Crypto mining stocks, which are most levered to bitcoin and ether prices as most have been holding onto the mined coins on their balance sheets, on Monday continued their slump that started in the beginning of the month.
- Bitcoin prices have fallen almost 17% since reaching $58,000 on Dec. 1, after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaled growing discomfort with high inflation, stoking expectations of a faster unwinding of crisis-era stimulus.
- On Monday, large-cap miners Marathon Digital (MARA) and Riot Blockchain (RIOT) both fell more than 5% early in the day, although Marathon eventually recovered most of those losses. The shares of other miners such as Argo Blockchain (ARBK), Hut 8 (HUT), Hive Blockchain (HIVE) and Cipher Mining (CIFR) were down 9%, 3%, 6% and 12% respectively.
- In our view, with the market gripped by Omicron fears at a time when valuations are inflated, the selling pressure could easily continue, said Wall Street investment banking firm DA Davidson’s analyst Chris Brendler, who remains bullish on bitcoin given its strong underlying fundamentals especially against the prospects for a sustained pandemic.
- However, he sees a materially better buying opportunity in mining stocks than bitcoin itself as there should be more upside for the miners when bitcoin recovers. He also noted that the pullback in bitcoin should help slow the hashrate recovery while the miners are still super profitable with the price of bitcoin near $50,000.
- Meanwhile, bitcoin miner Greenidge Generation (GREE) was the only outperformer among mining stocks on Monday, rising about 9% in a bounce back following its sharp decline last week after U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren expressed concern about the miner’s environmental footprint.
- Other crypto-linked stocks such as MicroStrategy, which buys and holds bitcoin on its balance sheet, also fell 6%.
UPDATE (Dec. 6, 18:17 UTC): Updated with note from DA Davidson.