It’s not just cryptocurrency prices that have been dropping off this year. Companies that were once keen to talk up their involvement with digital assets have also gotten quieter about those efforts.
There were 146 corporate conference calls mentioning cryptocurrency and other related terms in the first two months of the fourth quarter — a few more than the 141 such transcripts in the first two months of the third quarter, but below the counts of 224, 176 and 243 seen in the first two months of the prior three quarters, respectively, according to data drawn from Sentieo/AlphaSense.
“The spikes we see in transcripts with mentions of crypto terms in both 2018 and 2020/2021 are closely related to the big crypto price run-ups,” Nick Mazing, the director of research at Sentieo/AlphaSense, said in an email to MarketWatch. “Of course, very few companies discussed crypto during the 2019 bitcoin price drop. We are seeing the same pattern now.”
The crypto world has faced a reckoning over the course of 2022 as prices for bitcoin
and other digital assets plummeted. The high-profile collapses of FTX and other cryptocurrency platforms have added to skittishness about the category.
Executives at DraftKings Inc.
mentioned terms like blockchain, cryptocurrency, and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on the company’s earnings call in August and during investor conferences that month, but they haven’t mentioned such terms more recently, according to a transcript analysis conducted through Sentieo.
On a May conference call, Farfetch Ltd.
Chief Executive Jose Ferreira Neves said, “Off-White became the first Farfetch business unit to begin accepting cryptocurrency, which is now live in the Paris, London and Milan flagships,” but executives haven’t mentioned crypto, cryptocurrency or bitcoin on more recent calls.
Mazing compared the drop-off in mentions of crypto to “other formerly popular corporate call topics over the years such as zero-based budgeting, gluten-free diets, and, more recently, NFTs.”
That said, some of the more recent mentions amount to victory laps of sorts. Pinterest
Chief Financial Officer Todd Morgenfeld said on the company’s earnings call in October that early in the pandemic, Pinterest “looked relatively weak compared to the industry because we didn’t have crypto, gaming apps, app downloads to the extent that others did.”
Now, he said, the company is seeing “seeing relative strength” thanks to its focus on larger retailers as advertising clients.