Learn crypto

Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation

With inflation rates soaring to unprecedented levels, many have turned to Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation. This digital currency, touted for its finite supply of 21 million bitcoins1, stands in stark contrast to the U.S. dollar, which has been subject to an inflation target of 2% for over a decade1. Amidst economic uncertainty, bitcoin might seem like a beacon of inflation protection

However, the market tells a tale of volatility, with bitcoin's value plummeting over 60% as U.S. inflation spiked in 202221. While gold and real estate traditionally served as the bulwarks against inflating currencies, the recent downturn in cryptocurrencies alongside traditional assets challenges the very notion of bitcoin as a reliable store of value in turbulent times1.

Key takeaways

  • Bitcoin's fixed supply aims to resist inflationary pressures that impact fiat currencies1.
  • Economic uncertainty has challenged traditional stores of value, creating room for digital currency consideration1.
  • Despite potential benefits, bitcoin's value can be volatile, casting doubt on its role in inflation protection2.
  • The present market conditions have fueled debates on the efficacy of cryptocurrencies as hedges against inflation1.
  • Investors may need to reconsider the weight of digital currencies in a diversified portfolio during high inflation1.

Understanding inflation and its impact on traditional investments

When reflecting on economic uncertainty, the reality of inflation is an ever-present concern. As prices rise, the silent erosion of your money's value challenges the resilience of savings accounts and bonds, which are quintessential traditional investments. This upward creep in the cost of living and how it threatens purchasing power has historically seen savvy investors pivot towards assets with a reputation as a store of value—a bulwark against diminishing currency worth.

The mechanics of inflation

Inflation is the term used to describe the overall increase in prices for goods and services, signifying a decline in the purchasing power of your currency. While a moderate level is normal within a growing economy, unchecked inflation can quickly deplete the nominal value of cash-based assets. 

Traditional investments, especially fixed-income securities, are most vulnerable if not inflation adjusted, as their returns may not keep pace with the accelerating cost of living during the high growth periods of inflation. This economic uncertainty necessitates a deeper understanding of inflation's mechanics to safeguard your financial future.

History of inflation and investment performance

Exploring financial history, gold emerges as the archetypal hedge, having maintained its luster throughout the centuries. Recently, as gold stood the test of time, a new contender entered the arena: Bitcoin. This digital currency—born just over a decade ago—challenges conventional wisdom by offering an alternative store of value during times of high inflation3. Bitcoin, though suffered for example a 50% loss in value only in the first half of 2022 decreasing to a price of $21,8333, has intrigued investors searching for a modern safeguard against depreciating fiat currencies.

Inflation risks to your portfolio

Your portfolio's susceptibility to inflation is not a new concern, but the landscape of potential hedges continues to evolve. Cryptocurrencies, despite their short history and speculative nature, have garnered attention as potential stores of value amongst economic uncertainty. 

With 20% of U.S. households holding cryptocurrencies4, and a strong correlation existing between household inflation expectations and crypto investments4, bitcoin's role in preserving wealth against inflation merits consideration. Ultimately, whether these digital assets can reliably counter the inflationary pressures on traditional investments remains to be seen, with more historical data needed to derive conclusive insights34.

The fixed supply of bitcoin: A Built-in defense against inflation

Ever since Bitcoin was introduced in 2009, creating the first decentralized cryptocurrency, its unalterable cap of 21 million coins has remained a cornerstone of what makes it distinctive. This inherent characteristic not only separates Bitcoin from the elastic supply of fiat currencies but also reinforces its place within the ecosystem of decentralized finance. Its fixed supply mirrors assets like gold, offering you, the investor, a layer of inflation protection unavailable with currencies susceptible to policy-driven expansion.

Bitcoin's hard cap and Its economic implications

Your understanding of the complex domain of finance is deepened when you consider Bitcoin's planned scarcity. Unlike fiat currencies that can be printed ad infinitum, leading to potential inflation, Bitcoin's fixed supply is a promise against this dilution of value. 

The economic gravity of a finite supply asset like Bitcoin cannot be overstated. It is an asset immune to the whims of monetary policies, thereby providing a predictable and controlled fiscal environment. An ecosystem buoyed by such predictability lends itself well to strategies seeking protection from inflation's unpredictable tendencies. Recall the feverish heights and the deep valleys of cryptocurrency values over the last two years, with some investments torpedoing by over 75% from their peak. Amidst this volatility, Bitcoin's hard cap is an economic assurance that resonates with decentralized finance principles.

