United States fund manager WisdomTree saw the value of its digital asset holdings decline sharply in the fourth quarter, reflecting the prolonged bear market in Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.
WisdomTree’s cryptocurrency funds held $136 million worth of assets as of Dec. 31, 2022, down from $163 million at the beginning of the quarter and marking a $23 million depreciation, the company disclosed in its quarterly earnings report on Feb. 3. The funds witnessed only $4 million worth of redemptions or outflows during the quarter. Twelve months earlier, WisdomTree’s cryptocurrency portfolios held $357 million worth of assets.
The fund manager posted a net loss of $28.3 million in the fourth quarter, although operating revenues increased to $73.31 million. Net flows were $5.3 billion, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of positive inflows.
The nearly 62% year-over-year drop in WisdomTree’s crypto portfolio is consistent with the decline in the broader cryptocurrency market over the same period. At the end of 2021, the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies was north of $2.2 trillion — it fell to roughly $795 billion one year later, according to CoinMarketCap.
WisdomTree incurred its biggest crypto loss in the second quarter of 2022, when its portfolio depreciated by $235 million. At the time, crypto markets were reeling from the collapse of Terra Luna and its spillover effects on hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and crypto lender Celsius — the latter two companies filed for bankruptcy in July.
WisdomTree offers several blockchain-focused funds that provide access to the digital-asset sector through traditional financial infrastructure. In December, WisdomTree was greenlighted by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to list nine additional blockchain-enabled funds. However, efforts to list a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund have been rejected by the securities regulator multiple times.
Related: Bitcoin’s big month: Did US institutions prevail over Asian retail traders?
For all the negativity surrounding crypto assets lately, institutional investors have stepped up to buy the dip, according to crypto financial services platform Matrixport. Data provided by the firm suggested that US-based institutional investors have driven the lion’s share of bitcoin buying recently.