Crypto Dominates January’s Top Performing ETFs

Copper, rare earth and metals ETFs have also made the top performers’ list.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

It’s official: Digital assets have had an impressive start of the year after trailing almost every asset class in 2022, according to Bloomberg data for the full month of January. 

Once you factor out leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds, the 30 top-performing ETFs year-to-date were heavily focused on digital assets, from the nearly 99% gain of the Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI) to the 31.2% share price increase seen by the Invesco Alerian Galaxy Blockchain Users and Decentralized Commerce ETF (BLKC).  


Ticker Fund YTD Return
WGMI Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF 98.66%
DAM Vaneck Digital Asset Mining ETF 75.84%
DAPP VanEck Digital Transformation ETF 67.04%
BKCH Global X Blockchain ETF 64.05%
BITQ Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF 61.95%
JJN iPath Bloomberg Nickel Subindex Total Return ETN 24.38%
SATO Invesco Alerian Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF 55.05%
IBLC iShares Blockchain And Tech ETF 54.47%
BITS Global X Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF 50.58%
FDIG Fidelity Crypto Industry And Digital Payments ETF 46.51%
GFOF Grayscale Future of Finance ETF 46.50%
NFTZ Defiance Digital Revolution ETF 40.97%
DEFI Hashdex Bitcoin Futures ETF 40.67%
BITO ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF 40.27%
MAXI Simplify Bitcoin Strategy PLUS Income ETF 39.66%
XBTF Vaneck Bitcoin Strategy ETF 39.47%
BTF Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF 38.96%
CRPT First Trust SkyBridge Crypto Industry and Digital Economy ETF 38.58%
TWEB SoFi Web 3 ETF 31.33%
BLKC Invesco Alerian Galaxy Blockchain Users and Decentralized Commerce ETF 31.16%
STCE Schwab Crypto Thematic ETF 29.25%
ARKF ARK Fintech Innovation ETF 29.22%
ARKW ARK Next Generation Internet ETF 29.16%
JJC iPath Bloomberg Copper Subindex Total Return ETN 28.38%
ARKK ARK Innovation ETF 27.82%
ONLN Proshares Online Retail ETF 27.19%
MEME Roundhill Meme ETF 25.25%
REMX VanEck Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF 25.08%
IBUY Amplify Online Retail ETF 25.06%
BLOK Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF 24.93%

Source: Bloomberg; data as of 1/31/2023


“Digital assets have sold off significantly more than the broader market, so we hit a point where we exhausted most of the selling pressure,” said Spencer Bogart, general partner at Blockchain Capital, previously told  

WGMI only launched in February 2022, but consider that the VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP), the No. 3 performer this year with a gain of 67%, was down nearly 86% in 2022 and was the second-worst performer after the recently closed Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF (RIGZ).  

The only ETF in the top 20 that doesn’t focus on digital assets is the iPath Bloomberg Nickel Subindex Total Return ETN (JJN), which was up 24.4%, likely due in part to its use in energy transition technologies, though it is forecast to be in surplus this year, according to a recent Reuters article.  

However, if you look beyond those top 20 ETFs, more diversity begins to creep into the list, though it is still liberally sprinkled with crypto-related assets and remains fairly tech heavy. The ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (ARKF) is up 29.2%, though that fund has a nearly 11% weighting in Coinbase, which is up more than 65% year to –ate, so it’s not completely divorced from the crypto economy. 

And in fact, ARK ETFs, which are focused on disruptive innovation, are fairly prevalent in these funds ranked 21-30 for performance. The ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) comes in just behind its sister fund, with almost the same return. Coinbase Global makes another appearance in ARKW’s holdings, with a weight of 6.6%, as does the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, with a weight of 5.7%.  

The ARK flagship ETF, the ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK), is on the list, with an increase of 27.8% and a 4.7% weight to Coinbase. Those three ARK ETFs were each down more than 65% in 2022.  

Falling between ARKW and ARKK is the iPath Bloomberg Copper Subindex Total Return ETF (JJC), up 28.4%, driven at least in part by demand from the renewable energy sector. Similarly, the VanEck Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (REMX) was up 25.1% through the end of January. Such metals are also used in the transition to a low-carbon economy.  

Two online retail ETFs that were hit hard last year also saw significant increases during the first month of the year. The ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN) and the Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY) were up 27.2% and 25.1%, respectively. Both funds were down more than 50% in 2022. 

The Roundhill Meme ETF (MEME) is another fund hit hard in 2022 that is currently rebounding. It finished January gaining 25.3%, quite a turnaround after a steep decline last year. 

Most of the best-performing ETFs of January 2023 had fallen so much last year that the argument could be made that their share prices had nowhere to go but up. However, expectations that the Fed could halt or slow its rate hiking likely helped to boost them as well.  


Contact Heather Bell at [email protected] 

Heather Bell is a managing editor with Prior to joining the company, she held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and a one-time Jeopardy! champion. She resides in the Denver area with her two dogs, and enjoys hiking in the mountains and frequenting the city’s excellent bookstores.