How Investors Can Gain Crypto Exposure Through Stocks

Stocks such as RIOT and COIN offer investors crypto exposure without owning BTC directly, according to a panel at Consensus 2021.

AccessTimeIconMay 25, 2021 at 8:05 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:01 p.m. UTC

An allocation to cryptocurrencies doesn't necessarily require a digital wallet and keys. Instead, investors can choose from a variety of crypto-related stocks that typically trade in lock-step with the price of bitcoin (BTC).

Purchasing bitcoin outright might require a more sophisticated understanding about technology, security issues and questions about storage and keys, according to Adam Blumberg, co-founder of Interaxis, a digital asset education firm, during CoinDesk's Consensus 2021 on Tuesday.

"You can get exposure to the asset class by buying stock in Riot Blockchain (Nasdaq: RIOT) or Coinbase (Nasdaq: COIN)," said Blumberg during a panel on how to get exposure to crypto through equities.

Riot, a bitcoin mining company, has returned about 55% year-to-date compared to bitcoin's gain of 30% during the same period. Coinbase, the U.S. cryptocurrency exchange that made a public market debut in April, is down about 26% year to date and is trading just below the reference price of $250 at the time of writing.

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The mining business is competitive, which means investors should do their own due diligence when considering which company's stock to purchase.

"Value businesses based on the miner's hashrate growth, assumptions on competition, network difficulty, and the bitcoin price," said Riot CEO Jason Les, another panelist.

"The value of our balance sheet fluctuates with bitcoin," said Les.

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Table shows full list of blockchain stocks identified by Goldman Sachs along with key financial metrics.

And for publicly listed exchanges, stock investors could gain exposure to trading revenue across cryptocurrencies, which influence earnings.

Voyager Digital (OTC: VYGVF), a U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, has about 80% of revenue from non-bitcoin assets, according to Steve Ehrlich, CEO of Voyager, who also spoke during Consensus 2021.

For investment advisers, "trading crypto stocks could provide an option for clients to gain exposure to digital assets via publicly traded companies that have regulatory and exchange oversight," said Blumberg.

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