Bitcoin’s price is down roughly 56% since January but crypto-related stocks such as Microstrategy, Riot Blockchain, Coinbase, and Hut8 Mining are down up to 74%.
The orange line in the chart below shows Bitcoin’s decline in 2022 as a percentage of the January price. The other lines represent major Bitcoin equities, none of which have had a good year in terms of stock price.
Coinbase reported a $1.1 billion loss in Q2 2022 as assets held on the exchange fell to just $96 million. Recently, the stock was downgraded to a SELL by Wells Fargo as “as rising competition and macro pressures will hurt the stock.” Coinbase, which uses the ticker COIN, was floated on Apr. 21 at $310 per share. As of Oct. 5, it is trading down 76% to just $72, while it is also down 71% since January.
Michael Saylor’s Microstrategy is the best-performing crypto-related equity. The stock started the year at $576 but has fallen to $243, down 58% on the year. The stock hit yearly lows in July, trading at just $142. It rallied 150% to $361 in August; however, it has since dropped 30% despite announcements of further Bitcoin purchases.
Formerly Square, Block is down 62% since it opened the year at $164. It is currently trading at just $62, with insiders such as Alyssa Henry selling shares. According to an SEC filing, Henry sold 7% of their holdings for $1,715,491.
Crypto stocks underperform
Some investors may see crypto stocks as a safer alternative to directly purchasing crypto while gaining exposure to Bitcoin’s price. Alternatively, those using financial instruments that do not allow crypto purchases rely on such stocks for crypto exposure.
Spot Bitcoin ETFs have been rejected repeatedly in the U.S. over the years, but some have started appearing elsewhere, such as in Canada and Europe.
While the U.S. Dollar is near all-time highs, the equities markets are struggling. The S&P 500 hit an all-time high on Jan. 4 but fell roughly 21%, erasing all gains made after November 2020. Crypto stocks have lost, on average, three times more than the S&P 500 throughout 2022.