How Bitcoin's scarcity compares to fiat currency

The contrast between Bitcoin's supply limit and the potentially unlimited supply of fiat currency draws a bold line in the sand. Your investments in Bitcoin are backed by a digital scarcity blueprint, standing in stark opposition to traditional money's vulnerability to inflation—a feature that has seen about 20% of U.S. households add some form of cryptocurrency to their portfolios. 

Drawing parallels to the hierarchy of commodities known for their inflation protection, bitcoin is akin to a digital form of gold, offering you salvation in a digitized world vulnerable to economic ebb and flow. Interestingly, greater crypto investments have been linked to higher household-level inflation expectations, suggesting that more people are turning to the inflation-protective qualities of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a financial safeguard.


Trade Bitcoin at Kvarn X

   Open a free account here!

Bitcoin's decentralization: Immunity from centralized economic policies

Bitcoin’s groundbreaking protocol ensures that only 21 million bitcoins can be mined, with the supply anticipated to max out around the year 21407. This scarcity mirrors the characteristics of precious metals like gold, whose value isn't dictated by any government but rather by universal economic principles7. However, unlike gold, Bitcoin's innovative technological framework empowers it to operate beyond the confines of traditional financial systems, providing you a level of autonomy rare in today's financial instruments7.

India's recent fiscal maneuvering serves as a compelling case study, wherein the government's imposition of a 30% tax on digital assets marks their first foray into official cryptocurrency regulation8. Such moves highlight the worldwide legal challenges that Bitcoin faces, as it navigates various taxation and regulatory scenarios7. Yet, in the essence of Bitcoin lies its true appeal: the aptitude to bypass the very essence of centralized fiscal policy that subjects other assets to potential devaluation—in essence, presenting Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation87.

Driven by market demand, bitcoin's price volatility is as much a signature trait as its independence, something that neither traditional banking systems nor centralized economic policies can claim7. In light of these attributes, bitcoin interweaves a complex fabric of speculation, from its potential to challenge established monetary mechanisms, to standing as a bulwark for your assets in tumultuous economic times7. Despite its inherent risks, this unprecedented attribute of bitcoin positions it as a singular contender in the world of investment, particularly as a shield against inflationary pressures97.

Comparing Bitcoin and gold as inflation hedges

When you consider safeguarding your investments against the capricious nature of inflation, the traditional reflex has been to turn towards gold—a store of value that has withstood the vicissitudes of economic shifts for millennia. However, the emergence of Bitcoin as 'digital gold' presents a modern quandary: Can this cryptocurrency assume a parallel role as an effective inflation hedge, despite its comparably nascent existence?

Gold's historical role in hedging against inflation

Gold's reputation as a protective shield against inflation is anchored in its tangible appeal and limited supply, along with a history of appreciation during high inflation stretches, evidencing an average capital appreciation of approximately 16%, translating into a real return of about 11% during such periods10. In stark contrast, we've witnessed modern financial products shrivel in the face of inflationary pressures, such as the 1970s in the United States where the surge in inflation and unemployment evidenced the delicate dance between economic indicators11. Despite the allure of gold, the SPDR Gold Trust reveals only a 281% increase since 2004, pointing out that even traditional hedges are not impervious to market turbulence10.

Bitcoin's emergence as 'digital gold'

Meanwhile, bitcoin's entry into the arena of investment portfolios introduces an asset with a rigidly capped supply of 21 million coins—a feature suggesting scarcity and potential price increase as supply wanes1112

The cryptocurrency market trends indicate that bitcoin's price volatility can be stark, as evidenced by its dramatic price swings, for instance, from nearly $20,000 to just above $3,000 within months12. Still, in stark contrast to the performance of gold ETFs in 2021, such as the GraniteShares Gold Trust, bitcoin surged nearly 133% in 2021,  outperforming its glittering physical counterpart at the time1012

The cryptocurrency's decade-plus existence, coupled with a narrative of being 'digital gold,' asks investors to weigh the historical against the hypermodern when diversifying their portfolios as a bulwark against inflation12. In doing so, while considering bitcoin's potential as a hedge against economic uncertainty, it's crucial to examine the asset’s performance meticulously and understand its inherent volatility, juxtaposed with regulatory uncertainties that could alter its trajectory overnight12.

The volatility of Bitcoin: Evaluating risk vs. reward

The pursuit of leveraging bitcoin as a store of value is marked by a trajectory of impressive peaks and swift troughs, with the cryptocurrency's value soaring to over $70,000 in early 2024 before facing turbulent corrections13. Despite this unpredictability, the global cryptocurrency market is on an upward trajectory, predicted to increase from an estimated $1.49 trillion in 2020 to nearly $5 trillion by 203013.

