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Latest Valuentum Commentary
Nov 15, 2021
Hut 8 Mining Is an Interesting Play on Cryptocurrencies
Image Source: Hut 8 Mining Corporation – November 2021 IR Presentation. Executive Summary: We are intrigued by Hut 8 Mining’s business model. By growing its bitcoin balance over time and covering its operating expenses by lending out its bitcoin hoard, generating so-called fiat yield, Hut 8 Mining is effectively a bet that a combination of growth in the price of bitcoin and growth in its bitcoin hoard will provide a major boost to its net asset value (‘NAV’) over time. Should the price of bitcoin tank, however, that would weigh negatively on its business, though things would likely not be as bad as it first appears given that Hut 8 Mining is set up to make money in almost every bitcoin pricing environment. As long as there is investor demand out there to borrow its bitcoins, and that broad interest in cryptocurrencies holds up well going forward, Hut 8 Mining should be able to continue growing its revenue as it grows the amount of bitcoin it can lend out on average per quarter. Obviously, of course, the firm would do better if the price of bitcoin stays the same (currently at roughly USD$64,700 for one bitcoin as of this writing) or increases. From our perspective, Hut 8 Mining is better positioned to capitalize on the cryptocurrency craze, in our view, than many of the other firms out there that are mining and continuously selling off their bitcoin holdings or actively buying bitcoin on the open market seeking to flip those alternative digital assets for a profit down the road (the “greater fool theory” in action). We are keeping an eye on Hut 8 Mining, though in this particular case, we must caution that the intrinsic value of alternative digital currencies like bitcoin is zero. The value is entirely in the eyes of the beholder.
Nov 1, 2021
FinTech Stocks Still Attractive, Market Overreacting to Visa’s Cross-Border Travel Outlook
Image: Visa continues to rake in the free cash flow. Though its outlook is clouded somewhat by recovering cross-border travel transaction volumes, we still like its asset-light, free-cash-flow rich business model. Cryptocurrency trading is all the rage these days, but when it comes down to it, the average consumer isn’t using crypto to pay for everyday goods and services. We believe fintech is a great way to play the firm foundations of asset-light, free-cash-flow generating entities that are exposed to crypto adoption but not pure plays to crypto’s success, which is far from guaranteed. Cloudy outlooks from Visa and Mastercard regarding cross-border travel activity have many fintech investors somewhat cautious heading into 2022, but we couldn’t be bigger fans of the group. Visa and PayPal remain two of our favorite fintech ideas.
Oct 20, 2021
Quants and High-Frequency Trading the Real Cause of the GameStop Frenzy?
Image: The cause of the GameStop trading frenzy remains largely unclassified as it appears to us that quant and high-frequency trading played a much bigger role in the market disruption than what is being reported. We think the SEC staff put out a fantastic “GameStop Report” with some excellent information. However, the report did not get to the crux of the matter, failing to disclose what actually caused the extreme market volatility in meme stocks, while glossing over the substantial increase in institutional accounts, likely belonging to quant/trend/momentum funds, that contributed to the trading frenzy this year. We think investors and market participants deserve to know more about what caused this threat to market integrity and structure as the continued proliferation of which may only grow larger and larger in the coming decades. If it was quant trading, then we encourage the SEC to take steps to ensure that such trading is curbed effectively as it is clear that such price-agnostic activity is not contributing to market efficiency.
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