To say that the last few days have been exciting would be a massive understatement in regard to the global financial markets.
A group of retail investors, united behind the same cause of rebelling against “smart money” on Wall Street, brought out plenty of things that are wrong with the status quo. Wall Street Bets, as their subreddit was originally called, has also caught the attention of the cryptocurrency community, with the leading monitoring resource, CoinMarketCap, dedicating an informational ticker.
Wall Street Bets: What Happened?
A little less than a week ago, someone took it to Reddit to reveal that some Wall Street hedge funds were overly exposed to their short positions on GameStop stocks.
GameStop is a company, the shares of which have been declining substantially ever since the COVID19 pandemic hit, leading to the restrictions on many physical locations that some countries keep up to date. Naturally, as it happened to many other industries, its business suffered, and its stock took a nosedive.
To no one’s surprise, this was picked up by Wall Street hedge funds, who started shorting the stock to the extent that they left themselves overly exposed to their positions. But why would they worry? The fundamentals behind the trade were clearly in place as GameStop didn’t really see any tangible perspective of recovering – on the opposite.
But there was one thing that hedge funds couldn’t have seen – something so far outside of fundamental or technical analysis that even the best algorithms couldn’t pick up – the power of retail investors clinging toward a single mission – to liquidate the ‘big boys.’
Word started catching fire as a certain subreddit called Wall Street Bets quickly gained millions of users, all united behind the same idea – skyrocket GameStop’s (GME) stock price to the thermosphere.
And skyrocket, they did. The price surged by over 600% in a matter of days as hedge funds saw themselves covering billions in losses. GME became a meme stock representing the innate desire of retail investors to crush Wall Street at least once.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Genie is Out of the Bottle
Hedge funds got the cash – a lot of it. It’s highly unlikely that the GME fiasco caused irreparable damage to any of them, and it’s highly likely that most banked massive profits.
How all of this happened is what’s worth thinking about. To prevent people from piling on GME stocks, major trading platforms such as Ameritrade, Robinhood, and even NASDAQ, halted trading. These are just a few – the list is not exclusive.
This raised concerns – why are these companies preventing people from buying more of the stock? The most obvious answer is, of course, to prevent large hedge funds, the so-called smart money, from getting wrecked any further. But where does this leave the little guy?
We don’t really see trading halts when retail investors have their positions liquidated. There are no emergency breakers when the John Does of the financial market watch their portfolios thin out.
It became clear that Wall Street plays by different rules. As a matter of fact, it became clear that Wall Street is not even playing the same game. And this caught the attention of the masses – have fun putting that genie back in the bottle.
CoinMarketCap Adds Informational WSB Ticker
Amid all this, the leading cryptocurrency market monitoring resource – CoinMarketCap – has added an informational ticker of Wall Street Bets (WSB) at the forefront of their list. Users can find everything they need of the GameStop short squeeze and the aftermath there.
It’s perhaps here where we should add that while all of this was happening on Wall Street, the cryptocurrency market was shook too. The self-proclaimed ‘Chairman’ of Wall Street Bets took it to Twitter to ask if Dogecoin (DOGE) has ever traded at $1. That’s all it took.
In less than 24 hours, the most popular meme coin and arguably Elon Musk’s favorite cryptocurrency gained almost 1100%. It surpassed long-term projects with tons of fundamentals behind them and left them in the dust, peaking at number 7 on CoinMarketCap’s top 10 list.
We reached to CMC about their most recent addition – the WSB ticker. Commenting on the matter was Aaron Khoo, Head of Listings.
“At the heart of this phenomenon lies the innate human desire to troll. Jackson Palmer, Dogecoin’s creater “never imagined that the tongue-in-cheek cryptocurrency [he] had just brought into the world would still be around in the year 2018, let alone hit a $2 billion market cap [in 2018].”
Touching on their decision to add the WSB ticker in particular, he said:
“Much like the GME’s Gamma squeeze, Dogecoin’s ascent epitomizes a psychological desire to take the mickey out of the man— a loose agglomeration of individuals ultimately wanted to make a statement that the ostensibly credentialed Wall Street hedge funds were in no better position to arrogate upon themselves the right to make pronouncements on what an asset’s fair valuation ought to be.
Since this resonates with the raison d’etre of crypto, it is only fitting that we should get in on the action, even if it is just a token contribution..”
It’s interesting to see how things go forward. Will the public step back? Were these the three days of a miracle that will fade out in a couple of months? Or will it spearhead something much more lasting?
If one thing is clear, though, it’s that all of this has highlighted the merits behind decentralization to an extent that we hadn’t seen before.