Galaxy Digital, one of the most high profile cryptocurrency investment banks, had a bad year in 2018.
According to a news release published on April 29, the company reported a net loss of $272.7 million in 2018. It comes as no surprise that Galaxy Digital suffered such severe losses, totaling over one quarter of a billion dollars, given the landscape of the crypto marketplace throughout last year.
While Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices are showing some recovery, with the majority of coins up 50 percent or more since the start of the year, the bear market of 2018 crashed digital assets across the board. Galaxy Digital happened to be operating one of the more severe price retractions for assets in any sector, with the bank forced to suffer through declining prices as Bitcoin hit a low of $3000 In November 2018–down from $20,000 less than a year earlier.
Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital and bullish supporter of cryptocurrency, framed his company’s losses in establishing a strong position for the expected industry growth ahead,
“While 2018 was a challenging year for the industry, I am pleased with the ways in which our team navigated difficult market dynamics, and believe we are well positioned to scale our business strategically over time. We have used our capitalized position to both identify and invest in a number of unique opportunities, while also continuing to build an institutional-quality platform,”
“The first few months of 2019 have yielded a notable increase in activity across our business lines. We are already benefiting from both the strong foundation we laid in 2018 as well as the year-to-date rally in digital asset markets. We expect to continue to build upon this positive momentum through the remainder of 2019 and beyond.”
Novogratz, who has been a regular figure in the industry of cryptocurrency and supportive of digital assets overall, took a moment to poke fun at his company’s losses in a conference call on April 29. In regards to price movement for the crypto markets in the final quarter of 2018, the CEO said “[it] felt a little bit like watching Game of Thrones last night,”–referencing ‘The Long Night’ episode which aired on April 28.
He also told Novogratz that the numbers in the report, while staggering, did not tell the full story of his investment bank’s performance,
“The results on the year weren’t great by any means… But it’s a little deceiving because for me what matters is the operating loss is and what our cash book does.”
In addition, the CEO reiterated a commitment to “get our operating business as close to breaking even as possible,” and claimed that strong progress had been made throughout the start of 2019, corresponding to the positive price movement for cryptocurrency. Novogratz also revealed that his cryptocurrency bank had experienced a “notable increase” in activity since the beginning of the year, with more institutional investors turning to digital assets as a viable market to trade in.