Barrick Gold CEO Mark Bristow on Thursday rejected the idea that cryptocurrencies are a better store of value than traditional gold.
Bitcoin bulls have argued that the limited supply of digital coins and the noticeable growth make them a better hedge against inflation than gold.
Bristow, who starred in CNBC’s “Mad Money”, pushed back this characterization and criticized speculative assets as too volatile to be considered a safe investment.
“The one thing you can’t do is that nobody can print gold,” he told Jim Cramer. “We can still make cryptocurrencies.”
The supply of Bitcoin, which like gold but must be mined digitally, is limited to 21 million. According to the blockchain explorer service Blockchain for cryptocurrencies, there are currently more than 19 million coins in the simulation.
In terms of gold, approximately 244,000 tons of metal have been mined to date based on a census conducted by the United States Geological Survey. According to Bristow, gold is still a rarity.
“As a mining company, gold miners have not been able to replace the reserves they have mined since the turn of the century,” he said. “We only replaced 50% of the gold that we mined.”
Barrick Gold is a $ 44 billion miner.
The comments come after a major collapse in speculative cryptocurrency markets last week, specifically a 30% drop in Bitcoin to nearly $ 30,000. The digital currency has since bounced back along with other crypto names and is trading near $ 40,000. Bitcoin was under $ 10,000 a year ago.
Meanwhile, the price of gold is up 3% last week and 5% last year.
Barrick’s shares rose nearly 1% to $ 24.81 on Thursday. The stock is up 9% since the start of the year.