Your considerations as an investor must include an assessment of risk appetite. While Bitcoin's scarcity, capped at 21 million coins14, mirrors the finite nature of gold, its short existence compared to gold's millennium-spanning tenure as a reliable store of value raises questions. 

Unlike gold, which boasts an established historical performance as an inflation hedge, bitcoin's decade-plus of existence offers no such long-term assurances14. This speculative asset's prices, influenced by market sentiment and varying across trading platforms15, demands a meticulously calibrated approach to investment.

Embracing the digital currency revolution involves a careful analysis. The Securities and Exchange Commission's endorsement of several spot Bitcoin ETFs in early 2024 has attracted significant investment, underscoring growing investor confidence within the crypto space14. Moreover, decentralization and the advent of blockchain technology, presenting a database structure unparalleled by traditional databases15, signify a transformation in how value is stored and perceived in the modern era.

Your strategy must ensure that the enticing potential for bitcoin's high returns blends prudently with your portfolio's risk profile. With approximately 18.7 million bitcoins already mined and the expectation that the last bitcoin will be mined around the year 214015, the ability of bitcoin to serve as a hedge against economic disruption remains a topic of vibrant debate—pitting speculative potential against time-tested stability. Therefore, the dual nature of bitcoin, as both volatile and lucrative, requires a sophisticated approach, aligning cryptocurrency investment with your vision for long-term value preservation and growth.

Market demand, supply, and bitcoin price stability

The cryptocurrency market trends are powered by a delicate balance of supply and demand, which can signal opportunities for inflation protection. Despite bitcoin boasting substantial gains since MicroStrategy's foray into bitcoin acquisition in August 2020, it outperformed traditional stores of value like silver and gold, demonstrating significant potential as a hedge against inflation16. However, this journey has not been free from turbulence.

The unprecedented heights of over $70,000 per bitcoin in March 2024 only tell part of the story. Your observation of bitcoin as a hedge against inflation is influenced by global circumstances, like the pandemic, which steered institutional investors toward this cryptocurrency16. The fixed supply of 21 million coins creates a natural scarcity that fiat currencies, prone to quantitative easing, cannot match, providing a sense of security against currency devaluation16.

Yet, the cryptocurrency market is not immune to the broader economic pulse. Bitcoin has experienced both moments of outperforming the stock market and gold for three years straight and steep declines, such as the fall from nearly $70,000 to below $30,000 within a year in 2021 and 202216. External shocks, such as the Terra-LUNA crisis, demonstrate how interconnected the cryptocurrency ecosystem is, underscoring the need for thorough analysis beyond Bitcoin itself16. Recognizing the factors that contribute to bitcoin's volatility is pivotal for investors considering it for inflation protection as these trends break down the complexity of its role within the broader narrative of hedging instruments16.

Regulatory environment: Its impact on Bitcoin's role as an inflation hedge

Understanding the complexities of regulatory uncertainties that envelop this digital asset is crucial. In a world where Bitcoin's market capitalization has soared past the $1 trillion mark17, the rising interest from both retail and institutional investors is palpable. Yet, along with the potential for substantial returns, comes the not insignificant risk of bitcoin price volatility, much of which is exacerbated by the ever-changing regulatory landscape.

Global regulatory actions and their influence on Bitcoin

Despite Bitcoin's decentralized nature, which provides a key degree of resistance to individual government actions, global regulatory approaches still wields significant influence. Consider that as of January 2024, 130 countries are contemplating the initiation of their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to rival the digital currency sphere17, a movement which signifies extensive state interest in the burgeoning crypto market.

As demonstrated by the legislative evolution in nations such as China and India, where outright bans and strict regulations have had tangible impacts on bitcoin's liquidity and investor sentiment, regulatory pronouncements are a force to reckon with for any investor leveraging bitcoin as a hedge against inflation.

Looking forward poses a labyrinth of regulatory uncertainties that you, as an investor, should navigate with prudence and informed foresight. While the idea of decentralized finance holds promise as a bulwark against centralized economic policies and the whims of inflation, with 17% of U.S. adults already participating in the cryptocurrency space as of mid-202317, the trajectory of regulations could drastically shape the terrain. Scrutiny may tighten, and with bitcoin exhibiting no meaningful correlation with any major fiat currency18, its role as a hedge against the depreciative forces of inflation remains mercurial.

