It’s pretty safe to say that some people have lost their minds over cryptocurrencies at this point because just mentioning bitcoin raises stock prices… and causes other extreme behavior. Small companies that want to send their stock skyrocketing merely have to mention the word “bitcoin” or “blockchain,” and investors will gobble up their shares like hungry animals. In fact, cryptocurrencies in general are whipping investors up into a feverish frenzy, and that isn’t even the oddest thing we’ve heard someone do for bitcoin.
Mentioning bitcoin raises stock prices
Some of the big headlines on Wall Street all week have demonstrated just how far investors are willing to go to get a piece of the bitcoin or blockchain action. Several firms that are small, very new in some cases, and little known are realizing that mentioning bitcoin raises stock prices, and fast! In fact, some are even switching to an entirely different industry.
Prescience Partners returned 6.75% for the second quarter, underperforming the S&P 500's 8.55% return but coming out ahead of the Barclay Equity Long/ Short Index's 2.62% return. However, for the first six months of the year, Prescience is up 30.66%, doubling the S&P's 15.25% return and smashing the Barclay Equity Long/ Short Index's 9.27% return. Read More
Perhaps two of the earliest examples of this bitcoin raising stock prices are Square and Overstock. Square’s rally seems to have run out of fuel very quickly as investors began to abandon it in favor of fresher, purer blockchain plays, but Overstock seems to have hung on to its bitcoin-related gains and continues to add to them. Perhaps investors see Overstock’s initial coin offering as an Amazon-like shift into a different industry, with Overstock adding its tZERO SEC-registered dark pool to its retail business like how Amazon added cloud services to its retail business, although of course it’s not exactly the same.
Mentioning bitcoin raises stock prices of no-namers too
Longfin shares skyrocketed 2,500% in a couple of days following the announcement that it’s acquiring the blockchain-related firm Ziddu. Then there’s the case of The Crypto Company, another hot stock boosted by the mere mention of bitcoin. The Securities and Exchange Commission halted trading on its stock until January due to concerns about some of the information about the company and its officers that’s circulating.
While it’s still unclear whether regulators will actually find anything going on there, this just goes to show that investors have gotten so crazy for bitcoin that they’ll take a flying leap into just about any stock to get a piece of it—whether they’ve heard of the company or not. This creates an atmosphere in which it becomes extremely easy to pull off frauds and scams, so it’s a reminder that some investors should maybe take a cold shower and do some due diligence before buying a company they’ve never even heard of.
Just say the magic word
The Wall Street Journal also collected a list of some companies which found out that mentioning bitcoin raises stock prices. For example, mobile payments processor Net Element announced today that it’s creating a unit to focus on the blockchain. Fintech firm Seven Stars Cloud Group merely announced that it bought a stake in a bitcoin-related firm: the Delaware Board of Trade Holdings, an alternative trading system based on the blockchain.
Then we have the furniture design firm Nova LifeStyle, which for some reason is setting up a subsidiary it’s calling I Design Blockchain Technology Inc. The press release announcing the subsidiary doesn’t say what the blockchain has to do with designing furniture, but it seems that it doesn’t matter.
Some companies are totally changing what they do, just to follow the bitcoin hype. Vapetek is changing its name to Nodechain and switching from selling e-cigarettes to mining bitcoin and ethereum. Bioptix also switched industries, changing its name to Riot Blockchain Inc. and leaving the biotech industry to invest in bitcoin-related firms and possibly acquire bitcoin mining companies or blockchain-related software.
The list goes on from there, so we’re pretty sure there will be another five to ten new bitcoin millionaires at least by the end of the month.
Would you dig through years of garbage for bitcoin?
Investors aren’t the only ones willing to leap into something that could turn out to be questionable just for bitcoin. Apparently, a man from the U.K. is willing to dig through four years’ worth of garbage to find the bitcoins he accidentally threw out, according to a post from ibankcoin.
James Howells reportedly mined bitcoin in 2009 using his laptop, but he sold that laptop, keeping the hard drive in a safe place just in case the cryptocurrency was ever worth anything. Oh, wait… He threw the hard drive out accidentally when he was doing some cleaning and lost the 7,500 bitcoins that were stored on it in 2013.
Because of the cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise, he basically threw more than $125 million into the garbage, but he’s so determined to find it that he tried to get access to the garbage dump where he believes the hard drive now lies. However, even though someone gave him the financial backing to dig through all that garbage, officials in Newport, South Wales are refusing to let him in.
Digging through a landfill isn’t just unsanitary. It could also be dangerous for the environment because it could uncover dangerous gasses and possibly even cause a fire. City officials also told Wired that any hardware which contained bitcoins at some point has probably sustained some serious corrosion, so even if it’s recovered, it’s unlikely that the hard drive would work. There’s also the cost of such an operation, which could be more than what the bitcoins are currently worth.
Believe it or not, someone even suggested prior to this story that some desperate person might decide to go landfill diving just for bitcoin:
Talked to a smart crypto enthusiast yesterday who suggested that at some point literal "mining" of landfills will take place to recover hard drives containing $billions worth of bitcoins lost in the early days… just an amazing image
— Union Square Research Group (@UnionSquareGrp) December 19, 2017