Crypto Execs Bought the Dip on Their Own Stocks — They’re Up 40%

Buying the dip on company stock was the right move for insiders, but those who sold the local bottom have left millions on the table

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Insiders at public crypto companies have bought millions of dollars worth of their own stocks since FTX crumpled last November — an event which sent the price of bitcoin spiraling 25%.

Coinbase director Tobias Lütke, perhaps better known as the CEO of Canadian ecommerce giant Shopify, has led the charge. He’s been busy buying the Coinbase dip, spending $4.86 million on the stock over the past three months, per SEC filings.

Lütke has snapped up nearly 110,000 Coinbase shares in that time for an average price of $44.37. COIN traded for about $60 on Friday afternoon, which means he’s up 35% on his recent haul. 

As Blockworks previously reported, Lütke has been regularly buying Coinbase stock, spending upwards of $350,000 practically every single week since August.

  • Lütke joined Coinbase’s board of directors in January 2022, when its shares were worth more than $200 a piece.
  • In total, he has acquired just under 172,000 Coinbase shares for about $9.3 million, at an average price of $54.30. 
  • His total haul is currently worth more than $10.3 million — his dip buying has, so far, paid off.
Chart by David Canellis

Three insiders at major bitcoin miner Marathon have also recently backed their own stocks. Directors Douglas Mellinger and Kevin DeNuccio respectively spent $104,000 and $339,000 on Marathon shares throughout December. 

Marathon CEO Fred Thiel himself plonked around $19,000 on 5,000 shares; altogether those three execs bought stock at an average price of $4.40. Marathon now trades for $8.18, which means they’ve collectively gained 86% — another win for the dip buyers.

CleanSpark Chief Financial Officer Gary Vecchiarelli grabbed $34,500 or 19,400 shares at $1.78 apiece in mid-December. CLSK is now at $2.90; Vecchiarelli is up 63%, lodging more than $21,000 in paper gains.

Altogether, these insiders spent $5.35 million buying the dip on their own stocks since the start of November. That same cache is now worth $7.48 million — a 40% gain.

Others insiders tapped out at local lows

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is the yin to Lütke’s yang. While the Shopify CEO has relentlessly bought COIN, Armstrong has been busy fulfilling his pledge to offload 2% of his company stake. 

Armstrong has dumped $8.57 million in Coinbase stock since the start of November (often coinciding with exercised options), most recently $4.55 million on Jan. 13. He’s overall sold more than 178,000 shares for $48.05 a pop, on average. 

Coinbase stock is up 25% from that price point. He previously pledged to funnel that cash into science and tech projects, such as life extension unit NewLimit, which he co-founded last September.

Coinbase General Counsel Paul Grewal, CFO Alesia Haas, and Chief Accounting Officer Jennifer Jones also sold the dip, cashing in more than $15.8 million in COIN since Nov. 1. Haas is responsible for the lion’s share of the selling between the three, hitting an average price of $40.16. 

Had Haas waited until now to sell her stock, they would’ve generated an additional $7.75 million — a prime example of selling the dip gone wrong. (Almost all trades cited were made in accordance to pre-set trading plans lodged with the SEC in the months prior.)

  • Chad Harris, chief communications officer at bitcoin mining stock Riot, sold 75,565 shares for $4.15 a piece to generate around $313,600 in the first week of December. 
  • RIOT now trades for $6.26, so Harris missed out on about $160,000.
  • General Counsel William Jackman sold 25,000 shares for $100,000 for $4 each — the same amount would fetch nearly $157,000 today.
Chart by David Canellis

Riot Blockchain Director Lance D’Ambrosio sold too, getting rid of shares worth $166,100. Tyler Page, CEO at rival firm Cipher Mining, joined in, giving up 35,000 shares at $0.82. The stock now trades at $1.46 — 78% above that price point.

But by far the most active sellers are a string of executives at Block, the payments firm behind Cash App formerly known as Square, founded by bitcoin bull Jack Dorsey

Block executives have altogether sold roughly $25.5 million in company stock since the start of November. 

Square Lead Alyssa Henry, who joined the firm from Amazon back in 2014, made up 95% of those sales, selling more than 373,000 shares for $64.92 on average. SQ trades for $85.43 today, meaning Henry has effectively left $7.65 million on the table.

Other SQ insiders to offload stock over the dip include CFO Amrita Ahuja, CAO Ajmere Dale, Cash App Lead Brian Grassadonia and Chief Legal Officer Sivan Whiteley.

Our selling insiders collectively sold $50.5 million during their companies’ dips, but if sold today, they would’ve raked in $68.75 million.


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