Bearish sentiment in the cryptocurrency market has driven an industry-wide increase in mergers and acquisitions, with such deals spiking by more than 200 percent year on year in 2018. According to figures compiled by JMP Securities for Pitchbook, 115 deals have already been announced throughout the world this year, with roughly 30 more expected by the end of December. That compares with just 47 mergers and acquisitions that were completed in all of 2017.
“You’re seeing a mispricing of assets,” Satya Bajpai, head of digital assets investment banking at JMP Securities, told CNBC. “Even for great businesses, the value of the token remains correlated to bitcoin, which can create an ideal opportunity for strategic acquirers.”
A growing number of established companies are using the downturn to buy startups. They are mainly pursuing such deals to gain access to human resources, as talent is in short supply, rather than to simply secure new products and technologies.
“As soon as a company becomes interesting, they get bought,” said Bajpai. “The deal size may still remain small, but the number of deals will increase because that’s the most viable and fastest way to grow in this environment.”