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Barstool's Dave Portnoy Is Bad at Trading Cryptocurrency

The day trader now owns zero bitcoins after one week of trading.

Aug 21, 2020 at 6:54 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:46 a.m. UTC

Dave Portnoy, the online sports celebrity founder of Barstool Sports, might be quitting cryptocurrency trading after buying bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies little more than a week ago, according to a tweet published Friday afternoon.

  • Portnoy led his army of day traders into the cryptocurrency world after Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, founders of the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, explained bitcoin to him on Aug. 13.
  • Besides leading to a sizable bitcoin purchase, Portnoy’s meeting with the Winklevoss brothers also resulted in a $50,000 purchase of chainlink (LINK).
  • As of Friday, and after losing $25,000, however, Portnoy told his Twitter followers, “I currently own zero bitcoins.”
  • The bellwether cryptocurrency actually gained more than 7% in the days following Portnoy’s broadcasted purchase. At last check, BTC is still up 1% from the daily open on the day of Portnoy’s meeting.
  • LINK, however, dumped 30% since Portnoy signaled his bullishness for the coin, tweeting, “LINK to the moon.”
  • Another alternative cryptocurrency, orchid (OXT), also dropped 28% since Portnoy tweeted about his position.
  • Trading cryptocurrency just isn’t easy, explained Anil Lulla, former analyst at Bloomberg and co-founder of cryptocurrency research firm Delphi Digital. “The market is a bit more sophisticated than it was in 2017. You've seen a shift where capital has been flowing to projects with some fundamentals instead of just good marketing and buzzwords.”
  • Dismissing his losses, Portnoy responded to a fake Tyler Winklevoss account that expressed disappointment in the celebrity trader’s decision to sell LINK by saying, “I make six figures a day like clockwork in the real stock market. No need to sit around losing money waiting for Elon [Musk] to mine gold from outer space.”
  • The possibility of mining gold on asteroids was a value proposition for investing in BTC pitched to Portnoy by the Winklevoss twins.
  • "Having a long-term fundamental view helps deal with the short-term volatility," said Ryan Watkins, bitcoin analyst at Messari and former investment banking analyst at Moelis & Co., referring to trading cryptocurrencies in a private message with CoinDesk.
  • Because everyone looks like a genius in a bull market, though, Lulla said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Portnoy eventually “have some fun and post some headline-grabbing gains.”

DISCLOSURE

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