Welcome to the Weekly Scan. Here’s what we’re following for the week of February 16, 2021.
Bitcoin starts going mainstream. Bank of New York (BNY) MellonCorporation announced that it will start holding, transferring, and issuing cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. BNY Mellon will be the first big custody bank to accept cryptocurrency, which is becoming increasingly popular among investors. Custody banks oversee assets held by money managers, such as real estate and money in outside accounts. This move will allow money managers to use BNY Mellon to hold their cryptocurrency. Credit card company Mastercard also announced last week that it will start supporting certain cryptocurrencies.
- The takeaway: Traditional banks and financial institutions are increasingly accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as legitimate currencies, as their value surges. Bitcoin reportedly reached a record high of $50,000 last week. Until recently, big banks have been wary of cryptocurrencies and the potential risks and regulatory concerns that could accompany them. Keep in mind that cryptocurrencies can be volatile, meaning they’re subject to big swings up and down.
Disney’s magical first quarter. Disney issued its earnings report for the first quarter of 2021, announcing better-than-expected performance. The entertainment giant reported $16.25 billion in revenue, as opposed to the $15.9 billion it had estimated. Disney+, Disney’s streaming service, reportedly has approximately 95 million paying subscribers as its one-year free trial ends for Verizon customers. Direct-to-consumer business increased 73% to $3.5 billion compared to the first quarter of 2020. Still, Disney had decreases in revenue for its parks and cruise business. Revenue from parks, experiences, and products fell 53% to $3.58 million. Disney estimated that Covid-19 has cost the division $2.6 billion in revenue during the first quarter.
- The takeaway: While streaming has helped buoy Disney’s business throughout the pandemic, Covid-19 has still affected its theme parks and new content production. Disney has said that mass vaccination against the virus will eventually allow its parks to reopen. Disneyland, based in Anaheim, California is currently a vaccination site. The park has hosted 100,000 vaccinations so far.
Bumble’s first date. Dating app Bumble had its initial public offering last week, selling 50 million shares at $43 each. Shares of Bumble opened at $76 when it began trading and closed at $70.31. The IPO brought in $2.2 billion for the women-first dating app. Bumble, which is a free service, earns revenue by selling users premium features. The company has posted varying numbers in recent years. Bumble had $416.6 million in revenue during the first nine months of 2020, up from $362.2 million during the same time period in 2019. But Bumble also reported a net loss of $118.5 million during the first nine months of 2020, compared to a net gain of $54 million during the same period in 2019.
- The takeaway: While Match Group, which owns Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge, and more, has dominated the dating app industry, Bumble’s market share has increased to 17% in 2020, from 10% in 2017. Still, Match has 11 million paying users while Bumble has 2.4 million, out of its 40 million active users.
Find out what we covered in last week’s Scan.