Recent weakness in bitcoin and other digital assets is being felt elsewhere as shares of crypto mining stocks are being punished.
Some analysts argue that retrenchment in bitcoin mining equities is a case of too much too soon and that some of these names are buyable on the dip. That could signal opportunity with exchange traded funds, such as the VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP ).
DAPP, which debuted earlier this year, tracks the MVIS Global Digital Asset Equity Index. That gauge is home to several bitcoin miners, confirming the fund’s status as a possible rebound/buy-the-dip idea as bitcoin pulls back.
“The decline in Bitcoin is dragging down the broader crypto sector, hitting miners particularly hard. Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA), one of the largest miners, was off 11.5% on Thursday, at $41.28. Riot Blockchain (RIOT) was off 9.4%, at $26.58, while Stronghold Digital Mining (SDIG) was down 6.9%, at $16.97,” reports Daren Fonda for Barron’s.
Those numbers reference intraday action on Thursday, but the point is that bitcoin miners are highly correlated to the world’s largest cryptocurrency. That makes sense, and on that note, investors should examine mining difficulty, which frequently resets and is getting, well, more difficult.
“The next reset is scheduled for Dec. 11. It could increase the difficulty rate by 6%, estimates D.A. Davidson analyst Christopher Brendler. That may make it harder for miners to meet Wall Street’s targets for coins produced in the quarter,” according to Barron’s.
While Marathon Digital Holdings and Riot Blockchain combine for 14% of DAPP’s weight, that doesn’t imply the DAPP case is diminished simply because bitcoin mining is getting more difficult.
“The price declines may represent a buying opportunity, though. Most miners can be quite profitable with Bitcoin at $50,000. The network’s hash rate, or computing power devoted to mining, typically declines a bit as prices weaken. The hash rate has been rising for months, but sustained weakness in Bitcoin prices could slow its growth,” notes Barron’s.
Additionally, DAPP isn’t a dedicated bitcoin miners ETF. Rather, the fund holds 26 stocks — diverse by the standards of this category — and that roster includes the likes of crypto exchange operator Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) and Block (NYSE:SQ), the company formerly known as Square.
To be sure, those are crypto-correlated names, but they indicate that DAPP is a way for investors to efficiently diversify across the crypto ecosystem, not just depend on volatile miners.
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