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Crypto prices tank, taking some companies with them

Ponzi Scheme

Crypto prices tank, taking some companies with them

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Crypto prices continue to tumble, humbling companies that made a big show of building up exposure to digital assets in recent years.

Driving the news: In yesterday’s market bloodbath — as in the broader selloff over the last few months — the losses in cryptocurrencies and the companies that own and trade them have eclipsed those of the major stock indexes.

Why it matters: Whether you think crypto is a potential life-altering technology or an elaborate tech-centered Ponzi scheme, the recent tumble shows what a market downdraft will do to a speculative investment that produces no cash flows.

  • Such investments — those that generate no dividends or corporate profits — tend to fare the worst when interest rates rise. And this year rates have risen at one of their fastest clips in history, as the Fed focuses on knee-capping inflation.
  • Similarly, shares of tech firms that have shown little sign of being able to produce steady profits any time soon — like Peloton and cloud technology provider Fastly — have gotten shellacked.

By the numbers: Bitcoin shed 8% yesterday, and is worth less than half of its market value from six months ago.

  • A Goldman Sachs basket of 11 stocks that are especially sensitive to crypto pricing were clobbered by more than 14% yesterday alone. The basket’s down about 68% over the last six months, compared to the S&P 500’s 15% decline and the Nasdaq’s 27% fall over the same period.
  • Coinbase, the largest U.S. crypto exchange, dropped 19.5%…

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