Carnegie Market Blog

Blockchain, the Four and Brick and Mortar Retailers


The bitcoin craze continues.  As of today, bitcoin is valued at almost $10,000.   This is up from about $800 at the beginning of the year and $20 in 2013.  There are many of people who believe this is a great investment, others who think it is a massive speculative bubble, and more who have no idea what the deal is with Bitcoin or blockchain.  Last month a publicly traded biotech company decided to change its name to include the word “blockchain” change their focus to “buying cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses”.  That change alone caused the stock price to quintuple in a short time.  While Bitcoin itself may or may not be in a speculative bubble, the technology it is built on, blockchain, is quite promising.  Blockchain technology has wide implications and may turn out to be an integral piece of the technology revolution we have entered.  Here is an interesting and non-technical TED Talk explaining How The Blockchain Will Radically Transform The Economy  

Bitcoin(Since 2010)

Bitcoin chart (since 2010) 

Thinking about the new paradigm in technology, here are few interesting facts from Scott Galloway’s “The Four” – a book where he discusses Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google and why they are the most important companies in history: 

      • One of every six minutes spent online is spent on Facebook.
      • One of every six queries on Google has never been searched before.
      • Facebook is worth $23,000,000 per employee – GM is worth $290,000.
      • 55 percent of ALL (not just online) product searches start on
      • Here are the largest companies in 2006 versus 2017: 

Graphic showing the five largest companies in 2006 vs. 2017
Brick and Mortar Comeback?

There have been a number of traditional B&M retailing stocks that have rallied lately.  Most of these have been crushed in the past year or two and were written off as being victims of Amazon.  The question is whether the market has overreacted and there is actually good value in these stocks, or whether this is a “dead cat bounce”?  On a related note, shares of Wal-Mart have been very strong because the market believes they are doing a good job defending themselves against Amazon and have been making great strides in their e*commerce presence.   RELATED:  Walmart and Best Buy Challenge Amazon Successfully 

Topics: Investing

Brent Luce

Written by Brent Luce

Brent Luce Senior Portfolio Manager Cleveland, OH EMAIL BRENT LUCE Or call 216-367-4105 Brent serves Carnegie Investment Counsel as Senior Portfolio Manager. Brent manages custom portfolios for select clients and is an integral part of Carnegie’s investment selection and portfolio structuring processes. He is also author of the “Carnegie Market Blog”.

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