With the increasing popularity of electronic payment, gold has become more and more like the antique of the last era. Some insist that gold remains an important financial asset, a haven, and an inflation-fighting asset. But with the advent of decentralized electronic money, gold's position in the sector has also been shaken.
Will gold disappear like a dinosaur? The answer is no. "Uncertainty" is a word that is often mentioned when people describe the economic outlook, and gold remains the most reliable base against uncertainty. In addition to investment, you don't have to be pessimistic about the outlook for gold if you measure it on a functional demand side. Nearly half of the gold produced each year is now made into ornaments. While demand for gold jewelry is falling in Europe as a result of aging, emerging market countries have ample purchasing power to sustain the growth of the market as a whole.
Compared with traditional gold jewelry, metal progress brings new demand for gold, which is the irreplaceable base of gold in the future. Gold, for example, was not widely used in industry at a time when the dollar and gold were equivalent in the Bretton Woods System. With the development of science and technology, gold is widely used as an increasingly important industrial metal in the booming electronics industry. Gold has the advantages of plasticity, high conductivity, and corrosion resistance, which support its use as an electroplating layer on connectors and contacts. Gold, on the other hand, is used as a golden soldering wire for semiconductor packaging, supporting the production of chips and sensors. Industrial gold products such as gold catalyst and gold crucible also have its special application. Therefore, gold plays a key role in the manufacture of electronic products as an important raw material.
Almost every electronic device in daily use contains a small amount of gold, including the latest smartphones and computers. Devices like smartphones are still upgrading and adding richer features that rely on innovative sensors and chips, all of which depend on gold.
There is also room for gold in the future powers of cars. At present, palladium and platinum are widely used as catalysts in gasoline and diesel vehicles, while gold is used in petrol-electric hybrid vehicles. That's because gas-electric hybrid cars demand high-end electronic components many times more than conventional internal combustion engines, and gold is a catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells.
In addition to gas-electric hybrid cars, gold has a wider use in energy. Gold nanoparticles are tiny gold particles thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair. Integrating gold nanoparticles into solar cells can greatly improve the conversion rate of photoelectric solar cells through the interconnection of gold nanoparticles. From this point of view, the future of green energy is also inseparable from gold.
Gold also plays a unique role in health care. Gold-based diagnostic techniques are the most commonly used in resource-poor settings and can be used to diagnose diseases such as malaria and AIDS. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million gold-containing test papers were used in malaria diagnosis in 2016, mainly in Africa and Asia.