Babel Finance, a Hong Kong-based crypto financial service provider that provides digital asset loans, said Tuesday it has raised $80 million in a Series B funding round, and the investment increased the company’s worth to $2 billion.

Leading venture capital companies such as Circle Ventures, 10T Holdings, Jenerations Capital, BAI Capital and Bertelsmann, and Dragonfly Capital led the fundraising, Babel Finance said in a statement.

Last year, the firm secured $40 million from Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital China, Zoo Capital, and other big institutional investors.

Babel Finance chief executive officer Del Wang said that the crypto sector is “full of opportunities and hidden hazards”, and the funding round supports the long-term path for crypto which has the potential to replace gold and its position in the present financial system.

According to him, gold investors have extolled the precious yellow metal as the ideal “store of value” for decades, shielding their investments from the destructive effects of inflation. Then along comes bitcoin.

However, he noted that some cryptocurrency supporters have recently claimed that crypto can keep up with growing prices better than gold, and they say it will be even more independent of the dollar and other mainstream financial assets because it exists wholly outside the current financial system.

According to him, investors traditionally concerned about inflation and the loss of fiat currencies’ purchasing value have turned to gold. Because of its scarcity and durability, the argument is that gold is a greater store of value than paper money, which has an infinite supply and is backed by the government.

However, he noted that in 2021, gold’s limitations as an inflation hedge were even more evident, and gold was down as consumer prices rose at their fastest rate since 2008. On the other hand, bitcoin and many other crypto assets enjoyed growth in value, despite recent volatility.

Wang believes that bitcoin and crypto assets will increasingly become mainstream for the financial assets industry and investors in general, citing that several financial institutions have already shifted from traditional commercial banking to the realm of crypto. As a result, bitcoin, crypto assets, and gold should have a growing correlation.

He suggests that as crypto assets and bitcoin become more widespread investments, investors would begin to regard both assets identically. In gold’s defense, some argue that volatility is crypto’s weakness. Gold and other precious metals are more conventional stores of value. In theory, they aren’t nearly as volatile as crypto and therefore are not likely to trade near zero in terms of value.

Wang and his Babel Finance crypto team looked into one indicator of an asset’s efficacy as a “store of value”: the Sortino ratio. It is a metric that modifies returns to account for volatility. According to a five-year chart on the website, bitcoin has consistently outperformed gold’s Sortino ratio despite its reputation for increased volatility. So gold is very volatile, and bitcoin’s rapid gains have made the increased risk worthwhile.

“Evidence points out that there is potential that crypto assets and bitcoin could replace gold and its position in the present financial system. Even during extremely volatile times, bitcoin shines as a store of value over a medium to long-term horizon. Even more so than gold,” he said.

Hong Kong social crypto investing platform Kikitrade nets $6M funding co-led by AppWorks and Media Asia