While I could get into a complicated argument about Greenidge Generation (NASDAQ:GREE), I think my colleague Alex Sirois said it best and said it succinctly: “There is now no reason to be invested” in GREE stock following the underlying company’s merger with Support.com in mid-September.
Since the mid-September merger, Greenidge shares have done nothing but drop, Sirois noted. GREE stock closed down on Oct. 6 at $24.99, extending that drop to almost 55%.
Of course, with investments tied to the cryptocurrency market — Greenidge bills itself as a crypto miner and a clean one at that — the price trajectory of GREE stock could change dramatically so keep that in mind. Nevertheless, on balance, Greenidge has had a rough go in the market, with few people wanting to take a shot at the confusing combination.
“I wasn’t sure if the merger aimed at building some sort of nascent platform targeting tech support and crypto-mining. I’m still not sure what the purpose of the merger was or what it attempted to achieve,” wrote Sirois. Frankly, I’m glad he spoke up because it’s one of the strangest mergers I’ve seen. But with few people calling it out, I thought I was going nuts.
Having said that, cryptocurrency prices are rising sharply as I write this. Last month, news that El Salvador was adopting cryptos as legal tender bolstered the wider narrative for digital assets. Now, the latest rumblings suggest that Brazil is going to follow suit.
Per a Coin Rivet report republished by Yahoo Finance, the “South American nation is preparing to vote on a cryptocurrency regulation bill which is expected to be presented to the Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies within the next few days.” If it gets the green light, GREE stock could soar on the sentiment implications.
Then again, it could turn into a buy the rumor, sell the news sorta deal.
Efficiency Could Stymie GREE Stock
Beyond the headlines that fundamentally support GREE stock, Greenidge also has another angle to offer: the ability to facilitate a 100% carbon-neutral crypto-mining operation. On paper, it sounds like a wonderful idea. The company can participate in one of the greatest investment stories of our time while minimizing the typically harsh environment impact crypto mining imposes.
However, it appears that Wall Street views this concept as complete bunk. In New York, where Greenidge is located, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation will hold public hearings regarding the company’s bid to renew the air emissions permits for its Dresden power plant.
Greenidge is in for a battle. “Environmental groups see it as a test case for the state. They seek to block the permit renewals or derail the company’s plan to expand mining capacity — and double the energy consumption to support it — at Dresden by next year,” according environmental journalist Peter Mantius on FingerLakes1.com.
Whether crypto mining is as deleterious to the environment as many assume is relevant to green activists. They want to limit as much mining activity as possible, which places pressure on GREE stock. After all, climate-related issues have become more important across the board.
But even if Greenidge receives the go-ahead, making crypto mining more efficient could end up having an ironic effect on the pricing of digital assets. Like anything worth doing, such activity imposes a cost, either of time, energy or money. But in the business world, as technology increases in scale and scope, prices for underlying products and services decrease.
That’s true whether you’re talking about flat-screen TVs or electric vehicles or any other product category. So in effect, it might not actually serve Greenidge’s best interest to go green.
Commoditized Industries Are Risky
Further, any blockchain-related argument supporting GREE stock must be balanced by the commoditization risk. To put it simply, a crypto coin generated by Greenidge is no better and no worse than a crypto coin generated in a nameless, faceless mining facility in Kazakhstan.
This is not an industry where you can distinguish yourself through some tangible or intangible asset. Instead, you’ve got to churn and burn and hope that other competitors aren’t working as hard as you. But the problem is, “working hard” is the easiest trait to resort to. Much harder is finding something to separate yourself from everyone else.
Crypto mining doesn’t allow any enterprise room for distinguishment because it’s mostly a commoditized endeavor. Seeing how Greenidge is already in a tough position, I find it difficult to trust GREE stock.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.