Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to successfully record transactions on a secure, decentralized blockchain-based network. Launched in early 2009 by its pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency measured by market capitalization and amount of data stored on its blockchain. The Bitcoin software is free and available online to anyone who wants to run a Bitcoin node and store their own copy of the Bitcoin blockchain. As Bitcoin matures, engineers have designed additional protocols to improve the speed and privacy of Bitcoin transactions, including the Omni Layer, Lightning Network and Liquid Network. Only approximately 21 million bitcoins will ever be created. New coins are minted every 10 minutes by bitcoin miners who help to maintain the network by adding new transaction data to the blockchain.

'The total return on a portfolio of investments takes into account not only the capital appreciation on the portfolio, but also the income received on the portfolio. The income typically consists of interest, dividends, and securities lending fees. This contrasts with the price return, which takes into account only the capital gain on an investment.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (122%) in the period of the last 5 years, the total return, or performance of 6365.2% of Bitcoin is larger, thus better.
- Looking at total return in of 440.5% in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (61%).

'Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a business and investing specific term for the geometric progression ratio that provides a constant rate of return over the time period. CAGR is not an accounting term, but it is often used to describe some element of the business, for example revenue, units delivered, registered users, etc. CAGR dampens the effect of volatility of periodic returns that can render arithmetic means irrelevant. It is particularly useful to compare growth rates from various data sets of common domain such as revenue growth of companies in the same industry.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (17.3%) in the period of the last 5 years, the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 131% of Bitcoin is higher, thus better.
- Compared with SPY (17.2%) in the period of the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) of 76% is greater, thus better.

'Volatility is a rate at which the price of a security increases or decreases for a given set of returns. Volatility is measured by calculating the standard deviation of the annualized returns over a given period of time. It shows the range to which the price of a security may increase or decrease. Volatility measures the risk of a security. It is used in option pricing formula to gauge the fluctuations in the returns of the underlying assets. Volatility indicates the pricing behavior of the security and helps estimate the fluctuations that may happen in a short period of time.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (18.8%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 77.4% of Bitcoin is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the volatility is 73.6%, which is higher, thus worse than the value of 22.5% from the benchmark.

'Downside risk is the financial risk associated with losses. That is, it is the risk of the actual return being below the expected return, or the uncertainty about the magnitude of that difference. Risk measures typically quantify the downside risk, whereas the standard deviation (an example of a deviation risk measure) measures both the upside and downside risk. Specifically, downside risk in our definition is the semi-deviation, that is the standard deviation of all negative returns.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The downside risk over 5 years of Bitcoin is 50.7%, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (13.6%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the downside volatility is 49.7%, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 16.3% from the benchmark.

'The Sharpe ratio (also known as the Sharpe index, the Sharpe measure, and the reward-to-variability ratio) is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. The ratio measures the excess return (or risk premium) per unit of deviation in an investment asset or a trading strategy, typically referred to as risk, named after William F. Sharpe.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The risk / return profile (Sharpe) over 5 years of Bitcoin is 1.66, which is larger, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (0.79) in the same period.
- Looking at risk / return profile (Sharpe) in of 1 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.65).

'The Sortino ratio improves upon the Sharpe ratio by isolating downside volatility from total volatility by dividing excess return by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio is a variation of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful volatility from total overall volatility by using the asset's standard deviation of negative asset returns, called downside deviation. The Sortino ratio takes the asset's return and subtracts the risk-free rate, and then divides that amount by the asset's downside deviation. The ratio was named after Frank A. Sortino.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Looking at the downside risk / excess return profile of 2.54 in the last 5 years of Bitcoin, we see it is relatively higher, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (1.09)
- Looking at downside risk / excess return profile in of 1.48 in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to SPY (0.9).

'The Ulcer Index is a technical indicator that measures downside risk, in terms of both the depth and duration of price declines. The index increases in value as the price moves farther away from a recent high and falls as the price rises to new highs. The indicator is usually calculated over a 14-day period, with the Ulcer Index showing the percentage drawdown a trader can expect from the high over that period. The greater the value of the Ulcer Index, the longer it takes for a stock to get back to the former high.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (5.58 ) in the period of the last 5 years, the Downside risk index of 46 of Bitcoin is larger, thus worse.
- Compared with SPY (6.83 ) in the period of the last 3 years, the Ulcer Index of 31 is larger, thus worse.

'Maximum drawdown is defined as the peak-to-trough decline of an investment during a specific period. It is usually quoted as a percentage of the peak value. The maximum drawdown can be calculated based on absolute returns, in order to identify strategies that suffer less during market downturns, such as low-volatility strategies. However, the maximum drawdown can also be calculated based on returns relative to a benchmark index, for identifying strategies that show steady outperformance over time.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -83 days of Bitcoin is lower, thus worse.
- Looking at maximum reduction from previous high in of -61.8 days in the period of the last 3 years, we see it is relatively smaller, thus worse in comparison to SPY (-33.7 days).

'The Drawdown Duration is the length of any peak to peak period, or the time between new equity highs. The Max Drawdown Duration is the worst (the maximum/longest) amount of time an investment has seen between peaks (equity highs) in days.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (139 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the maximum days under water of 737 days of Bitcoin is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum time in days below previous high water mark is 332 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 139 days from the benchmark.

'The Drawdown Duration is the length of any peak to peak period, or the time between new equity highs. The Avg Drawdown Duration is the average amount of time an investment has seen between peaks (equity highs), or in other terms the average of time under water of all drawdowns. So in contrast to the Maximum duration it does not measure only one drawdown event but calculates the average of all.'

Which means for our asset as example:- The average days under water over 5 years of Bitcoin is 246 days, which is greater, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (33 days) in the same period.
- Compared with SPY (34 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the average days below previous high of 113 days is larger, thus worse.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
[Show Details]

- Note that yearly returns do not equal the sum of monthly returns due to compounding.
- Performance results of Bitcoin are hypothetical, do not account for slippage, fees or taxes, and are based on backtesting, which has many inherent limitations, some of which are described in our Terms of Use.