A bitcoin representation is seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, June 23, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
NEW YORK, Sept 1 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Since the dawn of history, the person with the bigger stick could easily take the person with the smaller stick’s money. That, at least, is one of many philosophies espoused by MicroStrategy (MSTR.O) founder Michael Saylor. He is beyond enthusiastic about the ability of bitcoin to change the planet, thanks to its “freedom and self-sovereignty”, and he has bet his company's future on it. Unfortunately he still lives in a supervised world.
Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has filed a lawsuit accusing Saylor of avoiding over $25 million of local taxes along with the help of his company. It isn't Saylor's first run-in with hall monitors. In 2000, he agreed to disgorge over $8 million to settle, without admitting or denying, claims MicroStrategy had overstated its financial results.
MicroStrategy made an unusual, debt-funded bet on bitcoin, spending $4 billion of company money which as the end of last quarter was worth $2 billion less. Die-hard bitcoin fans may dream of the day they live in world where both governments and markets don't have structure. Unfortunately for Saylor – and MicroStrategy investors – that's not today's reality. (By Robert Cyran)
(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)
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