Billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes caught up in cryptocurrency miner's share market plunge – Daily Mail

Crypto bloodbath as Aussie ‘green’ bitcoin miner’s share price suddenly collapses by 95 per cent – now the company once backed by Atlassian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes is in perilBillionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes owed a stake in bitcoin miner Iris EnergyIts share price has plunged 94 per cent since it listed on Nasdaq just a year agoSydney firm listed in U.S. defaulted on loans to buy bitcoin making machines By Stephen Johnson, Economics Reporter For Daily Mail Australia Published: 00:56 EST, 25 November 2022 | Updated: 00:56 EST, 25 November 2022

Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has been caught up in an environmentally-conscious cryptocurrency miner’s 94 per cent share price plunge.Iris Energy, which promotes itself as a sustainable bitcoin miner, was worth $US28 when it listed on the American Nasdaq technology exchange in November last year.But it has now plunged to just $US1.68 a share because it can’t repay its debt needed to finance Chinese equipment.Mr Cannon-Brookes, the co-founder of workplace software company Atlassian, had owned shares in Iris Energy through his private investment company Grok Ventures.The ultra-wealthy climate change activist invested in the Sydney-based company which markets its ‘100 per cent renewable energy’ to bitcoin mining – the process where machines solve complex mathematical equations to create cryptocurrency. Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has been caught up in a cryptocurrency miner’s 94 per cent share price plunge (he is pictured left with former US vice president and climate change campaigner Al Gore, and his wife Annie)Iris Energy, founded by former Macquarie Group banker brothers Daniel Roberts and Will Roberts, suffered an 18 per cent plunge on Monday – hitting a low of $US1.55 a share – after it admitted American creditors were demanding $US107.8million ($A159million) in loan repayments used to buy cryptocurrency mining equipment.Chinese-owned Bitmain Technologies manufacture the machines Iris Energy uses to make bitcoin but the Australian company has debt obligations to New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) which finances this capital equipment.Iris Energy co-founder and chief executive Daniel Roberts told the Nasdaq in a November 2 update that it had ‘insufficient cash flow to service debt financing obligations’.’The limited recourse equipment financing arrangements have been a recent focus for us,’ he said.’We remain committed to exploring a way in which we may be able to allow the lender to recover its capital investment, however, we are also mindful of the current market and that these arrangements were deliberately structured to minimize any potential impact on the broader Group during a protracted market downturn.’Daniel Roberts had said ‘restructuring discussions with the lender remain ongoing’ however he later declared Iris Energy subsidiaries would default on the debt.   Iris Energy co-founder and chief executive Daniel Roberts (pictured right in Florida with staff) told the Nasdaq in a November 2 update that it had ‘insufficient cash flow to service debt financing obligations’ Iris Energy, which promotes itself as a sustainable bitcoin miner, was worth $US28 when it listed on the American Nasdaq technology exchange in November last year. But it has now plunged to just $US1.68 a share because it can’t repay its debt needed to finance Chinese equipmentIris Energy’s market capitalisation has fallen 94 per cent to $US84.12million from $US1.4billion when it listed in November 2021.Cryptocurrencies are in crisis following the collapse this month of FTX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, wiping out the entire $US16billion fortune of co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried.As recently as August, Daniel Roberts suggested that high inflation and government debt around the world made cryptocurrencies a sensible investment.’Every year those early bitcoiners look less and less crazy, and increasingly prescient,’ he said. Even before the latest cryptocurrency wipeouts, The Australian Financial Review estimated Mr Cannon-Brookes’ personal wealth had plunged to $19.3billion from $27.8billion between May and June, only a month after he came third on the annual AFR Rich List. As recently as August, Daniel Roberts suggested that high inflation and government debt around the world made cryptocurrencies a sensible investment
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