These cryptocurrency-related stocks are up as much as 200% this year. Here because

Welcome back to Distributed Ledger. I’m Frances Yue, MarketWatch crypto reporter.

Cryptocurrency miners have had an amazing start to this year, as bitcoin BTCUSD,
it’s up to about $24,000 from under $17,000 in early January.

Meanwhile, Dogecoin DOGEUSD,
has recovered, as Elon Musk is reportedly pushing Twitter’s payments system forward and considering adding cryptocurrencies.

But Charlie Munger, VP of Berkshire Hathaway, has called for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US

Find me on Twitter at @FrancesYue_ to share any thoughts on cryptocurrencies, this newsletter or your personal stories with digital assets.

Gathering of miners

Bitcoin mining shares are soaring, after suffering a tough year in 2022 due to high energy costs, lackluster bitcoin prices and high mining difficulty.

Riot Platforms Inc. RIOT,
shares are up about 119% so far this year and its rival Marathon Digital Holdings MARA,
shares are up 132% in the same period. Ebang International Holdings Inc. EBON,
has seen its shares soar nearly 200% since the start of the year. Hive Blockchain Technologies HIVE,
shares rose 183% and Hut 8 Mining Corp. HUT,
advanced 179% year-to-date.

The rally echoed the rally in other risky assets: the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite COMP,
it’s up 16% so far this year. It could also be attributed to an improvement in cryptocurrency miners’ fundamentals, analysts said.

As bitcoin has risen 45% since the beginning of the year, miners have seen their profit margin widen dramatically, according to Andy Long, chief executive officer of White Rock Management. “Margins were very tight in December. Many miners had production costs that were uncomfortably close to the price of the coin,” Long told the Distributed Ledger in a call.

Meanwhile, although the difficulty of mining bitcoin rose to an all-time high as of Wednesday, it hasn’t increased as much as some miners had expected, Long noted.

Mining difficulty measures how difficult it is to find a block of bitcoin: as the number goes up, miners have to put in more computing power to mine a coin. The difficulty level is programmed to increase when there are more miners, and vice versa, to keep the pace of bitcoin mining constant.

Global energy prices, which skyrocketed last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have also fallen, thanks in part to a relatively mild winter in Europe and conservation efforts on the continent. “We are looking forward to perhaps a quieter summer in terms of energy prices,” Long noted.

Phil Harvey, chief executive officer of Sabre56, said that while he doesn’t think the bear market is over yet, most miners would see a breakeven or make profits as long as bitcoin trades above $18,000.

Quote of the week

“A cryptocurrency is not a currency, it is not a commodity and it is not a security. Instead, it’s a gambling contract with an almost 100% house edge, made in a country where gambling contracts are traditionally regulated only by states that compete in laxity.

— — Charlie Munger, vice president of Berkshire Hathaway

Munger criticized cryptocurrencies again, this time in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. He blamed the “unfortunate glut” of cryptocurrencies that are issued by privately owned companies but later go public without government pre-approval of disclosures, and suggested the US should follow China in banning cryptocurrencies. cryptocurrencies.

Sometimes, large chunks of cryptocurrencies are sold to a promoter at low and inflated prices when the public buys “without fully understanding the pre-dilution in favor of the promoter,” Munger wrote.

Anviksha Patel of MarketWatch wrote more here.

Doge jumped

Dogecoin has gained 9.6% in the past seven days, as the Financial Times reported on Monday that Twitter has continued its efforts to build a payments system, and cryptocurrencies could be a part of it.

Twitter enforced regulatory licensing and devised the necessary software to enable payments through the site, the report said. Musk expects the payment system to use fiat currencies first, but be built so that cryptographic functionality can potentially be added at a later date, according to the report, citing unnamed sources.

The news has revived some crypto enthusiasts’ hopes that the social media giant would provide more use cases for digital assets, especially for the meme token Dogecoin, of which Musk is a longtime advocate.

Encryption in a snap

Bitcoin prices rose 3.9% over the past week and traded at around $23,848 on Thursday, according to data from CoinDesk. ETHUSD Ether,
it gained 3.8% in the same stretch to around $1,678, data from CoinDesk shows.

The biggest earners


7 day return
















Source: CoinGecko as of February 2

The biggest decliners


7 day % return




LION Token






Lido DAO






Source: CoinGecko as of February 2

Crypto companies, funds

Shares of Coinbase Global Inc. COIN,
it climbed 49.6% for the week to about $79.37. MicroStrategy Inc. MSTR,
it’s up 18.8% so far on the week, to $291.50.

Cryptocurrency mining company Riot Blockchain Inc. RIOT,
it rose 20.8%, to $7.41, as of Thursday. Shares in rival Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. MARA,
they fell 8.1% to $8.02 in the past week. Ebang International Holdings Inc. EBON,
it is up 8.3% in the past week and is trading at $8.89. Inc. shares OSTK,
were trading up 1.6% to $24.78, on the week.

Block Inc. SQ shares,
formerly known as Square, it gained 7.7% to $87.49 for the week thus far. Tesla Inc. shares TSLA,
they rose 17.8% to $189.14.

PayPal Holdings Inc.PYPL,
it advanced 6.7% on the week, to trade at around $86.18. Nvidia Corporation NVDA,
it added 8.3% to $214.51 in the past week.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. shares AMD,
rose 16% to $87.20 for the week.

Among the crypto funds, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy BITO,
rose 2.6% for the week to $14.91 on Thursday, while counterpart Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF BITI,
it decreased 3.7% to $26.96. Valkyrie Bitcoin ETF Strategy BTF,
has risen 0.9% over the past week to $9.48, while VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF XBTF,
it rose 4.4% to $24.32.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust GBTC,
they rose 5.4% over the past five days to $12.82 on Thursday.

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