Peter Thiel’s data analysis giant Palantir announced last month that it would be accepting bitcoin as a payment method and is reportedly considering investing in bitcoin as a treasury reserve asset. The announcement came during a positive earnings call that revealed 49% growth in the first quarter.
At the time, bitcoin was riding a long, high wave that reached in excess of $50,000, while other cryptos have seen various growth. The capitulation should give Palantir, and other businesses who trade in bitcoin, a great deal of pause. Companies reliant on crypto, like Coinbase, MicroStrategy, and more, have seen their stock drop as well, a further sign of the dominoes of instability. In a flash, $700 billion has been wiped away from the crypto market, which should alone cause companies like Palantir to beg off and reassess its viability.
One significant contributing factor to the current crypto crash is the blockchain’s biggest champion: Elon Musk. While holding a hefty position in bitcoin, Musk made a drastic announcement via Twitter, removing it from Tesla’s accepted currencies. This comes after the social-media-savvy CEO took on the mission of bringing meme crypto Dogecoin “to the moon,” which briefly launched the coin nearly 50 percent. That rise ended in the middle of Musk’s hosting of Saturday Night Live, when Doge began to tank as the show moved along. The crypto-keeper seems to have helped tank two digital monies at the same time, another illustration of the fragility of bitcoin and the others.
With the United States economy still in coronavirus-induced recession, the volatility of virtual currency is not completely unexpected. As crypto has become easier to access and trade in the US, the rest of the world has been hesitant to dive right in. The European Central Bank has called bitcoin’s sensitivity risky, and China, America’s biggest rival, has been taking steps to stop the coin since 2017. With other major merchants like AT&T and Microsoft in the crypto ecosystem, and the economy seemingly poised for a comeback, crypto is not going away, but it’s clear bitcoin and friends are not ready for primetime.