Bitcoin is down for the week, but it’s still up about 50% YTD. Meanwhile, Bitcoin mining stocks have jumped by over 200% year-to-date. One miner stock, Cipher Mining (CIFR), is up by a whopping 389% for the year so far.
Bitcoin price fell 10% against USD Thursday amid speculations that SpaceX might have sold its remaining holdings. That brings the most work-based cryptocurrency down to what may be a bargain price at this time in its halving cycle, at under $26,000.
While markets are watching crypto prices after this week’s turbulence, crypto stocks are another class of blockchain assets in the bargain bin this week, especially with their soaring YTD trendline.
Bitcoin Miners Are Popping on Wall Street
Crypto stocks are up by quite a bit more this far into 2023 than the broad stock market benchmarks. The S&P 500 Index of the top 500 U.S. companies has increased by a very healthy 14% thus far in 2023.
The tech-focused NASDAQ Composite is up a whopping 28% for the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up a paltry 4% in comparison to the other benchmarks. Meanwhile, top performers include stocks like Nvidia (219%), Meta (164%), and Tesla (117%).
But even those three top-performing stocks aren’t flying as high as some Bitcoin miners are, with the blockchain surging in activity this year. Two Bitcoin mining stocks, Riot Platforms Inc. (RIOT) and Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. (MARA), are trading well above 200% since January.
Riot is up 228%. The company mined 1,775 BTC in Q2. Marathon’s gains are also at 228%, exactly like its competitor. But since January, Cipher Mining is up by even more this week: 389%.
Why BTC Mining Stocks Have Soared So Much
Although it has unraveled some in 2023, the correlation between Bitcoin and stock prices has meant investors could ride market swings in the same direction, up or down, but with more leverage in long BTC positions on-chain.
Interestingly, long positions in Bitcoin mining stocks are like owning BTC on-chain but with even more leverage than they have over traditional stocks. Part of the reason why may be, as Nasdaq notes:
“For institutional investors that are unable to buy Bitcoin directly, getting exposure to Bitcoin mining stocks is a useful proxy.”
While their enormous returns on investment this year have made Bitcoin miners attractive to stock traders, there are additional Bitcoin-specific risks to mining stocks. Nasdaq advises:
“With the price of Bitcoin down significantly, these miners become big money-losing operations. So, before you start buying Bitcoin mining stocks, be sure you understand the cyclical nature of these stocks.”
The incredible outlier returns of mining stocks could be a leading indicator of sea change price moves ahead in Bitcoin’s future when institutional investors begin to adopt the SHA-256 hash currency in earnest.