As the cryptocurrency plummeted in June, sending billions of dollars up in smoke, one of bitcoin’s loudest evangelists vowed to continue to “HODL” — holding on for dear life — “through misery.” A good feeling, maybe. But Michael Saylor didn’t have much of a choice.
In the year Having tied up his life’s work – the data analytics company he founded in 1989 – MicroStrategy – on an “all-or-nothing” bet on bitcoin, the only option was to keep raising the currency. Saylor is so confident that he can turn his investment into a “bonanza” that he is plowing micro-strategy “almost every cent he can get into bitcoin,” The Information reported.
At the time, the company’s total bitcoin holdings reached $3.77 billion — “about 20 times the cash microstrategy software business created in the past three years.” While Saylor doubled down on the falling price, taking out an additional $205m loan to invest in bitcoin – in a loan backed by MicroStrategy’s existing holdings – the move was seen as “a bit risky”. Question: What is the best definition of today’s gambler? Run the joke. Answer: A person who buys stocks in a micro strategy. Between April and May, shares of the outfit fell more than 60 percent.
Calm in the storm
This isn’t the first time one of Sailor’s “mega-bits” has gone “underwater,” says Forbes. Indeed, the extraordinary stability in bitcoin’s 70% nipple can be considered “the most dramatic story of a market meltdown in crypto markets,” according to the Financial Times. “In the year 2000, microstrategy became the last great example of technological progress.” Its market value soared as investors bought into Saylor’s vision of how data analytics would supercharge the Internet before it plunged 99 percent.
“In March 2000, in one day, more than $6 billion was wiped out of his personal wealth,” Saylor said when the company re-did its accounting. He still “refused to be drawn by that experience,” and the investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission later settled: Saylor paid a fine without admitting wrongdoing.
Saylor, 57, has always been a man “for whom the sky was the limit,” according to the South China Morning Post. In the year Born in Nebraska in 1965 to an Air Force family, he spent his childhood traveling around the world between US airfields – later studying aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. After two years out of college at the age of 24, he founded MicroStrategy after being forced to give up his ambition to become a pilot due to health reasons. Saylor was probably surprised when business data analysis caught on in the tech mania of the 1990s. .
Saylor made no bones about enjoying his wealth, says the FT. “Several yachts, lavish parties and a beachfront mansion in Miami” all kept him in the public eye for two decades between two “marketing manias.”
We believe in bitcoin.
Opinion is sharply divided on Seiler. Analysts objected to his timing and stupidity (“I bet everything on red at the roulette table. It came to black,” says technology analyst Dan Ives). Others highlight his selfish gambling with other livelihoods. “It’s important to remind yourself that MicroStrategy is a real company that employs about 2,100 people,” said FT’s Bryce Elder.
“Their reviews are free to read on Glassdoor.” However, Saylor has a following among those who call him a visionary and shows every sign of being able to ride out the storm, at least in the short term – with the recovery of bitcoin’s value. Saylor, says Elder, “had chosen a man of mysterious obstinacy as his personality” and never repented. But he did make one compromise – handing over the formal CEO role to a centurion. It may not make much of a difference, says CoinTelegraph.
Saylor will continue as executive chairman and says splitting the roles will help the company continue its bitcoin strategy. Still, investors seem to like what they hear: Shares have jumped more than 48% in a month. “We believe in #Bitcoin,” Saylor said in June. It’s still a rallying cry.