Gold bugs embrace bitcoin, upending retail sellers

Section:

By Stephanie Yang
The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Gold prices are rallying, but retail gold dealers and shops are struggling to survive.

Businesses that sell gold coins and other products made from the precious metal usually thrive during years like 2017. Gold futures have gained more than 10%, boosted by a weaker dollar and by big investors looking for a haven during recent geopolitical tensions surrounding North Korea and Iran.

... Dispatch continues below ...



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Yet sales this year of American Eagles, a popular gold coin and a proxy for retail sales of physical gold, have fallen to their lowest levels since 2007, according to the U.S. Mint.

The weak demand is taking a toll on gold dealers, some of whose sales have dropped as much as 70% compared with last year, according to Jeffrey Christian, managing partner at market-research firm CPM Group.

"It's been absolutely dismal," said Peter Thomas, senior vice president of metals at Zaner Precious Metals, a Chicago precious-metals dealer. "A lot of guys have been really hurting."

One reason for the declining business: A number of retail buyers are turning to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to store money during periods of stress, some analysts say. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/gold-bugs-embrace-bitcoin-upending-retail-s...

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