In 2023, the market capitalization of Bitcoin (BTC: $26,956) has increased by $194 billion. Its 66% year-to-date (YTD) performance beats top Wall Street bank equities, especially as concerns about a global financial crisis mount.
Also, Bitcoin has decoupled from US stocks for the first time in a year, with its price climbing roughly 65% in 2023 vs 2.5% rises in the S&P 500 and a 15% decrease in the Nasdaq.
Wall Street banks lose $100B in 2023
According to data compiled by CompaniesMarketCap.com, the six major U.S. banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs — have lost about $100 billion in market valuation since the start of the year.
Bank of America’s stock is the poorest performer on Wall Street, with a roughly 17% year-to-date loss in value. Wells Fargo (9.74%), JPMorgan Chase (6.59%), Citi (3.62%), and Morgan Stanley (0.84%) trail with a YTD decline of over 12%.
Bank values in the United States have fallen as a result of the ongoing regional banking crisis in the United States. This includes the closure of Silvergate, a crypto-friendly bank, last week, followed by authorities’ subsequent takeovers of Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank.
The crisis was exacerbated by First Republic Bank’s near-collapse, which was averted at the last minute by a $30 billion joint injection from Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup, among others.
Cyprus and Greece deja vu?
The surge of Bitcoin in the face of a developing US financial crisis is similar to how it reacted following Cyprus and Greece’s banks crises.
During the Cyprus financial crisis in 2013, the price of Bitcoin increased by up to 5,000% due to Cypriot banks’ exposure to overleveraged regional real-estate enterprises.
In March 2013, the situation was so bad that Cypriot authorities shuttered all banks to prevent a bank run.
When Greece experienced a similar crisis in 2015 and put capital limits on residents to prevent a bank run, the price of Bitcoin increased by 150%.
“Fears about the stability of the banking system, combined with falling real interest rates, creates a good environment for Bitcoin to rebound,” said Ilan Solot, co-head of digital assets at London broker Marex, adding that the cryptocurrency “is seen as a hedge against systemic risks by some investors.”