After a tumultuous 2022, Bitcoin (BTC) is on the rebound in 2023, emerging as a potentially lucrative investment option, surpassing traditional finance products. While Bitcoin and traditional investments showed similar movements in the past year, the cryptocurrency has now forged ahead, recording noteworthy returns.
In particular, data acquired and calculated by Finbold indicates that as of Q1 2023, Bitcoin’s return on investment (ROI) was 170.32% more compared to the average of five major stock indexes. During the quarter, Bitcoin’s returns stood at 69.4%, while average returns for the indexes stood at 5.5%.
Among the indexes, NASDAQ Composite (IXIC) had the highest returns at 17.39%, followed by S&P 500 (SPX) at 6.36%, while US Small Cap 2000 (RUT) ranked third at 2.51%. FTSE 100 (FTSE) ROI of 0.99% placed the index in the fourth spot, while Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) ranked fifth at 0.56%.
Banking crisis pushes Bitcoin to outperform indexes
Bitcoin’s impressive performance in 2023 can be attributed to various factors, but the fallout in the banking sector stands out as particularly significant. Amidst the chaos in the banking space, investors saw the cryptocurrency sector as an attractive alternative to traditional centralized monetary systems. The investor interest in Bitcoin was highlighted by the significant capital inflows into the asset as the market cap of major banks diminished during Q1.
There was a shift to Bitcoin, as the high-profile collapse of Silvergate Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Signature Bank reminded investors of the possible fundamental weaknesses of the U.S. banking system and the dollar that supports it. Therefore, structural deficiencies were the primary factors motivating investors to seek refuge in Bitcoin.
Advocates of Bitcoin asserted that the impact of the banking crisis reiterated the asset’s founding principles of offering a means for investors to shield themselves from central bank actions, specifically quantitative easing and relaxed monetary policies, which they argue diminish the worth of fiat currency. They highlight Bitcoin’s limited supply is also a crucial aspect of its function as a store of value.
Interestingly, a previous report highlighted that the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar has been declining over the years while the one for Bitcoin has been increasing since 2010. At the same time, Bitcoin has partly benefited from increasing prospects that the Federal Reserve might slow down on interest rate hikes after data indicated the institution might be winning the battle against inflation.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s returns in the first three months of 2023 highlight the asset’s breakout from the major traditional investment products. In 2022, both asset classes were battered by prevailing macroeconomic factors such as high inflation and the continued increment of interest rates. It is worth mentioning that Bitcoin and indexes belong to different asset classes. The indexes represent for-profit companies with tangible products and services, while Bitcoin is a virtual asset.
The case of Nasdaq
While Bitcoin has been outperforming the indexes, it’s worth noting that the stock market displayed surprising resilience during the first quarter of 2023, despite a banking crisis and economic uncertainty. The Nasdaq, with its heavy weighting in technology stocks, stood out in particular, making a remarkable comeback.
The Nasdaq’s performance is closely tied to interest rates, as growth stocks, particularly in the technology sector, have an inverse relationship with the trajectory of interest rates. This is in contrast to 2022, when investors turned to safer investments to protect themselves from rising rates, resulting in a challenging year for tech stocks.
What next for Bitcoin
As it currently stands, Bitcoin is anticipating a positive April, historically a favorable month for the cryptocurrency. There is a possibility that the asset could surpass the resistance level of $30,000.
Additionally, investors feel hopeful that the asset could maintain its gains despite the legal challenges that the Binance crypto exchange is facing from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). This resilience indicates that the future of the asset is not solely reliant on one exchange, which is encouraging news for the entire industry. In general, some uncertainty still lingers, and celebrating the gains might be premature, bearing in mind that rising inflation remains a major obstacle.