The bitcoin price, up 6% on this time last year, has recently surged after trading sideways since early May—topping $11,000 per bitcoin for the first time since last September as nervous investors brace for a bout of inflation due to huge government spending and cash creation designed to offset the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, the Nasdaq-listed NDAQ -0.8% data analytics firm MicroStrategy MSTR +7% has bought a little over 21,000 bitcoin tokens for $250 million to provide a “reasonable hedge against inflation”—and has seen over $100 million added to its value since the purchase was revealed.
“Our investment in bitcoin is part of our new capital allocation strategy, which seeks to maximize long-term value for our shareholders,” MicroStrategy chief executive Michael Saylor said in a statement, adding the company believes bitcoin “is a dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash.”
Bitcoin is “superior to cash,” according to Saylor, pointing to “macro factors” including the coronavirus pandemic, global quantitative easing measures, political and economic uncertainty, and bitcoin’s technical and qualitative properties.
The MicroStrategy stock price added over 10% to its $1.3 billion market capitalization following the bitcoin purchase announcement, increasing the company’s market value by over $100 million as investors cheered the move that somewhat ties MicroStrategy’s valuation to the price of bitcoin.
The bitcoin price was, however, broadly unmoved by the news MicroStrategy had snapped up 21,000 of the total possible supply of 21 million bitcoin—though that didn’t stop many bitcoin traders and analysts from arguing it is bullish for bitcoin over the long-term.
“[MicroStrategy’s bitcoin purchase] serves as further confirmation of the institutional investment thesis of betting on bitcoin as a hedge to stimulus printing as well as global political and economic uncertainty,” Micah Erstling, trader at crypto market maker GSR, said via email.
“The longer-term bull case for bitcoin remains strong, and will continue to build as developments like these continue to emerge, alongside what seems to be an ongoing free flow of fiscal stimulus.”
Others in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency community argued MicroStrategy’s bet on bitcoin will have additional benefits, potentially resulting in other companies following in its footsteps.
“MicroStrategy talked about finding a long-term store of value, but companies that adopt bitcoin will discover other major benefits,” Nick Neuman, the chief executive of Colorado-based provider of bitcoin security services, Casa, said via email.
“It can simplify their treasury operations, giving them more control—and more speed—when moving large amounts of money compared to our outdated, legacy payment rails.”