Cryptocurrency-related exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have taken the two top spots for the worst-performing ETFs in Australia for the year, with the same story playing out in the United States.
BetaShares Crypto Innovators ETF (CRYP) and Cosmos Global Digital Miners Access ETF (DIGA) have provided investors Down Under with respective negative returns of nearly 82% and 72% year to date (YTD) throughDec. 30.
BetaShares launched its ETF on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in October 2021, mere weeks before most cryptocurrencies hit all-time highs that they’re yet to regain.
CRYP provides exposure to publicly listed blockchain and crypto companies such as Coinbase and mining company Riot Blockchain, among others. The largest current holding at 12.3% of its portfolio is Mike Novogratz's investment firm Galaxy Digital.
Cosmos’ DIGA ETF tracked the performance of a portfolio of companies focused on mining Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies through the Global Digital Miners Index.
DIGA was similarly listed at a poor time in October 2021 on the Cboe Australia exchange.
Only a year later Cosmos requested the ETF, along with two others tracking BTC and Ether (ETH), to be delisted from Cboe as declining interest in crypto saw the funds' net asset value dip below $1 million.
U.S.-based ETFs have seen a similar pattern, with the top four worst-performing ETFs being crypto-related, according to ETF.com data. This however excludes inverse and leveraged funds.
The worst performer was the Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF (RIGZ), which aims to provide exposure to publicly listed crypto miners such as Riot and CleanSpark. It provided investors with a negative 87% return YTD.
VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP), the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ) and the First Trust SkyBridge Crypto Industry and Digital Economy ETF (CRPT) followed closely behind. All tracked the crypto industry through holdings in crypto firms such as Jack Dorsey’s Block Inc., Coinbase, Riot, Galaxy and others.
DAPP and BITQ gave investors a YTD negative return of nearly 86% and 84.5% respectively while CRPT was down nearly 81.5% over the same time.
Related: What to expect from crypto the year after FTX
However, the losses this year haven't been limited to the crypto industry alone. Over the past year, U.S. bonds, stocks and even real estate have recorded their worst-performing year in decades, and in some cases, centuries.
A traditional portfolio consisting of a respective 60/40 mix of stocks and bonds has seen the worst performance since the middle of the Great Depression in 1932.
MAMAA stocks, the collective name for Big Tech players Meta, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet (Google) have seen share price falls of up to 70% over the year. Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency market cap fell around 64.5% over the year.