Nasdaq-listed company Microstrategy recently bought almost 17K bitcoins within 74 hours, costing about $175 million. The CEO of this billion-dollar company used to be a bitcoin skeptic but has recently become a bitcoin bull when his company purchased $425 million worth of bitcoin.
Billion Dollar Public Company Dives Into Bitcoin
Microstrategy recently made history in the bitcoin space when it became the first publicly-traded company to spend a material amount of its reserves to buy bitcoin.
The company has purchased a total of 38,250 BTC at an aggregate price of $425 million. The first purchase was announced on Aug. 11 for 21,454 bitcoins at an aggregate price of $250 million. The company then disclosed on Sept. 14 that it had purchased an additional 16,796 bitcoins at an aggregate price of $175 million.
Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor explained on Friday:
To acquire 16,796 BTC (disclosed 9/14/20), we traded continuously 74 hours, executing 88,617 trades ~0.19 BTC each 3 seconds. ~$39,414 in BTC per minute, but at all times we were ready to purchase $30-50 million in a few seconds if we got lucky with a 1-2% downward spike.
Saylor was previously a bitcoin skeptic, however. He tweeted on Dec. 18, 2013: “Bitcoin days are numbered. It seems like just a matter of time before it suffers the same fate as online gambling.”
During a podcast interview with Morgan Creek Digital partner Anthony Pompliano, published Wednesday, Saylor admitted that he had forgotten about the tweet. “I really am ashamed to say I didn’t know I tweeted it until the day that I tweeted that I bought $250 million worth of bitcoin and then I discovered the hive mind crypto twitter consciousness where all of a sudden they all went through all my tweets and they found it,” he described. “They reminded me of it. They compared it and I’m like oh my god I literally forgot I ever said that.” Nonetheless, Saylor added, “I didn’t get all worked up about it. I’m like you’re right I was wrong, what an idiot I was, I wish I could go back and do it again.”
Bitcoin Solves Cash Problem, Better Than Gold
The Microstrategy CEO then detailed how his company dived into bitcoin. With a cash-generating business and $500 million cash on hand, he was faced with the challenge of what to invest in to preserve its value.
“First, I have a mega, mega, mega problem and the mega problem is I have a lot of cash and I’m watching it melt away,” the CEO shared. He revealed that before investing in bitcoin, he watched many videos, including those by Andreas Antonopoulos, Pompliano, and Dan Held. He also read The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous and Parker Lewis’ essays — to name a few. To convince his company’s board of directors about buying bitcoin, he assigned them homework to read and watch videos about bitcoin, before having intense discussions with each of them.
Saylor is adamant about bitcoin being a better investment than gold. “Bitcoin is an anti-fragile, evolving thing,” he said in an interview with macro strategist Raoul Pal, who shares his sentiment about bitcoin being better than gold. “It’s the hardest currency because it’s getting continually exponentially harder … but it’s also smarter, stronger, and faster than gold.” He remarked:
When I say it’s harder than gold, I mean it’s not just 10 times harder because it goes 100 years without losing any of its value. I say it’s harder because it’s an organic nest of cybernetic hornets feeding off of encrypted energy.
“It’s a living thing, which means that the miners are going to keep upgrading their equipment. The developers are going to keep upgrading their development. The nodes are going to change. Every part of the ecosystem is going to change. And, they are changing in this terrifying Darwinian, capitalistic, libertarian, aggressive, winner-take-all, hold no bars, no one company, country, companies hold it,” the Nasdaq-listed company’s CEO elaborated.
He believes that anything controlled by anyone, entity, or country is “crippled,” affirming that “anything that’s controlled by a CEO is crippled, controlled by a state is crippled, controlled by a country is crippled.” In contrast, he said: This entire thing [bitcoin] is its own ecosystem. Gold is not going to get a million times smarter in the next 10 years. It’s not thinking at all, it’s a lump of metal lying there.” He noted bitcoin may be 1000x better than gold.
CEO Not Worried About Bitcoin’s Volatility
Saylor further said he is not worried about bitcoin’s volatility. “I’m holding it for a hundred freaking years … I’m not the day trader guy that’s worried about it so I think that as the institutions come in and as they buy bigger amounts, they’re damping the volatility.” He also emphasized that his company was able to acquire a large amount of bitcoin without significantly affecting its price.
Furthermore, he pointed out that the alternatives are much less attractive. “Let’s be honest, there’s a negative real yield on everything else I can buy. Okay, gold’s got a negative three, four, five percent real yield in my opinion,” he asserted, noting that bonds also have negative real yields. The CEO opined:
Every other non-volatile asset is a negative real yield, which means that everything else is lifeblood draining out of my veins, so if my choice would be to accept some volatility and live or I had non-volatile cash that bought 30 percent less in a matter of eight weeks … at that rate you’re not going to make it through the decade and so volatility is just something you got to live with.
He further said: “I find the entire bitcoin community to be inspirational and I did note in our press release one of the key drivers of our belief in the success of this is the community ethos. It’s a pretty amazing group of people and all of the thinking and all of the initiatives I just find to be extraordinary.”
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