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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- The total return, or increase in value over 5 years of Bitcoin is 320.3%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (57.1%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the total return, or performance is 159.1%, which is larger, thus better than the value of 32% from the benchmark.

'The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a useful measure of growth over multiple time periods. It can be thought of as the growth rate that gets you from the initial investment value to the ending investment value if you assume that the investment has been compounding over the time period.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The annual return (CAGR) over 5 years of Bitcoin is 33.4%, which is greater, thus better compared to the benchmark SPY (9.5%) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the annual return (CAGR) is 37.5%, which is greater, thus better than the value of 9.7% from the benchmark.

'Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. Volatility can either be measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. Commonly, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period of time, it is called a 'volatile' market.'

Which means for our asset as example:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (21.5%) in the period of the last 5 years, the 30 days standard deviation of 68.9% of Bitcoin is larger, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the 30 days standard deviation is 65.7%, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 17.9% from the benchmark.

'The downside volatility is similar to the volatility, or standard deviation, but only takes losing/negative periods into account.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Looking at the downside volatility of 47.2% in the last 5 years of Bitcoin, we see it is relatively greater, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (15.5%)
- Compared with SPY (12.5%) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk of 44.3% is larger, thus worse.

'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.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the Sharpe Ratio of 0.45 in the last 5 years of Bitcoin, we see it is relatively greater, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.32)
- During the last 3 years, the Sharpe Ratio is 0.53, which is larger, thus better than the value of 0.41 from the benchmark.

'The Sortino ratio measures the risk-adjusted return of an investment asset, portfolio, or strategy. It is a modification of the Sharpe ratio but penalizes only those returns falling below a user-specified target or required rate of return, while the Sharpe ratio penalizes both upside and downside volatility equally. Though both ratios measure an investment's risk-adjusted return, they do so in significantly different ways that will frequently lead to differing conclusions as to the true nature of the investment's return-generating efficiency. The Sortino ratio is used as a way to compare the risk-adjusted performance of programs with differing risk and return profiles. In general, risk-adjusted returns seek to normalize the risk across programs and then see which has the higher return unit per risk.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the ratio of annual return and downside deviation of 0.65 in the last 5 years of Bitcoin, we see it is relatively larger, thus better in comparison to the benchmark SPY (0.45)
- Compared with SPY (0.58) in the period of the last 3 years, the downside risk / excess return profile of 0.79 is greater, thus better.

'Ulcer Index is a method for measuring investment risk that addresses the real concerns of investors, unlike the widely used standard deviation of return. UI is a measure of the depth and duration of drawdowns in prices from earlier highs. Using Ulcer Index instead of standard deviation can lead to very different conclusions about investment risk and risk-adjusted return, especially when evaluating strategies that seek to avoid major declines in portfolio value (market timing, dynamic asset allocation, hedge funds, etc.). The Ulcer Index was originally developed in 1987. Since then, it has been widely recognized and adopted by the investment community. According to Nelson Freeburg, editor of Formula Research, Ulcer Index is “perhaps the most fully realized statistical portrait of risk there is.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the Ulcer Index of 43 in the last 5 years of Bitcoin, we see it is relatively higher, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (9.57 )
- During the last 3 years, the Downside risk index is 49 , which is higher, thus worse than the value of 10 from the benchmark.

'A maximum drawdown is the maximum loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio, before a new peak is attained. Maximum Drawdown is an indicator of downside risk over a specified time period. It can be used both as a stand-alone measure or as an input into other metrics such as 'Return over Maximum Drawdown' and the Calmar Ratio. Maximum Drawdown is expressed in percentage terms.'

Using this definition on our asset we see for example:- Looking at the maximum reduction from previous high of -76.6 days in the last 5 years of Bitcoin, we see it is relatively lower, thus worse in comparison to the benchmark SPY (-33.7 days)
- Compared with SPY (-24.5 days) in the period of the last 3 years, the maximum drop from peak to valley of -76.6 days is smaller, thus worse.

'The Maximum Drawdown Duration is an extension of the Maximum Drawdown. However, this metric does not explain the drawdown in dollars or percentages, rather in days, weeks, or months. It is the length of time the account was in the Max Drawdown. A Max Drawdown measures a retrenchment from when an equity curve reaches a new high. It’s the maximum an account lost during that retrenchment. This method is applied because a valley can’t be measured until a new high occurs. Once the new high is reached, the percentage change from the old high to the bottom of the largest trough is recorded.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- The maximum days under water over 5 years of Bitcoin is 477 days, which is higher, thus worse compared to the benchmark SPY (439 days) in the same period.
- During the last 3 years, the maximum days under water is 477 days, which is larger, thus worse than the value of 439 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.'

Applying this definition to our asset in some examples:- Compared with the benchmark SPY (106 days) in the period of the last 5 years, the average days under water of 159 days of Bitcoin is greater, thus worse.
- During the last 3 years, the average days under water is 175 days, which is greater, thus worse than the value of 149 days from the benchmark.

Historical returns have been extended using synthetic data.
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- 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.