May 13, 2024
Metaplanet Incorporates 117 Bitcoin as Reserve Asset
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Metaplanet Incorporates 117 Bitcoin as Reserve Asset

Publicly traded investment firm Metaplanet has responded to the continued decline of the Japanese yen by adding Bitcoin to its reserve assets. With BTC currently priced at $62,517, the Tokyo-based company announced a “strategic shift” in its treasury management strategy on May 13, opting for a Bitcoin-first and Bitcoin-only approach.

Source: Metaplanet

Rationale and Implementation

Metaplanet attributes this move to sustained economic pressures in Japan, including high government debt levels, prolonged periods of negative real interest rates, and a weak yen. The company officially stated, “This move is a direct response to sustained economic pressures in Japan.” While the announcement does not specify the amount of Bitcoin currently held or planned for the treasury, on May 10, Metaplanet disclosed the purchase of 117.7 BTC, valued at $7.19 million, at an average price of around 10.2 million yen or $65,000. Metaplanet’s market value stands at approximately 3.5 billion yen, or roughly $20 million.

Market Response and Company Background

Metaplanet’s decision to adopt Bitcoin follows its earlier disclosure of a Bitcoin-focused strategy in early April, which began with a $6.5 million Bitcoin purchase. This move garnered significant attention on social media and led to a surge in Metaplanet shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, with the stock price rallying above 35 JPY ($0.22) from 20 JPY ($0.13) hours after the Bitcoin purchase announcement.

Source: CNBC

Before its pivot to Bitcoin, Metaplanet primarily operated in traditional investment sectors. Established in 1999, the company initially focused on hotel businesses, investment services, and investor relations consultancy. Notably, Metaplanet recently appointed market researcher Dylan LeClair as director of Bitcoin strategy, indicating further commitment to its Bitcoin-centric approach.

Economic Context and Future Outlook

The Japanese yen has reportedly been the worst-performing major currency against the U.S. dollar in 2024, hitting record lows in April not seen since the 1990s. Factors contributing to the yen’s depreciation include the disparity between domestic and foreign interest rates and a growing trade deficit over the past three years.

Metaplanet’s strategic shift towards Bitcoin reflects broader trends in response to economic uncertainties, signaling a potential shift in traditional investment strategies toward cryptocurrency adoption. As the company continues to embrace Bitcoin, its actions and performance will be closely monitored by both traditional investors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts alike.

Image by Benjamin Nelan from Pixabay

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