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Bitcoin faces only one ‘legitimate risk,’ MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor says

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Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is down more than 20% from its record high and is set for its fourth straight weekly decline. Crypto bulls, as always, are keeping the faith. That includes MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, who added bitcoin to his company’s balance sheet last year. Since then, he’s been an outspoken advocate. Right now, he doesn’t see many — any? — long-term obstacles to prices going higher.

“The only legitimate risk is a black swan – an unknown unknown,” he said in an interview. He dismissed some potential challenges: “Has it been hacked? No, it hasn’t been hacked. Is it going to be banned? No, it’s not going to be banned. Can it be copied? We copied it ten thousand times. Every copy has failed.”

Saylor has said that he believes bitcoin can go up forever, a sentiment he repeated to Yahoo Finance Live. Two of the main drivers, he said, are technology adoption and inflation.

“It’s going to be driven by technology, as it gets built into Facebook and Google and Apple, it’s built into Square and PayPal. And so as you build in technical utility, that’s going to drive more adoption,” he said.

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He acknowledged the recent and potential future volatility: “It’s not going to go up uniformly in a perfect, exponential curve, but I don’t think we’ll see a world where technology slows down and I don’t think we’re going to see a world where currencies don’t keep inflating.”

To be sure, some crypto analysts have identified risks. In the short term, selling in a highly-leveraged asset like bitcoin can cascade when it falls below certain thresholds and indebted holders are forced to liquidate. And there’s some debate over whether bitcoin is indeed an inflation hedge. After all, the potential threat of higher interest rates — a reaction to rising inflation — seems to be one of the reasons behind the recent sell-off.

Still, Saylor has largely been well-served by his bitcoin positioning thus far. MicroStrategy shares have risen some 380% since he first disclosed in August 2020 the company was shifting cash in its corporate Treasury into bitcoin. Since then, the company has built its position, including purchases funded by selling debt. Saylor disclosed the latest buy via a tweet earlier this week.

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While MicroStrategy still operates as an enterprise software company, it has also become what Saylor calls a digital property company. He said the two sides are complimentary.

“As an operating company, we can generate cash flows and sweep those cash flows into bitcoin. We can finance cash flows at low cost-to-capital and that’s another benefit we have as an operating company… Our employees are happier, our customers are happier, our brand has accreted one hundred times since we assumed the Bitcoin strategy,” he said.

Julie Hyman is the co-anchor of Yahoo Finance Live, weekdays 9am-11am ET. Follow her on Twitter @juleshyman, and read her other stories.

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