It’s been a challenging year for Wall Street. We’ve witnessed the quickest bear market decline of at least 30% in history, as well as the most ferocious comeback of all time, with the benchmark S&P 500 taking less than five months to reach new highs.
But one investment that hasn’t been phased by the coronavirus pandemic or heightened volatility is the cryptocurrency bitcoin. On a year-to-date basis, through Wednesday evening, Oct. 14, bitcoin was up just shy of 60%.
Why is bitcoin outperforming in 2020?
Why does bitcoin continue to outperform equities? For one, there’s the idea of scarcity. Only 21 million bitcoin tokens can be mined, which creates a level of scarcity that pushes up the value of these digital tokens.
Another reason bitcoin has done so well is the expectation of a digital revolution. This is to say that bitcoin buyers believe the utility of paper money has come and gone. This could prove somewhat accurate with the pandemic highlighting the potential for physical cash to be a carrier of harmful