How big is Apple? Gold? Bitcoin? This one chart puts it all in perspective

“Bitcoin burst into our financial consciousness like a fiery comet, setting the internet ablaze with visions of upending the existing global money system,” Sue Chang writes for MarketWatch. “Yet, by its nature as a cybercurrency, whose legitimacy only exists in the ether, its credibility leaves much room for debate.”

“ on Wednesday put things into perspective and demonstrated that for all the buzz and excitement bitcoin has generated, it still has a long way to go to be even remotely relevant,” Chang writes. “The current value of all the bitcoin in the world is worth about $41 billion, according to the cost-estimating website.”

“That is undoubtedly more money than most Americans will ever see in their lifetime,” Chang writes. “But when it comes to bragging rights, bitcoin really is the poor relation… For all its glitter, the total value of gold is a distant fourth, at only about $8.2 trillion, while U.S. dollars in circulation add up to $1.5 trillion. The next bubble is for Apple Inc. valued at about $730 billion…”

world's money in perspective (

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: When Apple becomes worth more than all of the US.S. Dollars in circulation, we’re having a party! (Yes, yet another one.)


  1. And the outstanding debt obligations of governments around the world swamps the total amount of money in circulation.

    One should note that Apple’s market cap is about half the amount of US $ in circulation. Do you not find that kind of excessive.

    In case there are investors reading this: There are three kinds of Gold.

    1- Physical Gold that you possess.
    2- Securities backed by Gold assigned to you in the possession of others (or not).
    3- Securities supposedly backed by Gold you have neither seen or touched and do not own.

    Number 3 is called Paper Gold and the amount of paper Gold exceeds the total known quantity of Gold on the planet. This partly explains the differential between the quoted price of gold and the actual selling price of physical Gold.

    There is a large Bubble out there folks – actually more than one and bubbles always find a pin or other sharp object.

    1. Most currency is not backed by gold. The U.S. ditched the gold standard many decades ago, for instance. And the quantity of virtual money (credit cards, loans, etc.) far exceeds either gold or circulated (physical) currency.

      There are other kinds of gold, too – investments in gold mines, for instance. But the vast majority of investments have nothing to do with gold, other than the common use of the price of gold as a financial metric (indicator of inflation, economic uncertainty, etc.). Frankly, the jewelry industry is used as a means of propping up the price of gold.

      1. Never said it was, but one of the reference points was Gold. Owning a script that says it is backed by Gold is not the same thing as physical Gold.

        Not a Gold Bug, but am a pragmatist and Gold is and has been a great fallback if stuff goes stupid. In the event of another financial meltdown you may find your assets seized for a bail-in instead of a bail-out. It might be nice to have a stash.

  2. At $0.730T, Apple’s market cap is a bit more than two orders of magnitude below (10^-2 or 1/100) “All Money.” And it would take roughly half of all USD in circulation to buy Apple (at no premium to its current market cap).

    The scale of Apple Inc. is truly amazing.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.