When Digital Assets Are Increasingly at Risk, Look to Gold


Written by Angela Roberts

Apr 18, 2024

We live in a digital world—one where seemingly every aspect of our lives is in some way controlled or affected by electronic networks. Communication, travel, entertainment, and finance are all areas in which we’re now forced to rely almost entirely on our smartphones, computers, and the internet.

It makes sense, then, that when so many of us are managing our lives electronically, risks to electronic systems carry far more weight. In particular, cybercrime is an increasing threat, and the risk it poses to global and personal finance is worth paying attention to.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently called the rising threat of cyberattacks a “serious concern.”

In a blog titled “Cyber Threats Pose Serious Concerns for Financial Stability” published on April 9, 2024, IMF analysts note that the financial sector is particularly at risk from cyberattacks. Sensitive financial data is a major target for criminals, so banks, financial planners, and other institutions have become the focus of hackers.

This focus has intensified in recent years.

The IMF reports that cyberattacks have more than doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic, and attacks on financial firms account for nearly one fifth of total cyberattacks.

The vulnerability of financial institutions could lead to trouble for consumers.

In the words of the IMF, “Incidents in the financial sector could threaten financial and economic stability if they erode confidence in the financial system, disrupt critical services, or cause spillovers to other institutions.”

Cyberattackers already target major institutions and have caused significant disruption of financial systems. In December 2023, for example, the central bank of the African nation Lesotho was attacked, preventing domestic banks from performing transactions.

This isn’t just a risk for foreign markets. In 2017, major credit reporting agency Equifax suffered a major data breach resulting in $1 billion in penalties and the exposure of millions of consumers’ data. And in January of this year, the Justice Department charged several Chinese hackers with plans to target critical U.S. infrastructure.

Physical gold exists outside the traditional banking system and has been viewed as a powerful and trusted source of wealth protection.

We all have different levels of risk tolerance. Personally, I’m very concerned about the prospect of hackers managing to compromise financial data and shut down our ability to perform transactions. What would happen to our retirement accounts if Wall Street were forced to shut down for even a week?

This is one of the many reasons I keep a portion of my private wealth in physical gold.

Gold is a hard asset not controlled by computers. A gold coin or bar cannot be hacked, deactivated, or rendered null by electronic means. Whether stored on my behalf in an IRS-approved depository as part of my IRA or held privately in my home, gold remains gold—a time-tested store of wealth with a long history of both protecting and growing a family’s hard-earned savings. That’s a level of reassurance few other financial assets can provide.


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