BTC, ETH, crypto stocks and ETFs: Which performed best in 2023?

Investors holding mining stocks and various crypto equity funds saw higher gains than those exposed only to crypto’s two largest assets


Valkyrie Funds CEO Leah Wald | DAS 2022 New York by Blockworks


Bitcoin has seen gains of more than 150% in 2023. Ethereum’s price rose by more than 90%.

Many stocks and ETFs correlated to the crypto space saw even bigger returns.

Coinbase, MicroStrategy, miners, oh my

Coinbase’s stock price has risen roughly 420% in 2023 — as of 1:30 pm ET Friday — despite the company’s ongoing legal battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission

The company’s subscription and services revenue — generated from stablecoins and custodial fees as well as blockchain rewards and interest income — topped its transaction revenue in the second and third quarters. 

The results show the crypto exchange’s steps toward becoming more of a “crypto super app” in the future, Bitwise crypto equities specialist Alyssa Choo previously told Blockworks. 

Another stock many deem synonymous with bitcoin is MicroStrategy, given the business intelligence firm’s repeated BTC buys. The company now owns 189,150 bitcoins.

MicroStrategy’s share price is up about 335% in 2023. 

Read more: MicroStrategy stock has advantages over planned spot bitcoin ETFs: Saylor

Companies that mine bitcoin have also seen huge stock price jumps this year. 

Marathon Digital, the largest North American miner by hashrate, has seen its stock price rise 600% in 2023.

That increase narrowly leads competitors like Bitfarms and CleanSpark, whose share prices have gone up 570% and 444%, respectively, in that span. 

The stock price of Riot Platforms, which made the largest bitcoin mining machine purchase of the year in December, is up 360% year to date.

Read more: Crypto miners keep busy ahead of halving with accelerated machine buys

Hut 8’s share price has climbed considerably leading up to, and after, its merge with US Bitcoin Corp. earlier this month.

The combined company’s stock is up more than 1,500% this year. This comes after a five-to-one reverse stock split, an event during which a company decreases its number of shares, which thus raises the price of each.

A look at crypto ETF performance

Many investors have their eyes peeled for the SEC’s decision on spot bitcoin ETFs in the next couple weeks. 

But in the meantime, funds holding many of the aforementioned crypto stocks have benefited majorly from this year’s crypto rally.  

Read more: A look at crypto ETF milestones in 2023 — and where spot bitcoin funds stand

The Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI) led all non-leveraged ETFs as of Dec. 29, returning about 400%, according to VettaFi data. The fund, whose top holding is Advanced Micro Devices, has about $80 million in assets under management. 

Four other crypto-related funds had year-to-date returns eclipsing 300%: the VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP); the Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH); the Invesco Alerian Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF (SATO); and the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ).

The latter fund from Bitwise crossed $150 million in assets under management this week. 

That still significantly trails the largest crypto-related equity fund in the space — the Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK), which has grown to about $1.1 billion in assets since its 2018 launch. 

BLOK’s year-to-date returns stand at about 113%.

As for crypto funds that hold bitcoin futures contracts, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy (BITO) continues to dominate the space from an assets under management perspective, with $1.6 billion. 

The fund’s year-to-date returns — at about 147%, VettaFi data shows — has lagged BTC’s performance only slightly.

The SEC’s deadline to rule on the Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF — which would hold the asset directly — is Jan. 10. Analysts and executives have said they expect the regulator could choose to approve or deny other similar proposals at that time.

Updated Dec. 29, 2023 at 1:38 pm ET: Updated numbers to the minute for accuracy.

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