Biggest corporate Bitcoin holder MicroStrategy reports $1 Billion loss, Michael Saylor steps down as CEO

  • During the second quarter, MicroStrategy reported a $917.8 million impairment charge due to a drop in Bitcoin valuations.
  • Michael Saylor will serve as the executive chairman of MicroStrategy and focus more on Bitcoin buying strategy.

On Tuesday, August 2, business intelligence firm MicroStrategy (NASDAQ: MSTR) reported its second-quarter results posting $1 billion in a net loss. MicroStrategy led by Bitcoin maverick Michael Saylor is the biggest corporate holder of Bitcoins on its balance sheet.

The company started buying Bitcoins as per its strategy back in the summer of 2020. As per the quarterly report, MicroStrategy was holding 129,699 Bitcoins as of June 30. Its valuation as of that date was $1.988 billion.

The company noted that a large chunk of its Q2 losses i.e. $917.8 million comes as part of the impairment charges due to the decline in the value of Bitcoin it holds. Michael Saylor announced that he will be stepping down from the position of the company’s CEO. Phong Le, who had been the company’s president, will take the new role of CEO.

However, Saylor added that he shall be taking the role of the executive chairman of the company. As a result, he shall be putting his focus exclusively on buying cryptocurrencies and managing them. In a statement on Tuesday, Saylor said:

I believe that splitting the roles of Chairman and CEO will enable us to better pursue our two corporate strategies of acquiring and holding bitcoin and growing our enterprise analytics software business.

As Executive Chairman I will be able to focus more on our bitcoin acquisition strategy and related bitcoin advocacy initiatives, while Phong will be empowered as CEO to manage overall corporate operations.

Michael Saylor is a ‘clown’, says Vitalik Buterin

Recently, shorts were fired between Bitcoin maximalist Michael Saylor and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. In one of his recent videos, Saylor spoke about the securities laws as rooted in the Decalogue. “The basis of securities laws is thou shall not lie, cheat or steal. That’s the basis of the law,” Saylor said. Earlier last month, Saylor also stated that Ethereum is a security.

Responding to the recent attacks, Vitalik Buterin tweeted: “Why do maximalists keep picking heroes that turn out to be total clowns?”

On the other hand, last week Michael Saylor said that it doesn’t look that the Ethereum Merge protocol is complete. Saylor was referring to a speech from Vitalik Buterin in July wherein he said that Ethereum was 40 percent complete. The MicroStrategy chief that he doesn’t think that the protocol would be completed or stable in the next 36 months. Saylor’s comments come at a time when Ethereum is all preparing for the Merge upgrade on the Ethereum mainnet by mid-September 2022.

MicroStrategy revenue drops, MSTR shorts build-up

During the second quarter, public-listed firm MicroStrategy (NASDAQ: MSTR) saw its revenue drop to $122.1 million against the expected $123.5 million. The MSTR stock has rallied last month following the recent bounce in the Bitcoin price. However, as per the Bloomberg report, short positions in MSTR are building up quickly. On Monday, August 1, Bloomberg reported:

A record 51% of MicroStrategy’s available shares are currently sold short, carrying a notional value of $1.35 billion, according to financial analytics firm S3 Partners. The all-time high of 4.73 million shares shorted has soared by 1.2 million shares over the past 30 days alone, S3 says.

Related: Bitcoin remains a steadfast store of value despite market crisis: Michael Saylor