Moreover, despite less than 15% of individuals in El Salvador engaging with bitcoin as legal tender by 202317, investor optimism persists, with the anticipation that regulatory frameworks will eventually mature and stabilize, fostering greater confidence in bitcoin's long-term prescience as a component of a diversified portfolio calibrated for inflation mitigation. For now, the journey through bitcoin’s ascent amidst regulatory tempests affirms the old adage: knowledge is the most valuable currency.

Adopting a diversified portfolio to mitigate the risks of bitcoin investment

Given Bitcoin's fixed supply of 21 million coins, many see it as a solid candidate for a diversified portfolio, aimed at cushioning against traditional currency inflation12. However, it's crucial to recognize the asset's volatility; an example being the dramatic price drop from nearly $20,000 to just above $3,000 witnessed between late 2017 and early 201812. This, coupled with the fact that Bitcoin has existed for just over a decade and has faced mixed economic conditions, highlights the need for a cautious approach when incorporating it as a hedge against inflation12.

Given the unpredictable nature of bitcoin and its correlation with established markets—which saw an increase with the S&P 500 and the MSCI emerging markets index during 2020–202119—it becomes evident that balancing cryptocurrency investments with other asset types is wise. With spillover effects from crypto-assets like Tether influencing US equity market variations during market tumults19, the rationale for diversification only strengthens.

Strategies for diversification in crypto investments

Your approach to mitigating risks should involve spreading investments across a spectrum of cryptocurrencies and related blockchain assets. This not only capitalizes on the potential growth of the sector but also guards against idiosyncratic risks associated with any single cryptocurrency. 

For instance, while Bitcoin's appeal may lie in its potential as a hedge against inflation thanks to its fixed supply and decentralized system12, its performance remains relatively untested in various economic scenarios, thereby necessitating the bolstering of your cryptocurrency investment strategy with additional digital assets to create a more robust, diversified portfolio.

As you consider adding bitcoin to your multi-asset portfolio, weigh the speculative nature of cryptocurrencies against the stability of traditional investments. Remember that governments, such as those of China and India, have shown that they can impose regulations on cryptocurrencies, affecting their value and liquidity12

In light of such regulatory uncertainties and the intrinsic volatility of bitcoin12, maintaining a balance with other asset forms is judicious. This balance helps leverage the upside of bitcoin as an inflation hedge, while buffering any downside risks, adhering to your personal risk tolerance and long-term financial objectives.


In the face of economic uncertainty, Bitcoin's distinctive attributes, such as its fixed supply and decentralized nature, suggest a potential for inflation protection. Yet, as the digital currency weathers the storm of market fluctuations its capacity to serve as a reliable hedge remains a subject of debate. Despite assertions that its scarcity could shield its worth amidst rising inflation3, the reality of its investment efficacy is not without skepticism, particularly due to the unpredictable swings influenced by consumer sentiment and limited historical data to reinforce its standing3.

The entry of renowned investors and financial institutions into the Bitcoin arena, such as Paul Tudor Jones’ bullish stance on the cryptocurrency as an inflation hedge3 and substantial investments from entities like Ruffer Investment Company and One River Asset Management20, demonstrates growing confidence in its value proposition. With projections by multiple well known investors that bitcoin could ascend to a valuation to a range of $250,000 - $500,000 within next few years, drawing parallels with gold’s scarcity and worth20, it beckons attention from those looking to diversify their portfolio.

Nevertheless, as you navigate this terrain, it is prudent to recognize that cryptocurrency investments are notably speculative; hence, a cautious approach is advised, investing only what one can afford to lose3. The future of bitcoin, and its role as an instrument of inflation protection, hangs in the balance, hinged on further data and prolonged analysis of its behavior over extended periods3. Whether bitcoin will solidify its position as a hedge against inflation or remain a speculative footnote in financial history is a narrative still in the making.


Can bitcoin truly act as a hedge against inflation?

Bitcoin is often considered a hedge against inflation due to its fixed supply of 21 million coins, which contrasts with the ability of central banks to print more fiat currency and potentially cause inflation. However, bitcoin's effectiveness as an inflation hedge is debated, especially given its historical volatility. While some investors include bitcoin in their portfolios for potential inflation protection, it is essential to conduct thorough research and consider individual risk tolerance.

How does inflation affect traditional investments?

Inflation erodes the purchasing power of money, which can negatively impact traditional investments like cash in savings accounts and fixed-income securities such as bonds. As prices rise, the real value of these investments can decline if their returns do not keep pace with the rate of inflation.

What makes bitcoin different from fiat currencies in the context of inflation?

