Square, Mastercard & Christie’s Get Serious!

October 8, 2020

Welcome to the early October edition of Crypto: Decrypted!  It’s been another banner month in the world of crypto and adoption continues to grow.  What we’re seeing across the board is that crypto assets continue to gain broad acceptance, and industry leading players stepping up and stepping into the crypto verse.  Here are just a few of the many highlights:

Square Moves Treasury into Bitcoin

Square – the leading payment processing firm – just bought $50M in Bitcoin, which represents 1% of their total company assets.  CEO Jack Dorsey has been a proponent of Bitcoin for years, and now it appears the company is taking action, stating in their press release, “Square believes that cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment and provides a way for the world to participate in a global monetary system, which aligns with the company’s purpose.”  This, in my option, is amazing and another bullish indicator.  The average price Square paid was around $10,600 per coin, and clearly they wouldn’t enter at that price if they didn’t see upside. Importantly, it may be an indicator of a growing trend of companies moving their treasuries into cryptocurrency. You can read more details in the CNBC article.

Microstrategy Doubles Down

Square is the second major company to move treasury into bitcoin, following Microstrategy who originally invested $250M in August, then added another $175M of the crypto asset in September.  This brings their holdings to a whopping $425M, making it their primary treasury reserve asset.  CEO Michael Saylor is cited as stating that bitcoin is a harder asset than gold, since gold has increasing supply by 2% year after year and went on to say that “Bitcoin was the best security with the best liquidity”, in no small part due to bitcoin’s provable scarcity.  You can find more information here.

Mastercard Launches Platform for Central Banks

Mastercard, which launched a program in July to make it easier for consumers to invest in and use cryptocurrencies, just announced a platform to allow central banks to test digital currencies.   This comes on growing acceptance and adoption by major financial companies including Visa and PayPal, both of whom are developing expansive connections with cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges that will be not only for bitcoin but many crypto assets.  Large financial players have looked at the cryptocurrency world with skepticism for years, but now it is clearly too important to ignore, and they realize if they don’t figure out how to participate they risk being left behind, and also reminds us that the crypto-asset world is much, much bigger than just bitcoin.

Christies Auctions Decentralized Art for over $130,000

Finally, in the Art Department, one of the pieces of the world’s first decentralized work of art was auctioned for an expectation beating price of $131,250, which is over 7 times greater than the estimated sale price.  The artwork, dubbed “Block 21”, consists of a disk that holds exactly 322,048 digits of the original Bitcoin code, and is one of 40 circular panels in the series “Portraits of a Mind”, which consists of forty panels, each of which contains etchings of the original code for the Bitcoin Network.  Importantly, the artwork was also paired with a Non Fungible Token (NFT) which is a unique, one-of-a-kind crypto-asset that guaranties authenticity.  While this work was crypto specific, in the future we believe that NFT technology will be paired with many existing artworks to prove they are authentic.  This represents one of the many bridges between the physical and digital worlds that crypto assets will facilitate in the future.   More details, including a tweet from Christie’s regarding the piece, can be found in this article.

In Closing

The world of crypto assets is a world of innovation that’s been growing for the past decade. What we are seeing now is the continued adoption by industry, which is the first step in moving to real, widespread use by consumers and the unveiling of the Age of Autonomy.  This is why we are seeing so many skeptics from Wall Street to Main Street turn the corner and begin to include crypto assets as a part of their portfolios. There is no question, this train has left the station.  If you have any questions at all or want further information, please reach out.  We’re here for you.

About the author James Diorio

James is a Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Tradecraft Capital.