Futures Now

RBC detects a fledgling relationship between bitcoin and gold

A relationship between bitcoin and gold exists, RBC analyst finds

The potential correlation between bitcoin and stocks may be extending to another area of the market.

RBC Capital Markets' Chris Louney has detected a fledgling relationship between bitcoin prices and gold flows.

The revelation came in a recent research note. He admits it was challenging at first to find ties since bitcoin is considered an emerging asset.

"It's very hard to really put your hands around a tangible correlation between bitcoin prices and gold prices for most of the history," the firm's commodities analyst said Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now."

But then something changed.

"Towards the end of last year, we started to notice that correlation turned at least mildly negative," Louney said.

It coincided with bitcoin's record breakout to nearly $20,000 in December. That's when he also noticed Google search trends for the word "bitcoin" also surged.

"When we saw interest in bitcoin peak as measured by Google trends, that's really when we saw this marginal negative relationship between gold and bitcoin develop," he said.

Despite bitcoin's January crash, Louney said, he hasn't detected any changes to the relationship since the December peak. But he believes the correlation could eventually grow as bitcoin and cryptocurrency technology matures.