One Of Bitcoin’s Biggest Backers Just Spent $1 Billion Buying More

In this photo illustration a Bitcoin logo is seen displayed...

While bitcoin remains about 15% below its record high from Sunday, a couple of the cryptocurrency’s biggest corporate backers have doubled-down on their bitcoin investments during the recent correction despite concerns over the token’s unshakeable volatility.

Business analytics company MicroStrategy said Wednesday morning that it spent slightly more than $1 billion buying about 19,452 bitcoin tokens during the recent correction, averaging about $52,756 per bitcoin.

As of Wednesday, the firm, which used debt to finance its recent bitcoin acquisition, holds roughly 90,531 tokens that it purchased at a combined price of nearly $2.2 billion–less than half the $4.5 billion they’re worth at current prices.

In a statement, MicroStrategy ژEO Michael Saylor said acquiring and holding bitcoin remains one of the company’s two biggest strategic priorities (in addition to growing its analytics software business) and that the investment “reaffirms [the firm’s] belief that bitcoin, as the world’s most widely adopted cryptocurrency, can serve as a dependable store of value.”

The move comes less than a day after payments fintech Square, cofounded and led by billionaire Jack Dorsey, revealed it’s also doubled-down on its bitcoin investment–investing another $170 million in the cryptocurrency this month after a $50 million investment in October.

At current prices, Square’s October investment is worth approximately $230 million–more than four times the purchase price; combined with the recent purchase, bitcoin represents about 10% of the cash Square had on hand at the end of last year.

MicroStrategy shares have plummeted 42% since a nearly 20-year high on February 9–the day after Tesla disclosed a $1.5 billion bitcoin investment; much of the plunge has been fueled by crashing bitcoin prices, which have similarly tanked Tesla shares.

Crucial Quote

“Bitcoin is a bank in cyberspace for people that don’t have the ability to run their own hedge fund,” Saylor said on CNBC Tuesday. “It’s not a stock; it’s an asset class, and so if I put $1 billion into a bank, and then came back and put another $10 billion in a bank, the bank is not overvalued, it’s just 10 times bigger.”

Surprising Fact

Bitcoin has plummeted about 16% from its record high of more than $58,000 on Sunday, but it’s still up more than 400% in the past year.

Key Background

In addition to corporations bulking up their balance sheets with volatile bitcoin, institutional investors continue to bolster adoption in the space. This month alone, the first two bitcoin exchange-traded funds launched in Canada, BNY Mellon announced that its wealth management arm will process cryptocurrencies alongside stocks and bonds, and news broke that Morgan Stanley’s $150 billion investing arm is considering adding bitcoin to its portfolio.

Chief Critic

Bitcoin prices reversed a recent rally on Sunday after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that its prices seemed “a little high,” fueling concerns among experts that the token’s volatility makes it an unreliable store of value. “The fall that has taken place since [Musk’s tweet] shows just how wild an instrument bitcoin is, how overbought it has become and how influential the Tesla CEO now is in the space,” Oanda Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam said Tuesday. “I’m not sure any of that is a good thing.”

genesis-3-1

Further Reading

Not Just Tesla: Big Institutions Keep Piling Into Bitcoin As Price Rockets Past $50,000 (Forbes)

Tesla Has Plunged 25% And Lost $200 Billion In Market Value Since Its Bitcoin Investment (Forbes)

Bitcoin Market Value Shoots Past $1 Trillion Amid Tesla-Fueled Surge (Forbes)

Bitcoin Soars To New High After Tesla Says It Invested $1.5 Billion (Forbes)

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

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Sleeping with the Enemy: Why Institutional Adoption is Bad for Bitcoin

bitcoin, wall street, crypto, nyse

If recent noises coming out of Wall Street are anything to go by, it looks like 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the institutions for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

However, the arrival of the institutions as they stampede over that hill represents a double-edged sword. On the one hand, prices will almost certainly pump in the short to medium term, even if just by association alone.

On the other hand, we appear to be in the process of welcoming into our beds the very enemy that cryptocurrency was set up to defeat – the old, deep-rooted bloodlines of the financial elite.


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So yes, the institutions are absolutely coming to crypto, and if you think that’s a good thing, then this may be a good time to ask where your loyalties actually lie.

Cryptocurrency’s Overton Window Threatens to Get Smaller

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The Overton window refers to the range of ideas that are permitted to be discussed in the public sphere. The topics outside the window aren’t necessarily banned or censored – they’re just buried so deep that most people don’t know they exist. Not until years later when you stumble across them in some shady corner of the internet, usually presented in the form of a rouge-colored pill.

As has already been witnessed in the r/bitcoin subreddit, when people have a vested interest to protect, they will quite happily make adjustments to the length and breadth of the Overton window to keep its range of view to their liking.

Deleting unfavourable comments from a crypto subreddit isn’t all that surprising, especially given how much rabid coin holders want to protect their investments. But there’s ample evidence to suggest that the rampant censorship on r/bitcoin began only when the institutions arrived.

