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Bitcoin becomes the best-performing asset class in Q1, 2023

Bitcoin becomes the best-performing asset class in Q1, 2023
Paul L.

Bitcoin’s (BTC) 2023 momentum as part of attempting to exit last year’s crypto winter has resulted in the digital asset outperforming other investment products, despite a gloomy economic outlook. 

In particular, Bitcoin has emerged as the top-performing asset class in Q1 2023, with gains of about 70%, making it the digital currency’s best quarter since Q1 2021, according to Bloomberg data on March 31, 

It’s worth noting that during the first quarter of 2021, Bitcoin gained about 103% at the onset of the last bull run. The asset’s latest quarterly returns have placed the digital currency ahead of big names such as the S&P 500 (5.5%), Nasdaq 100 (19%), and iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (2.2%).

Bitcoin performance against other asset classes. Source: Bloomberg

Elsewhere, Bitcoin has also dwarfed gold, with the precious metal recording gains of 9.5% in the first three months of 2023, while silver’s returns stand at 0.3%, as per data obtained by Finbold on March 31. 

Investors flocking to Bitcoin 

Amid the quarterly gains, investors appear to be flocking to Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH), as witnessed by the open interest spiking almost 430% YoY as of March 31. Bitcoin’s ability to lead the market in gains has also revived optimism, with almost 1,000 new coins entering the space in 2023 alone.

Market experts, however, believe that Bitcoin’s performance should not come as a surprise, noting that the asset began building the foundation for a possible rally in late 2022. 

“It’s not at all a surprise. <…> All the signs were pointing to a strong price floor starting last November, and it was just a matter of time before either the liquidity narrative changed (which it did in early January) or longer-term investors saw a store-of-value opportunity (which seems to have also happened),” said Noelle Acheson, author of cryptocurrency book the Crypto Is Macro Now.

Bitcoin’s gains have also coincided with the renewed possibility of further interest rate hikes as the Federal Reserve moves to tame skyrocketing inflation. The cryptocurrency has also capitalized on the chaos in the banking sector as investors view the asset as an alternative to centralized monetary systems following the collapse of Silvergate Capital, Signature Bank, and Silicon Valley Bank. 

In this line, Bitcoin’s resilience can be attributed to its legitimate fundamental improvements and its unique role as a bearer asset in a time of skepticism about bank deposits and increased central bank bailouts. 

Part of the impact of the banking crisis was highlighted by a Finbold report on March 21 that indicated that five leading U.S. banks lost a cumulative market capitalization of $108.92 billion in 2023 alone, while Bitcoin added about $219.86 billion.

Bitcoin price analysis

After days of rallying, Bitcoin faces resistance at the $30,000 position, trading at $27,928 with daily losses of about 2.5%. 

Bitcoin seven-day price chart. Source: Finbold

Bitcoin now controls a market cap of about $540 billion after an inflow of over $200 billion in 2023.

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