Crypto Stocks Tanked in 2022: But How Bad Was It?

With cryptos and stocks ending the year in the double-digits red, publicly traded crypto companies may be the worst performing assets of all

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Public crypto names largely continued trading in tandem with spot digital assets this year. In a reversal from 2021, the last 12 months of that correlation led deep into the red.  

With bitcoin and ether, the two largest cryptocurrencies, each down more than 60% in 2022, crypto equities plummeted just as much — any, in many cases, more— than the stock market writ large. 

Macro factors, including near-record inflation and ensuing Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, as well a number of geopolitical conflicts, weighed on equities across sectors early on. Through mid-May, the S&P 500 was already having its worst showing in six decades

The Nasdaq finished 34% off its 2022 start and was heading for its worst showing since 2008, before accounting for after-hours trading. 

Comprehensive data about public crypto names, collectively, can be hard to come by. But individual outliers can say a great deal about the broader market.

Here’s a look at five of the largest, ranked by their 2022 showing — from bad to worse.

Signature Bank (SBNY)

-65% in 2022 (Jan. 3: $327.3; Dec. 30 $114.77)

After coming close to tripling its share price in 2021 — finishing the year at $319.58 — Signature Bank started off 2022 strong. But, soon enough, plummeting crypto prices had investors hammering the sell button on concerns swirling around the bank’s digital assets custody business. 

Investors feared the bank’s blockchain-operated payments platform, Signet, would become one of many such solutions slammed by a mass outflow of digital deposits. 

In quarterly earnings reports, Signature said crypto-company deposits accounted for 22.9% of the bank’s total deposits — a significantly lower figure than a number of its competitors doing business in the sector. Digital assets-backed loans, meanwhile, accounted for a scant $100 million of a total loan portfolio of $73.8 billion

Analysts surveyed by MarketBeat rated Signature Bank as a moderate buy as markets closed for the year. 

MicroStrategy (MSTR)

-75.2% in 2022 (Jan. 3: $558.26; Dec. 30 $138.60)

MicroStrategy, the business intelligence firm founded by famed bitcoin maximalist Michael Saylor, bought into bitcoin heavily as far back as 2020. By December 2022, the company had amassed some 132,500 bitcoins, the largest corporate treasury holder by no small margin

This August, Saylor stepped down from his long time chief executive seat right around when MicroStrategy reported a  $917.8 million impairment on its bitcoins as the cryptocurrency lost close to 60% in the second quarter alone. 

Analysts surveyed by MarketBeat rated MicroStrategy as a hold as markets closed for the year. 

Coinbase (COIN)

-86% in 2022 (Jan. 3: $251.05; Dec. 30 $34.94)

Coinbase has lost more than 90% since its public market debut in 2021. Through mid-December, shares had hit six new all-time lows over a roughly two-week period. 

Even before the November FTX-related sell off that led scores of traders to take a step back, Coinbase was already facing challenges. The SEC served the exchange with a subpoena in August for documents and additional information relating to its customer-facing products. 

Coinbase said the SEC was after information on how the company lists specific assets, as well as its operations and customer programs, an ongoing issue around crypto tokens set to linger into the new year.

Analysts surveyed by MarketBeat rated Coinbase as a hold as markets closed for the year. 

Silvergate Capital (SI)

-88.3% in 2022 (Jan. 3: $148.98; Dec. 30: $17.29) 

Silvergate Capital, the California-based crypto bank with a historically robust lending arm, became entangled in the market’s falloff when BlockFi and FTX went under. 

The bank said in November that its BlockFi exposure was capped at about $20 million — and assured shareholders it had no outstanding loans, nor equity investments, in FTX, but lawmakers were not satisfied.  

Earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and two colleagues in a public letter questioned Silvergate’s purported role in transferring FTX customer funds to Alameda Research. The notion, of course, would account for the crux of the fraud of Sam Bankman-Fried’s alleged fraud. 

Silvergate also faces a class action lawsuit from former customers alleging, essentially, the same. 

Analysts surveyed by MarketBeat rated Silvergate as a moderate buy as markets closed for the year. 

Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA) 

-89.9% in 2022 (Jan. 3: $32.89; Dec. 30: $3.40) 

A year of (typically) steadily dropping bitcoin prices put miners up against the wall in 2022.  

Marathon Digital posted a net loss of roughly $75 million during the third quarter, actually good for a quarter-over-quarter improvement from its prior net loss of $192 million.

The company said it’s still focused on upping its hashrate and acquiring the most efficient mining rigs possible, Marathon previously told Blockworks
Analysts surveyed by MarketBeat rated Marathon Digital as a moderate buy as markets closed for the year.

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