March 1st - This Week in Alternative Investments

This issue is brought to you by Energy Shares, where you can invest in clean energy opportunities like solar farms.


Bite-sized market updates

  • A record-setting case of hockey cards

  • Bitcoin shot past $60,000

  • Stripe’s value keeps increasing

  • Auction sales for women artists hit a new-high

Plus: Card grading company consolidation, Ethereum ETFs, housing prices, and more.


$61,426 (+18.8% weekly)
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Market Updates

An unopened case of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards sold for $3.72 million. This is the set that includes hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s rookie card, making it the most sought after of any hockey cards ever produced. This particular case is the only known one to exist and was only found recently among other boxes in storage in Saskatchewan. The case has 16 boxes that contain 48 packs each. In the same auction, a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle graded PSA 8.5 sold for $2.37 million, a 18x gain from its previous sale for $154,700 in 2010. Both sales speak to the power of rare items to achieve strong results even in an otherwise down market.

Bitcoin’s price continues to rise, surpassing $60,000 for the first time since 2021. This comes only about two weeks since it hit the $50,000 mark, showing how rapidly the price has grown. Since Bitcoin ETFs were launched in January, its price has risen by nearly 30%. The price gains feed into themselves, as growing hype builds demand, evidenced by the record inflows the ETFs are seeing. With the upcoming “halving” making it more difficult to mine and restricting supply, many are anticipating a further price surge. However, this anticipation is part of what is fueling this price growth, and there is a chance that people will “sell the news” when the halving occurs.

Payments processor Stripe is now valued at $65 billion after an employee stock sale. This represents a 30% gain since last March, when the company raised a Series A at a valuation of $50 billion. While it does represent a decline from a $95 billion valuation in 2021, the upward trajectory could point it towards a long-awaited IPO. Until then, secondary shares of the company have been in high demand, with a secondary sale in January of this year valuing the company at $53.65 billion, meaning investors have already seen a 20% gain on paper. This new valuation is likely to raise demand for Stripe’s secondary shares even further.

Sales at auction for women artists hit an all-time high of $825.8 million in 2023. This represents a 7% rise from 2022, and represents 13.8% of all auction sales. While the average price realized for women artists was 37% less than for men, that gap also narrowed in 2023. However, women artists made up 70% of the under-30 “ultra-contemporary” market, and the average price realized was nearly 3x that of men under 30, a sure sign of a market shift. This is an important factor to consider for anyone who is considering investing into contemporary art.

Smart Humans Podcast

Slava Rubin talks with CoinFund's Jake Brukhman about investing into web3, picking Layer 1s, and finding opportunities in today's markets.


PSA is acquiring rival SGC (Gemrate)

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