After a rocky end to 2022, Bitcoin turned its luck around in the first three months of the year, skyrocketing 73% to outperform major U.S. indexes.
Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, started the year off around $16,000 but finished the quarter around $28,500, its best quarterly performance in two years, according to CoinDesk. This article examines the factors that contributed to Bitcoin’s recent success, including its “store-of-value” properties and a decrease in correlation with the S&P 500.
Bitcoin Outperforms All Major Indexes
Bitcoin outperformed all major indexes in a quarter that saw stocks bounce back. The S&P 500 was up 7%, and the Dow Jones rose 0.4%, while the Nasdaq led the pack with a 17% increase, its best quarter since the fourth quarter of 2020, according to CNN Business. Gold was also up 7% in the first quarter.
Ether Jumps 50% in Q1
The second-leading cryptocurrency, Ether, jumped 50% over the same period, and it could see additional gains after the Shanghai update to its code later this month.
Bitcoin’s “Store-of-Value” Properties Restored
Part of the reason for Bitcoin’s recent success is a restoration of its “store-of-value” properties, according to a Friday research report by crypto exchange Coinbase. Investors tend to put money into stores of value like gold when markets fall.
Correlation with S&P 500 Drops
Bitcoin’s correlation to the S&P 500 has dropped from a peak of 70% in May 2022 to 25% on March 30, just before the quarter ended, according to Coinbase. Because the digital currency serves as an alternative to the traditional financial sector, it has benefited from investor uneasiness following the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank last month.
Bitcoin Gains Market Share
After holding just 43.9% of all crypto market share at the end of February, at the end of March, Bitcoin made up 47.7% of the digital asset market, according to Coinbase.
Inflows to Bitcoin, Outflows from Ethereum
Last week, the cryptocurrency saw $8.8 million in inflows, while Ethereum saw outflows of around $2 million, according to a research note by digital asset investment and trading group CoinShares.
Fed Rate Cut Hopes Boost Equities and Bitcoin
Another factor boosting both equities and Bitcoin is hopes from investors that the Federal Reserve will reverse course and cut interest rates. The Fed raised rates a quarter of a percentage point following its meeting in March, and some investors think a rate cut could be imminent due to recession signals.
Bitcoin’s impressive performance in the first quarter of 2023 can be attributed to several factors, including its “store-of-value” properties, a decrease in correlation with the S&P 500, and a gain in market share. Additionally, hopes for a Fed rate cut have boosted both equities and Bitcoin.
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