Unlike fiat currencies, which can be printed in unlimited quantities by governments, leading to potential inflation, Bitcoin has a hard cap on its total supply, limiting it to 21 million coins. This built-in scarcity is intended to prevent the devaluation that can occur with fiat currencies when more of the currency enters circulation.

How does bitcoin's decentralization contribute to its potential as an inflation hedge?

Bitcoin's decentralized nature means it operates outside the direct control of central banks and government monetary policies. This independence from centralized economic decisions, such as those that can lead to inflation, is viewed by some investors as an advantage for bitcoin when considering it as an inflation hedge.

What are the risks of investing in bitcoin as an inflation hedge?

Bitcoin is known for its price volatility, which can result in significant fluctuations in value. This unpredictability can pose a substantial risk for investors, especially in the short term. Additionally, regulatory uncertainties may impact bitcoin's market and its role as an inflation hedge. Investors must weigh these risks against the potential benefits of including bitcoin in their portfolios.

How do bitcoin's properties compare to those of gold for inflation protection?

Both Bitcoin and gold are praised for their scarcity, which is a key property for assets considered good stores of value. Gold has a long history of serving as a hedge against inflation, while bitcoin, as a newer asset, has not yet been tested extensively during multiple high inflationary periods. Due to bitcoin's volatility and gold's established stability, investors may view them differently in terms of risk and their roles as inflation hedges.

Are there any strategies to reduce the risks associated with bitcoin's volatility?

Diversification is a common strategy used to mitigate the risks of investing in volatile assets like bitcoin. By spreading investments across different asset classes—including cryptocurrencies, stocks, bonds, and precious metals—investors can reduce their overall portfolio risk. Some may also choose to diversify within the cryptocurrency space itself, investing in multiple digital currencies or related blockchain technologies.

How can the regulatory landscape affect bitcoin's role as an inflation hedge?

Regulatory measures can have significant implications for the cryptocurrency market. Actions taken by governments, such as bans, restrictions, or new regulations, can impact bitcoin's liquidity, price, and investor sentiment. It is important for investors to stay informed on regulatory developments as these can influence the viability of bitcoin as an inflation hedge.

Can incorporating bitcoin into a portfolio improve its overall performance?

Including bitcoin in a diversified portfolio can provide exposure to the potential upside of cryptocurrency investments, which may enhance overall portfolio performance. However, the extent of this improvement is contingent upon a variety of factors, including market conditions, portfolio allocation, and the investor's ability to withstand bitcoin's volatility. A strategically balanced portfolio that aligns with an investor's goals and risk tolerance is key.

Source links

  1. https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/11/10/what-bitcoins-inflation-hedge-narrative-needs-more-time/
  2. https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2023/05/10/cryptocurrencies-could-theoretically-be-a-hedge-against-inflation-sp-global-says/
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/08/why-bitcoin-doesnt-seem-to-be-a-hedge-against-inflation.html
  4. https://www.hbs.edu/ris/download.aspx?name=23-073.pdf
  5. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-115shrg34525/html/CHRG-115shrg34525.htm
  6. https://www.wilmingtontrust.com/library/article/bitcoin-boom-or-boomerang
  7. https://www.theblock.co/learn/245718/how-is-bitcoin-similar-to-gold
  8. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/in/investing/cryptocurrency/advantages-of-cryptocurrency/
  9. https://www.imf.org/en/Blogs/Articles/2021/07/26/blog-cryptoassets-as-national-currency-a-step-too-far
  10. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/09/bitcoin-vs-gold-leading-gold-authorities-on-inflation-hedge-battle.html
  11. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerhuang/2020/05/18/bitcoin-vs-inflation/
  12. https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/bitcoin-as-a-hedge-for-inflation-is-it-still-a-good-option
  13. https://www.kucoin.com/blog/is-bitcoin-a-strong-hedge-against-inflation
  14. https://www.bankrate.com/investing/bitcoin-or-gold-better-inflation-hedge/
  15. https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9091/9/11/207
  16. https://www.newsweek.com/bitcoin-inflation-hedge-cryptocurrency-experts-weigh-1708299
  17. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/crypto-question-bitcoin-digital-dollars-and-future-money
  18. https://www.twosigma.com/articles/risk-analysis-of-crypto-assets/
  19. https://www.imf.org/en/Blogs/Articles/2022/01/11/crypto-prices-move-more-in-sync-with-stocks-posing-new-risks
  20. https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2020/12/20/crypto-long-short-bitcoin-is-more-than-a-hedge-against-inflation-its-a-hedge-against-crazy/


The largest selection of tradable tokens in the Nordics

   Open a free account here!