Rapidly rising interest rates in 2022 have undoubtedly dampened the economic outlook, and it has caused a massive sell-off in earlier-stage growth companies in favor of more stable and profitable enterprises. Businesses in the tech sector have been particularly hard hit. 

Digging even deeper, fintech stocks have gotten crushed this year. But I don't think investors should completely write them off. Some businesses stand out from the pack. 

One of those is payments innovator Block (SQ -3.84%), formerly known as Square. Here are three reasons to scoop up shares before 2023. 

1. Two booming ecosystems 

What's impressive about Block's operations is that at a high level, it really has two successful businesses. The Square segment, which offers a full suite of point-of-sale and financial services solutions for merchants, processed $50 billion of gross payment volume (GPV) in the third quarter, with 40% coming from mid-market sellers, or those that produce more than $500,000 in annualized GPV. 

And then there's the popular Cash App, which allows for direct deposit, sending and receiving money, and investing. Cash App counted 49 million monthly active users in September and generated $774 million in gross profit in Q3. This was up 51% from the year-ago period, a superb performance given how most other companies are struggling to post meaningful gains right now. 

The growth opportunities for both Square and Cash App involve launching new features that will not only attract more customers, but make existing ones even stickier as they utilize more of Block's products and services. Management also has the chance to expand further into international markets to drive growth. 

Payments is notoriously an extremely lucrative business model at scale. While Block has consistently registered operating losses in previous years (besides 2019 and 2021), this figure is surely set to rise quickly in the years ahead with greater levels of sales. 

2. Exposure to Bitcoin 

Another reason I think it's a smart idea to buy Block stock right now is because of the company's exposure to Bitcoin. Cash App users can buy and sell Bitcoin directly from their mobile devices. For providing this service, Block collects a small transaction fee. 

With the crypto market soaring in 2021, and Bitcoin's price hitting an all-time high of nearly $69,000 in November last year, this revenue source was a major boon for Block's business. In 2021, Bitcoin gross profit (the true amount Block actually makes in transaction fees) increased 124% year over year to $218 million. However, this figure has fallen in 2022. Through the first nine months of this year, Bitcoin gross profit is down 12% from the comparable period in 2021. 

I view Block's Bitcoin business as a positive trait because as the Federal Reserve starts to slow down its path of rate hikes, and eventually leaves interest rates stable (or even starts dropping them in the future), this segment is set to boom again. 

Investors will start to gravitate toward cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin in particular. This should bring more users onto the Cash App platform, who might find themselves eventually using other features of the personal finance tool. 

3. Look at the valuation 

The final argument I present for why Block makes a good investment today is the attractive valuation. Since peaking at $281.81 per share in August 2021, Block's stock has fallen precipitously, to the tune of 78% (as of Dec. 16). As a result, it now trades at a price-to-sales (P/S) multiple of 2. Not only is this valuation significantly lower than Block's historical average P/S ratio of 6.5, but it is close to the cheapest valuation (P/S of 1.7) the stock has ever had. 

Therefore, it's probably safe to say that the pessimism surrounding the business today is near the highest it has ever been. This makes sense, given how much growth tech stocks, especially fintech ones, have fallen out of favor with investors this year. Over the long term, though, I think this is a great company to own. 

Wall Street consensus analyst estimates, which should be taken with a grain of salt most of the time, can provide some context. In 2026, these forecasts call for Block's earnings per share to be $3.96. This implies that the stock currently sells for roughly 16 times that projected figure. Block will still be posting double-digit top line growth then, and profits could be surging, so that multiple should be substantially higher than 16 in five years' time. 

This makes for a favorable setup for investors.