The value of MicroStrategy's bitcoin holdings fell by $1.3 billion over 2022, its earnings report showed.
But the company has no plans to sell any more of its crypto, cofounder Michael Saylor said Thursday.
"The only real safe haven for an institutional investor is bitcoin," he said on an earnings call.
MicroStrategy cofounder Michael Saylor is still bullish on bitcoin as a digital "safe haven" for investors – even though his company suffered losses of nearly $1.3 billion on paper from holding the cryptocurrency last year.
The software company booked a $1.47 billion net loss for the year in its earnings report published after the closing Thursday. The report showed that MicroStrategy — which has been loading up on bitcoin since August 2020 — has lost money for eight quarters in a row.
But Saylor said he still has faith in bitcoin as a so-called safe haven, meaning he believes it's an asset where investors can park their cash during times of high volatility.
"The only real safe haven for an institutional investor is bitcoin," he said on an earnings call. "Bitcoin is the only universally acknowledged digital commodity, and so if you're an investor, bitcoin is your safe haven in this regard."
Bitcoin's price plunged 64% last year as rising interest rates and the implosion of high-profile companies like FTX weighed on digital assets. MicroStrategy shares tumbled 74% over the same period.
Impairment charges account for assets that have lost value in the time a company has held them, and MicroStrategy listed impairment charges worth $1.29 billion on its bitcoin holdings in 2022.
The company has bought 132,500 bitcoin over the past two-and-a-half years as part of an unconventional strategy to convert all its cash into the cryptocurrency. It has only sold bitcoin once in that period, offloading $11.8 million worth of the token in December for tax reasons.
MicroStrategy shares were trading 4.7% lower in premarket Friday, but they have jumped 117% since the company started buying bitcoin. That means the stock has outperformed the benchmark S&P 500, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, and even the token itself.
"When we think about the corporate strategy and its effectiveness, we go back to the summer of 2020," Saylor said.
He noted the outperformance of MicroStrategy's stock since then, and said the company measured its success based on the creation of shareholder value.
"We pick a number of different benchmarks, I think the most important is bitcoin's performance. Nobody who talks about bitcoin points out that despite its volatility, it is the best-performing asset over the past two-and-a-half years. MicroStrategy stock is levered against bitcoin."
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