Shares of MicroStrategy (MSTR 1.50%) took a big step back on Wednesday, and the only news out there is the price of Bitcoin (BTC -0.32%). As of 11:30 a.m. EST today, the price of Bitcoin had fallen more than 7% from all-time highs reached yesterday, and this hurts MicroStrategy's stock, which was down a whopping 20%.
If you follow MicroStrategy stock, then you know why Bitcoin is such a big deal for the company. The company's policy is to convert any cash not immediately needed for operations into Bitcoin. As of its latest update, MicroStrategy had 71,079 Bitcoin tokens. And even though the value of those assets is down today, its Bitcoin holdings are still worth over $3.17 billion as of this writing.
Compare that with MicroStrategy's market capitalization. A company's market cap is the total value of all its shares, and for MicroStrategy that amounts to almost $10 billion. Therefore, roughly one-third of MicroStrategy's current value is directly derived from its Bitcoin holdings. For this reason, it's one of the most volatile stocks around these days, trading with the same volatility as the cryptocurrency itself.
So far, MicroStrategy has made a ton of paper gains from Bitcoin -- it's almost tripled its investment. That said, investors do need to consider if they're comfortable with so much of the company's value not coming from its business operations. For example, there could come a day when it reports solid business results but the stock still falls because of Bitcoin. The inverse could also be true.
This doesn't mean that MicroStrategy isn't worth investing in; it simply means investors should consider this unique characteristic before buying.