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Why Inc. Plunged More Than 10% on Wednesday

By Steve Symington - Sep 6, 2018 at 9:00AM

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Goldman just shelved plans for a bitcoin trading desk, hurting cryptocurrency stocks in the process.

What happened

Shares of e-commerce and blockchain specialist Inc. ( OSTK -4.63% ) declined 10.3% on Wednesday amid a broader pullback in cryptocurrency stocks after a report that Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) is no longer planning to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk.

For many, the desk would have signaled a notable vote of confidence while lending a tone of legitimacy to the future of cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency trading. Alas, the price of bitcoin plunged more than 12% on Wednesday in response to Goldman's move, dragging down a handful of related crypto and blockchain technology names.

Blue-and-green stock market charts indicating gains


So what

According to a report from Business Insider, Goldman Sachs is concerned with the "uncertain regulatory landscape" for cryptocurrencies. Instead -- and with the caveat that it may open such a trading desk in the future if the situation changes -- Goldman is shifting its efforts on other ways to participate in the cryptocurrency markets, potentially including a custody product that would allow them to better cater to large institutional clients interested in the space.

Of course, this news doesn't directly affect Overstock as it pertains to advancing its own blockchain enterprises segment. It's worth noting, though, that the company is currently exploring strategic alternatives for its e-commerce operations, including a potential sale of the segment to allow Overstock to hone its focus on its blockchain and cryptocentric technologies.

Now what

Assuming Overstock is successful in divesting its e-commerce business, however, that also means it will have effectively narrowed its scope to become wholly dependent on the industry that Goldman Sachs seemingly snubbed yesterday. Consequently, with no shortage of crypto developments filling the news feeds these days, Overstock investors would do well to grow more accustomed to this kind of volatility going forward.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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