Wikipedia says MicroStrategy is a company that provides business intelligence (BI), mobile software, and cloud-based services, but that wouldn't be the first outdated information on the crowdsourced knowledge repository.
In a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the software company founded in 1989 said it would purchase $10m in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency at an average price of $43,663.
MicroStrategy used to be well known as an enterprise software company specialising in data mining and BI, and still counts Hyatt Hotels, the American Red Cross, and Whole Foods Market among its customers. But who needs to go through the brain-ache of actually building things for money when you can invest free cash in a fool-proof electronic currency like Bitcoin?
MicroStrategy began its dalliance with the currency beloved of online drug dealers and ransomware sharks back in August 2020, citing poor returns on cash. By the end of the year, it had invested more than $1bn.
Back in February 2021, it continued the spree and splashed out for another 19,452 units at a total of $1.026bn in cash, with CEO Michael Saylor saying it may "from time to time... issue debt or equity securities... to purchase additional Bitcoin."
Saylor is not just a Bitcoin investor. Through the website Bitcoin is Hope, he is also a promoter of the currency, seemingly so overwhelmed with its benefits he can't help but share. "We have a fire in cyberspace, and it is raging with $250bn worth of monetary energy," he will tell you in a helpful YouTube video describing the paradigm-shifting benefits of the currency in which his company is so heavily invested.
With a 70 per cent stake in MicroStrategy, Saylor has reportedly dismissed concerns that he is turning his baby into a Bitcoin investment firm.
On this front, he may be beating against the tide. Erstwhile Bitcoin zealot Elon Musk has decided his electric car company Tesla should stop taking Bitcoin, apparently down to environmental concerns, as if it had only just occurred to the walking mid-life crisis that spaffing the electricity supply of Argentina on a made-up thing might be a bad idea during a global climate meltdown.
The debate about the virtues and vices of Bitcoin will no doubt rage on, with commentators inevitably drawn to comparisons with the 17th-century tulip bubble. But at least flowers look pretty and don't consume a large South American country's worth of electricity to grow. ®