Those institutions are the financial backers behind Bitcoin’s leading development group – Blockstream. They include AXA Venture Partners, an investment wing of AXA Group – the second largest financial services firm in the world. Blockstream has helped guide the development of Bitcoin since 2016, and if you didn’t already know that, then it may be because the Overton window has been set up specifically so that you don’t.

Without veering into the Bilderberg conspiracy, the censorship of r/bitcoin offers a taste of how the ‘old money’ institutions react to cryptocurrency’s open-source, decentralized ideals. They laugh, then proceed to take your money.

Recuperation: Absorbing Bitcoin Without Killing It

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“Whoops! The web is not the web we wanted in every respect.”

Those words were uttered by Sir Tim Berners-Lee earlier this year, as the man who invented the World Wide Web bemoaned the fact that the original dream of the internet had not come to fruition.

Berners-Lee was comparing the early 1990s notions of what the internet promised to be – free, open, anonymous, decentralized – with the internet we’ve come to know today – censored, controlled, tracked, and spied upon, thanks to the collusion of governments and big tech corporations.

Note: the internet didn’t need to be destroyed to have its disruptive potential neutralized; it only had to be brought round to the accepted way of doing things. This is a process which has happened often enough to gain its own name – recuperation, defined as:

the process by which politically radical ideas and images are twisted, co-opted, absorbed, defused, incorporated, annexed and commodified within media culture and bourgeois society, and thus become interpreted through a neutralized, innocuous or more socially conventional perspective.”

Some Bitcoin enthusiasts were predicting a fate of recuperation for the crypto space back in 2014, such as this early Bitcoin miner by the name of Stefan Molyneux.

Zooming in on the internet analogy, in 2011 Facebook was being hailed as a technological messiah for the inadvertent role it played in helping to organize the Tahrir Square protests in Egypt. Fast forward a few years, and Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has become one of the biggest threats to privacy in internet history.

Crypto is the Cure: But Will We Take Our Medicine in Time?

bitcoin crypto

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The only way to avoid the snare of the banksters, the globalists, the mainstream, the man – whoever it may be – is to become independent and self-sufficient enough that we no longer need to buy what they’re selling. Under those conditions, no amount of propaganda or salesmanship would have an effect, since there would be no gaping hole left in our lives for them to fill.

The ears of libertarians should be picking up about now, and rightly so. The plight of libertarianism as a political ideology is very analogous to the plight of Bitcoin in its quest to liberate the masses from financial bondage.

The fate of libertarianism depends not on its efficacy as a system of governance, but rather on the ability of the average citizen to live up to its ideals. Likewise, Bitcoin’s future success or failure as a tool of freedom will not come down to the efficiency of its technology, but whether or not people can step up to the responsibility of being their own caretaker.

In today’s culture of dependence, the prospect of either of these eventualities coming to fruition seems slim. The education required to foster this new mentality of independence isn’t found in the public school system. If the sudden increase in Bitcoin’s use in Venezuela is anything to go by, then as is often the case as we look through history, we may first need to suffer catastrophe before we can see where we’ve gone wrong.

Perhaps a catastrophe similar to, or worse than, the one which caused a cipher named Satoshi Nakamoto to commence work on Bitcoin in 2008.

“03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”

Bitcoin’s Future is Not Set – its Fate is what it makes for Itself

bitcoin, institutional investor

It’s unlikely that the established financial order will just saddle up and play along with the quasi-anarchist rules set up by a freakish band of coders and cypherpunks.| Source: Shutterstock

Look, if the institutions arrive and all they do is use cryptocurrency to diversify and boost their pension funds, then all is well. Prices will increase through increased demand and exposure, and all of us early adopters will reap the benefits of this adoption in the long run.

It’s unlikely, however, that the established financial order will just saddle up and play along with the quasi-anarchist rules set up by a freakish band of coders and cypherpunks. Yes, they’ll use the technology, but that doesn’t mean they’ll play by its rules.

This has been seen already as firms like JP Morgan and Facebook turn to creating their own cryptocurrencies – based on their own private protocols, with their own self-tailored rules. Strangely enough, this could turn out to be the most amicable solution between the cryptosphere and the institutions – they have their ‘cryptos,’ and we keep the real thing.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

Source: Sleeping with the Enemy: Why Institutional Adoption is Bad for Bitcoin

Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis Recognizes Bitcoin as Permissionless and Decentralized, Says It’s Not Going to Zero

While the naysayers say Bitcoin’s price is ultimately going to zero, a new report from the St. Louis Federal Reserve examines the long-term prospects for Bitcoin’s price, saying the nascent asset is unlikely to fall to zero. The price of Bitcoin fell nearly 85% in 2018 and is now hovering around $3,700. With such a substantial decrease in price, naysayers have been calling for Bitcoin’s demise, saying it has nothing to back up its value and is fundamentally flawed. They’re just waiting for the rest of the market to realize this and move on…….

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis Recognizes Bitcoin as Permissionless and Decentralized, Says It’s Not Going to Zero

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