It is well known that as goes Bitcoin (BTC), so goes the rest of the cryptocurrency market, as time and again, major price moves from Bitcoin create ripples across the altcoin market, impacting sentiment and momentum.
This appears to be the same for blockchain-related stocks that trade in the traditional financial markets, and a quick glance at the charts shows they have mirrored Bitcoin's performance over the past several months.
The cryptocurrency ecosystem was all abuzz just over one month ago when the much anticipated Coinbase stock listing finally arrived on April 14, a date that also marks the most recent all-time high in the price of BTC at $64,863.
Since its debut, the price of COIN has steadily declined below both its direct listing price of $381 and its reference price of $250 to a current value of $245, coinciding with a roughly 35% drop in the price of BTC, which has also put pressures on other blockchain-related stocks including Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital Holdings.
COIN’s struggles since launching, which have resulted in its valuation dropping from a high of $100 billion to its current valuation of $49 billion, have centered around concerns about whether or not the exchange will be able to achieve future profit expectations in the face of an increasingly competitive landscape, with new centralized and decentralized players emerging weekly and looking for a piece of the action.
Matthew Wheeler, global head of market research at Forex.com, recently highlighted the increasingly competitive landscape Coinbase now faces as cryptocurrency adoption increases on a global scale.
“While Coinbase has been able to rely on its first mover advantage and brand familiarity so far, margins will continue to compress from competition with both ‘CeFi’ brokerages like BlockFi and ‘DeFi’ alternatives like Uniswap.”
These concerns have led some analysts, including New Constructs CEO David Trainer, to warn that the price of COIN could fall below $100:
"Investors should expect the stock to continue to underperform, as shares could fall to $100 or less as it becomes clear the company is unlikely to meet the future profit expectations baked into the stock price."
Bitcoin sell-off spreads
While the struggles faced by COIN can be chalked up to it being a newly listed stock that is still looking to establish its fair market value, downtrends in Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital Holdings, which had both outperformed BTC in 2021, also demonstrate the effect that a struggling BTC price has on crypto-related stocks.
A survey of the wider financial markets indicates that the overall tech sector pullback and concerns related to rising inflation have further hampered price growth in blockchain-related stocks, and there are few signs that these pressures will resolve in the near term.
The prices of both RIOT and MARA have followed Bitcoin price movements since the 2017–2018 bull market, so it is likely that further price growth for these and other blockchain-related stocks will depend on how BTC performs going forward.
It is curious to note that the price of RIOT and MARA rallied ahead of Bitcoin in 2021 to reach new all-time highs, indicating the possibility that they could be used as a leading indicator for future price movements for BTC and altcoins while offering traditional market investors exposure to the asset class without having to hold cryptocurrencies directly.
However, depending on how the market plays out moving forward, it should be noted that Bitcoin remains the dominant market indicator for all things blockchain- and cryptocurrency-related — meaning as goes BTC, so goes the rest of the market.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and you should conduct your own research when making a decision.