and Binance Coin. It’s a cryptocurrency and a flexible platform for running crypto apps. SOL first traded on April 10, 2020, at US$0.95.
As of January 19, 2022, the price is US$135.79, or 14,193.68% higher from 21 months ago. SOL has gone up to high as US$259 last year, but it has sputtered like BTC. Still, crypto enthusiasts believe Solana’s technology is cheaper than Ethereum and radically faster.
According to an analyst report from JPMorgan, Ethereum is slowly losing its grip in non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Since August 2021, most of the NFT volume share uses the Solana blockchain. Crowd Wisdom predicts that Solana could climb 115% by year-end 2022, while Wallet Investors see a return potential of 208.89% in 12 months. Coin Price Forecast is likewise bullish, predicting the coin to close 2023 at US$500.
Tough market conditions ahead
Crypto investors can expect tougher market conditions this year. Bitcoin faces rough sailing, although Solana could deliver higher returns, because the coin is starting to dominate the fast-growing NFT space. Still, make sure you’re investing money you can afford to lose.
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Fool contributor Christopher Liew has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Bitcoin and Ethereum.