All commodities markets have their levered investment bets. Crude oil has wildcat exploration and production companies; gold and precious metals have the mining operations out doing the dirty work in the ground. A commodity of the future, bitcoin, is no exception to the rule that when there’s a scarce resource to exploit in the world, and investors are placing increasing value on it, miners will rush in to stake their claim to the riches.

Recent gains in what may be the most high-risk bitcoin bet of all led Leeor Shimron, vice president of digital asset strategy at Fundstrat Global Advisors, to take a look at the “digital gold rush” in trading of bitcoin miners.

These mining companies are fairly new and young, they lack track records, and some came to market in “roundabout ways” — and some of the biggest, like Riot Blockchain, attracted regulatory scrutiny in their early days. They also have been operating at losses, but Shimon noted they have reached over $1 billion in market cap after investing heavily during the bitcoin downturn in the hardware and facilities that helped them to “strike it big” in the current bitcoin bull market cycle.

High-beta, high-risk bitcoin trading

Shimron described the miners in a note last week to clients who expressed interest in the surging stocks as a “high beta play” on bitcoin. During the recent bull run for the cryptocurrency, during which bitcoin is up 900%,
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