Michael Saylor, the CEO of business intelligence firm Microstrategy, has staunchly defended the company’s bullish, long-term Bitcoin (BTC) position based on its unique potential to evolve into “the future of the property.”
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Saylor argued that Microstrategy’s big bet on Bitcoin, which it has turned to the debt markets to sustain, is the “highest upside, lowest risk strategy” the company can pursue.
“Some people think diversification means buying other types of cryptocurrencies or other kinds of equities,” he said. “We think that by holding Bitcoin, we’re diversified. Because we can see Bitcoin on the balance sheets of cities, states, governments, companies, small [and] big investors. Ultimately Bitcoin is going to be the core to tech innovation at Apple, Amazon and Facebook, so we want to be holding the Bitcoin.”
In response to his interviewer’s probing as to how the interests of large, centralized behemoths like Twitter and Facebook can be reconciled with a decentralized network, Saylor made the case that Bitcoin holds the key to solving their endemic issues with cybersecurity and spam. Integration with Bitcoin – and, specifically, the micropayment-supporting Lightning Network – could tackle these by incorporating an ecosystem that can vouch for creditworthiness and trust:
“If you want to improve the user experience [on these tech platforms], then you need to have skin on the game. And Bitcoin provides skin in the name for all of the interactors in the cyber environment. Dorsey understands this. The killer app is cybersecurity integrated into an international trust network.”
Saylor’s projection for Bitcoin’s long-term potential appears to be balanced between this capacity to support new functionalities on the web and to evolve into the future of the property.
The reason Microstrategy has leveraged long on Bitcoin – for which it has controversially borrowed $2.2 billion at a blended interest rate of about 1.5% – is that the firm anticipates that Bitcoin, as an open property network, will be used by “billions of users.” While the firm currently takes a ten-year view, Saylor’s comments suggested his perspective is long in a truly maximalist sense:
“People joke that Bitcoin isn’t really a trading strategy, it’s an exit strategy. What we want to hold is a form of non-sovereign store of value forever […] I took a survey: the average Twitter user thinks it’s going to last 3500 years. Nobody’s in a hurry with Bitcoin. We’re thinking that it’s the future of property.”
In the interim, the coin is nonetheless also meeting the needs of retail traders, Saylor observed, noting that cryptocurrencies in general offer users of apps like Robinhood the unique possibility of trading 24/7, 365 days a year. In his view, it “makes total sense” for Robinhood to drive hard and up its support for the new asset class. Yet among digital assets, Bitcoin, as the “risk-off king of all the cryptos,” is, for Saylor, still “where all the traffic and excitement is.”
According to the results of a recent study from Crypto.com, the number of crypto users worldwide more than doubled from 100 million this January to 221 million in June. While Bitcoin retains the lion’s share of users, smaller altcoins have slowly eaten into both the veteran coin market share and the market’s second-most popular crypto, Ether (ETH).