Goldman Adds 12 New Picks to Its Blockchain List

  • Last April, Goldman Sachs launched a screen of US stocks with blockchain and cryptocurrency exposure.
  • Since the end of January, an equal-weighted portfolio of these stocks returned 3% relative to the S&P 500’s 0%.
  • They just refreshed the list, adding 12 new names and removing 5. We break down the changes.

Last year, investment bank Goldman Sachs launched a basket of US stocks with cryptocurrency and blockchain exposure as an alternative way to trade the blockchain theme.

The basket of blockchain-exposed stocks closely tracked bitcoin, which has enabled investment managers and individuals to gain exposure to the asset class without directly needing to buy digital assets.

An equal-weighted portfolio of the stocks have exhibited a 67% correlation with bitcoin over the last six months, according to an April 6 research note. 

“During bitcoin’s 19% rally since the end of January, an equal-weight portfolio of these stocks returned 3% (vs. +0% S&P 500),” David Kostin, a Goldman Sachs analyst, said in the note.

Blockchain-exposed stocks correlation to bitcoin

Blockchain-exposed stocks correlation to bitcoin

Goldman Sachs

Now a year on from the launch of the list, Goldman Sachs analysts are giving it a refresh, with the addition of some surprising new names and the removal of some existing ones.

The analysts might be hoping that the overhaul gives a boost to the basket’s recent performance.

Year-to-date, the basket has underperformed the S&P 500 by eight percentage points. This comes as the US equity markets have experienced a broad correction in light of the

Federal Reserve

hiking interest rates and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Pricey growth stocks have borne the brunt of the pain of the recent correction.

“The median stock in our screen trades at nearly three times the P/E (45x vs. 18x) and close to twice the EV/sales (5x vs. 3x) of the median US stock,” Kostin said.

However, sales growth is expected to remain strong relative to the broader US stock market. The consensus amongst analysts is that the median stock in the screen is expected to grow sales at an annual rate of 16% through 2024 compared to a rate of 9% for a median US stock, according to the note.

The screen has also outperformed the S&P 500 since the end of January. In an April note, Bloomberg Intelligence strategist Mike McGlone said bitcoin could continue to show divergent strength relative to equity indices in 2022.

“Sustaining above $46,300 for the year, but with the Nasdaq 100 Stock Index still down about 8%, may mark an inflection for the benchmark crypto,” McGlone said.

“Bitcoin appears poised to outperform the Nasdaq 100 in most scenarios,” he added. “The 2022 dip may be done, if the history of the stock market since the inception of bitcoin in 2009 is any indication.”

This in turn could also be a benefit to the basket of stocks, which is highly correlated to bitcoin.

The Goldman Sachs analysts use a combination of text search, regression betas and third-party blockchain indices and ETFs to identify US stocks that meet this correlation criteria. They must also have market capitalizations over $1 billion to be included in the list.

“We include in the screen any stocks in the universe with six or more points,” Kostin said. “Effectively, this means that each constituent must screen as highly exposed in at least two of the three approaches.”

“Our methodology remains largely unchanged since last year,” he added. “We removed one index from our Index/ETF membership criteria and added three new ones (BKCH, BITQ, CRPT). We also increased the threshold for a 3-point text search score to 15 mentions (previously 10).”

Here are the new additions and removals from the list.