Why are baby boomers ditching gold for bitcoin?

Wed 21 Feb 2024 ▪ 7 min of reading ▪ by Luc Jose A.
Getting informed Investissement

The financial ecosystem is witnessing a new trend involving baby boomers. This class of investors, born between 1943 and 1965, is losing interest in gold. Instead, they are turning their attention to Bitcoin Spot ETFs. This shift raises questions among numerous financial market analysts, as gold has historically been considered an asset that safeguards wealth against financial risks such as inflation. From this perspective, this development marks a significant change in the investment preferences of this cohort of investors. What factors are driving this transition, and what implications does it have for the future of investments? We provide an analysis of this topic in this article.

Le bitcoin, la nouvelle attraction des baby-boomers

Baby boomers, the most avid investors in Bitcoin Spot ETFs…

The emergence of Bitcoin ETFs has caught the attention of a group not usually associated with cutting-edge financial trends. These are the baby boomers, meaning individuals born between 1943 and 1965.

Traditionally characterized by a preference for security, real estate investments, and a penchant for gold during economic uncertainty, baby boomers are now gravitating towards cryptocurrencies. This marks a significant departure from their traditional investment strategies.

Bankrate reports this notable change. According to revelations by the financial firm, baby boomers currently hold the largest share of cryptocurrencies among all age groups. As of mid-2023, they possessed about 32% of the crypto market, surpassing both Generation Z at 11%, and millennials at 30%.

This unexpected adoption of digital assets highlights a fundamental shift in investing behavior among baby boomers. The appeal of cash Bitcoin ETFs seems multifaceted to them. Their investment outlooks appear to change direction with the growing acceptance and integration of cryptocurrencies into traditional financial markets, even though they have always favored tangible assets such as real estate and gold.

Factors like ease of access, diversification potential, and perceived opportunities for substantial returns might be behind this shift towards crypto investments. Additionally, the growing familiarity of baby boomers with technology and the digital economy is probably contributing to their receptiveness. In particular, when it comes to exploring alternative investment avenues such as Bitcoin Spot ETFs. However, these may not be the only reasons.

… Because gold tends to become passé?

The beginning of 2024 presented significant challenges for gold. As highlighted by the World Gold Council, flows into gold-backed ETFs have been continually declining. This trend signifies waning investor interest in this traditional asset.

The Council attributes this downward trend to market reactions to speculation about anticipated rate cuts by major central banks. As a result, gold prices fell in January, dampening investor enthusiasm for gold ETFs. This change in sentiment was reflected by a collective reduction of 51 tons in global gold ETF holdings, totaling 3,175 tons. Concurrently, the total assets under management of gold ETFs decreased by 2%, reaching $210 billion.

Remarkably, January 2024 marked the eighth consecutive month of a decrease in global holdings of gold-backed ETFs, a trend that was particularly pronounced in North America and Europe. It underscores a profound change in investor preferences who are shifting away from gold as a preferred investment vehicle.

Factors such as changing macroeconomic conditions and central bank policy shifts have contributed to reducing the appeal of gold ETFs to investors. Contrary to the traditional perception of gold as a safe-haven asset, the persistent decline in gold ETF flows suggests a reevaluation of its role in investment portfolios. One may assume that baby boomers have potentially understood these changes, prompting them to shift their investment dynamics in response to evolving market conditions.

The significance of baby boomers’ migration toward Bitcoin Spot ETFs

The transition of baby boomers towards Bitcoin ETFs signifies a significant paradigm shift in investment behavior, driven by several key factors. First, the emergence of new Bitcoin ETFs, coupled with targeted advertising campaigns by asset managers such as BlackRock and VanEck, has garnered the attention of baby boomers.

This deliberate targeting of baby boomers suggests a strategic effort to tap into their substantial financial resources and steer them towards crypto investments. As a reminder, baby boomers collectively hold approximately $84 trillion!

Next, the availability of Bitcoin ETFs has enabled baby boomers to participate in a market segment previously dominated by younger generations. Data indicates that while younger investors were the early adopters of cryptocurrencies, they also display a preference for regulated investment instruments such as ETFs, for reasons related to risk tolerance and market oversight. However, the introduction of cash Bitcoin ETFs might not significantly alter the investment intentions of the younger generations. This makes sense since they are already actively engaged in direct investments in cryptocurrencies.

Beyond individual investment decisions, the influx of seniors into Bitcoin ETFs has broader implications for capital allocation and the dynamics of asset classes. With baby boomers accounting for about 61% of North American wealth and the aging populations of many states, this trend could significantly reshape capital flows. It underscores the evolution of the financial market landscape, where traditional investment norms are being questioned by a generation increasingly willing to engage with digital assets such as bitcoin (BTC).


In the end, the shift in baby boomers’ behavior towards Bitcoin Spot ETFs marks a significant turn in the financial landscape. Driven by the increasing availability of Bitcoin ETFs and the challenges facing gold, they are redirecting their investments toward digital assets. This transition reflects a change in investment preferences and could reshape capital allocation globally. With baby boomers representing a significant share of wealth, their embracement of cryptocurrencies opens up a new horizon for financial markets. It’s a dynamic that challenges traditional norms and paves the way for an era of sustained digital investment.

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Luc Jose A. avatar
Luc Jose A.

Diplômé de Sciences Po Toulouse et titulaire d'une certification consultant blockchain délivrée par Alyra, j'ai rejoint l'aventure Cointribune en 2019. Convaincu du potentiel de la blockchain pour transformer de nombreux secteurs de l'économie, j'ai pris l'engagement de sensibiliser et d'informer le grand public sur cet écosystème en constante évolution. Mon objectif est de permettre à chacun de mieux comprendre la blockchain et de saisir les opportunités qu'elle offre. Je m'efforce chaque jour de fournir une analyse objective de l'actualité, de décrypter les tendances du marché, de relayer les dernières innovations technologiques et de mettre en perspective les enjeux économiques et sociétaux de cette révolution en marche.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.