Bitcoin (BTC -0.13%) is down 64% this year, and that sell-off could make now an enticing time to buy the cryptocurrency. The only problem: Where its value goes next year and beyond remains a huge question mark.

Investors can't simply look at its financials the way they would a regular stock and see that it's undervalued, and thus justify it as a sound long-term investment. Speculation is a key driver in its value, and that can make owning Bitcoin and any other cryptocurrency incredibly risky.

If you're looking for an investment with tons of potential upside in the long term and are willing to take on risk, then you may want to consider investing in the following disruptive growth stocks: Block (SQ 0.52%), Veeva Systems (VEEV 2.06%), Palantir Technologies (PLTR 1.15%). Here's why these stocks can be better buys and less risky than Bitcoin in 2023.

1. Block

Block, previously known as Square, has endured a beating in the markets this year, falling 62%. Its downfall isn't surprising because the business has significant exposure to cryptocurrency. And while that makes it a bit riskier than other stocks, it can make it a more attractive option for potential Bitcoin investors.

The company's business in the past has centered around making it easy for merchants to process transactions. Rather than renting expensive terminals from the big credit card processors, a vendor can just buy a point-of-sale (POS) device from Block and process transactions more efficiently. For small vendors, the cost savings can be significant, while not having to compromise their capabilities; Block's devices are flexible and easy to use. 

However, Block has been pivoting toward cryptocurrency, and its name change (which it announced in December 2021) reflects its growing focus on the blockchain. For the period ending Sept. 30, Bitcoin revenue totaled $1.8 billion, and although that was down 3% year over year, it still was the largest source of revenue for the business; Block's transaction-based revenue (which includes transactions from its POS devices) came in at $1.5 billion.

Investing in Block can be appealing for Bitcoin investors because they can benefit from the growth in crypto without having to be all in on it; Block's business is diverse and can offer much more safety for your portfolio. Although this year hasn't been indicative of that, in the long run the company can generate significant returns as macroeconomic conditions improve.

And if the much-feared recession next year isn't as bad as some expect, a recovery in the stock's price could happen as early as 2023.

2. Veeva Systems

Veeva seeks to advance and change the way healthcare companies analyze data. The company's cloud solutions provide businesses with a way to manage data and grow their sales. Like Salesforce, Veeva offers businesses a customer relationship management system, but Veeva is different in that it focuses specifically on the life sciences industry.

Healthcare companies aren't known for necessarily being terribly tech savvy, and that's where Veeva acts as a potential disruptor, assisting companies in ramping up their capabilities and making smarter decisions along the way. 

In the period ended Oct. 31, the company's sales totaled $552.4 million, up 16% year over year. That's not a huge growth rate, but it's encouraging given the economy and the many businesses pulling back on big expenditures.

Veeva's stock is down 37% this year. Although that isn't as bad as Bitcoin, it has underperformed the markets, with the S&P 500 declining 19% over the same time frame. But tech in general has struggled this year, and if there are signs of improvement in the economy next year and businesses look more willing to spend on investments and tech upgrades, Veeva could stand to benefit. 

3. Palantir Technologies

Another tech-focused stock that has hit the skids in 2022 is Palantir. Down 65%, its performance has looked a lot like Bitcoin's. The data analytics company is known for being a big name in counterintelligence software and a trusted government vendor. 

The business has been achieving stronger growth than Veeva, with sales of $477.9 million in its most recent quarter (ended Sept. 30) rising 22% year over year. The downside for investors has been that its operations are deep in the red, with Palantir incurring a net loss of $123.9 million last quarter.

Here again is an example of where businesses scaling back on large capital purchases amid an uncertain economy is likely hurting an otherwise promising growth stock. But with more companies moving to the cloud and needing to make smarter data-based decisions, Palantir is in an excellent position to benefit from that inevitable growth.

Another reason investors might like this stock is Palantir's no-nonsense CEO, Alex Karp, who previously called out Wall Street for its "destructive" focus on the short term. His focus on the long term is why Palantir could be an excellent investment to buy and hold right now.