Explosive movement in the price of Bitcoin has led to chatter that the cryptocurrency is a store of value that may rival gold. While Bitcoin is a new-age alternative to fiat currencies, the fact is it does not have the same qualities as gold that would qualify it as a legitimate store of value. A secure and trustworthy store of value should have many decades of history as a revered investment, widespread ownership, a broad base of demand, a high level of liquidity, and limited price volatility. For all the headlines Bitcoin is garnering, it has none of the above, and neither do other cryptocurrencies.

Gold has been treasured for millennia. It is owned in various forms—bars, coins, jewelry—by governments, countless financial institutions, and corporations, and hundreds of millions of people around the globe. Gold demand comes not only from investors and those who purchase it for jewelry but also from central banks and industry, particularly technology companies who value the precious metal for its ability to conduct electricity and heat, as well as its malleability.

Bitcoin, barely more than a decade old, may become a legitimate currency that is used as an alternative to government-issued money. But, at this juncture, with its price often soaring or plunging by thousands of dollars in a matter of minutes, it is a vehicle of speculation, more than anything else. Indeed, speculators in Bitcoin would do well to add gold to their portfolios to reduce volatility and increase the security of their holdings.