Bitcoin inches higher as prices continue in narrow range, Silvergate whipsaws after downgrade

• March 1, 2023, 10:28AM EST

Crypto prices were slightly higher halfway through the week, with most trading within a narrow range. Crypto stocks dipped after the open.

Bitcoin was trading around $23,760 by 10 a.m. EST, up a little over 2%, according to TradingView data. Ether was trading up 3.4% to $1,660. Cryptocurrencies were broadly higher across the board. CFX added over 9% following a $10 million token round. 

BTCUSD chart by TradingView

Crypto stocks

Silvergate was down 2.7% by 10:15 a.m. EST, having whipsawed after the open. Shares in the crypto-friendly bank have traded down since the beginning of the year. 

KBW analysts led by Michael Perito downgrade the stock to market perform from outperform, citing “increasingly limited visibility.” The bank changed its price target to $16 from $25. 

“As SI’s shares have fallen, we have defended the bank’s management, operating platform, role within FTX’s platform, and strength of their balance sheet,” the note read.

The firm cited Silvergate’s strong operating procedures, particularly with regard to compliance, social media claims that “continue to fundamentally misrepresent” the bank’s role and exposure to FTX and the bank’s ability to survive the “significant deposit run in Q4.” 

The downgrade comes amid a lack of information and updates, two months on from year-end financials.

“Our market perform rating reflects increased patience, particularly after the bounceback in the shares off the lows of nearly $10,” the note read. KBW concluded that for investors looking for exposure to high-growth digital banks, “we think more established banking-as-a-service players, such as top-pick CCB, makes more sense from a risk/reward standpoint.”

Coinbase flipped between red and green, trading down 1% to $64.16. Block and MicroStrategy fell by 2% and 1.4%, respectively.