MicroStrategy May Soon Enter the S&P 500: What That Means for Bitcoin



MicroStrategy’s dramatic gains this year are bringing it close to qualification for the S&P 500 Index, which could prove bullish for both the company and the Bitcoin (BTC) market.

The popular index, which tracks the large-cap U.S. equity market across 500 companies, requires that its constituents carry a market cap of at least $15.8 billion. MicroStrategy, whose shares trade on the NASDAQ under the MSTR ticker, boasts a ~$12.4 billion market cap, according to Yahoo Finance.

The difference is just a stone’s toss away for the Bitcoin development company, whose shares have surged by 52% over the past month amid Bitcoin’s own price jump. BTC itself has risen by 22.5% during that time.

Until now, MicroStrategy has marketed itself to investors as a de facto Bitcoin ETF with perks, including cash-generative operations and the ability to leverage capital markets.

However, inclusion in the S&P 500 could bring in a tsunami of new demand from passive SPY investors not even actively seeking Bitcoin exposure, according to analysts.

“It could spark a massive positive feedback loop enabling Bitcoin to begin automatically infiltrating nearly every portfolio,” said Joe Burnett, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Bitcoin financial platform Unchained, in a Thursday tweet.

According to Burnett, rising share values as a result of passive flows could ultimately benefit Bitcoin, since MicroStrategy’s primary goal is to acquire as much BTC as possible. The company has already used equity sales to fund nine-figure BTC purchases in the past, which may become more common if the market value of its shares continues to rise.

MicroStrategy currently holds at least 190,000 BTC which, as of Thursday, surpassed $10 billion in value.

In a message to Decrypt, CoinShares Head of Research James Butterfill agreed that MSTR could “benefit from asset managers and ETFs,” thanks to “compulsory” flows upon its inclusion. That said, other asset managers could take advantage of the same index inclusion.

“Historically, index inclusion of an equity has often led to price declines post inclusion—it is therefore an investment strategy with a varied level of success,” he cautioned.

Butterfill added that it’s “misguided” to use MSTR and other equities as a proxy for Bitcoin exposure: “They are exposed to a much wider range of variables, such as management expertise, the lending environment, etc.”

MicroStrategy’s inclusion in the index is far from guaranteed, however. Beyond market cap size, eligible companies for the S&P 500 must be domiciled in the United States, boast sufficient liquidity, and show net positive earnings over their previous four quarters, according to the index provider’s website.

Coinbase, the crypto exchange that trades on the NASDAQ as COIN, carries a $39 billion market cap—but has struggled with profitability over the past four quarters, and therefore hasn’t made it into the S&P 500.

Exchange-traded funds, including the numerous Bitcoin ETFs launched by BlackRock and Fidelity last month, are also ineligible for the S&P.

Edited by Andrew Hayward





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