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Crypto equities began to look like digital assets themselves Thursday morning as stock prices soar on continued bitcoin ETF optimism.

MicroStrategy, Coinbase and Marathon Digital clocked double-digit rallies, with mining operation Marathon leading the pack after jumping more than 17% after the open. 

Competing bitcoin mining shop Riot Platforms wasn’t far behind, posting just under 10% gains at time of publication. Galaxy digital followed suit with a roughly 6% rally. 

Bitcoin continued its rally Thursday, although related stocks far outpaced the cryptocurrency itself. 

Bitcoin (BTC) rallied as much as 6.4% before paring gains to around 1.5% higher. Bitcoin remains up around 31% over the month and more than 115% higher year-to-date though — a trend some analysts attribute to a different kind of bull run. 

“The difference between the implied volatility of calls [versus] puts is at its highest since April 2021,” said Noelle Acheson, author of the Crypto is Macro Now newsletter. “In other words, demand for bets on bitcoin continuing to go up exceeds demand for bets that it will go down by the widest margin in two-and-a-half years.” 

Earlier this month, Coinbase reported higher-than-expected revenue over the last quarter and beat estimates on loss per share, fueling the rally that has seen the exchange’s share price surge more than 15% in a week. 

MicroStrategy, maximalist Michael Saylor’s bitcoin acquirer and software firm, is up more than 260% since the start of the year, dwarfing its gains of just a week ago, when the stock was around 197% higher year-to-date. 

​​”The equity rallies in MSTR and COIN basically track bitcoin’s price with higher beta,” Roshun Patel, partner at Hack VC, said. “It is interesting to see how MSTR tends to sustain its rallies longer, whereas COIN investors tend to sell sooner, which is likely representative of slightly different holder bases.”

MicroStrategy’s 2023 third quarter earnings report last week showed a $143 million net loss, including a $34 million impairment loss on its digital asset holdings. Crypto market moves didn’t stop the company from acquiring an additional 6,067 bitcoins between June and September though, which is what investors are watching, Patel said. 

Stablecoin issuer Circle might also be coming to the public market in 2024, according to reports from Bloomberg, which analysts expect will further fuel traders. 

Circle’s valuation the last time it made a play at an initial public offering, which was squashed in 2022, was $9 billion. 

“Anticipation of the Coinbase initial public offering (or direct listing) on April 14, 2021, propelled Bitcoin prices to around $61,500,” researchers from Matrixport wrote in a report Thursday.

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