💰 Move over, Bitcoin

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks |
_"Take a seat, Bitcoin... Ethereum is back" [Simon D. Warren/The Image Bank via Getty Images]_

"Take a seat, Bitcoin... Ethereum is back" [Simon D. Warren/The Image Bank via Getty Images]

Yesterday’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
34,133 (+0.06%)
S&P 500
4,165 (-0.67%)
13,633 (-1.88%)
$54,292 (-4.98%)

Hey Snackers,

Happy Cinco de Mayo. Fun fact: 70% of Americans plan to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Also: only 1 in 10 Americans know what Cinco de Mayo is about.

Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Yellen said the Fed might have to raise interest rates to keep the economy from overheating (if Biden's big spending plans are approved). Tech stocks plunged on the news. Then Yellen walked it back.


LinkedIn fodder... American pharma giant Pfizer has notched a few notable firsts: the first Covid vaccine authorized in the US, the first mRNA vaccine ever authorized for human use, and now... the first Covid vax profits. The Pfizer-BioNTech vax is also the most administered Covid vaccine in the US: 131M Americans have received Pfizer's shot, 109M got Moderna's, and ~8M got J&J's. And it shows...

  • $3.5B: Pfizer's Covid vax sales last quarter, nearly 25% of its total sales (and its biggest source of revenue). It splits vax sales with BioNTech.
  • $26B: Pfizer's expected vax sales this year, up from its previous estimate of $15B. That's nearly 40% of its forecasted total sales.
  • $900M: Pfizer's estimated pretax vaccine profit last quarter. Unlike J&J and AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna aren't forgoing vax profits.

Zoom out... Some countries have vaccinated large swaths of their populations (the US has vaxed 44%, and Israel has vaxed 60%). But globally, Covid cases are still rising. India and Brazil now account for half of new cases. India, where cases just crossed 20M, is suffering a shortage of vaccines, oxygen, and hospital beds. Brazil is setting death toll records, and its healthcare system is collapsing.

  • The Pfizer vax is becoming more available around the globe, but it's mostly reaching wealthy countries — which, as of mid-April, had secured ~87% of the doses distributed worldwide.
  • There's been some vaccine "comparison shopping," with some on TikTok and other apps touting the Pfizer vaccine as a "status vax." That could help Pfizer's brand, but may promote a negative/false public health perception. See: CDC guidelines.

This is just the beginning... of Pfizer's vaccine journey (and its windfall). Experts are saying annual vax booster shots will likely be required. Pfizer is already making moves to deliver more shots: it's testing a third dose, and is working to make its vax easier to store, which could boost global distribution. It's also trying to fast-track vax authorization in India, and for 12- to 15-year-olds in the US. And it plans to file for the first full FDA approval this month, which would allow it to market the vax directly to consumers.


Satoshi is shaking... In January, Bitcoin made up 70% of total crypto value — yesterday, Bitcoin's share of crypto market cap fell below 50%. That's partly thanks to Ethereum (technically: Ether), the second-largest cryptocurrency. Ether hit a record $3.4K yesterday, and has rallied ~300% this year. Like Bitcoin, Ether is traded as a digital currency. But it has key differences...

  • No cap... Literally. Unlike Bitcoin, which is capped at 21M coins, Ethereum currently has no total supply limit.
  • App-focus: Ether powers Ethereum, a blockchain technology that developers use to build "decentralized apps" (#dapps).

dapps = real term... Similar to how iOS and Android are used to build smartphone apps, Ethereum's platform is used to build dapps. Unlike Instagram or PayPal, these decentralized apps aren't controlled by a single authority. Instead of living on Facebook's servers, a decentralized app could be hosted across thousands of computers across the world. When you upload a YouTube video, it's stored on Google's servers and Google can take it down. With Ethereum, control is decentralized.

  • DeFine: Ether's rally has been attributed in part to a growing number of developers building "decentralized finance" (DeFi) apps on Ethereum.
  • DeFi: DeFi apps go beyond just buying/selling crypto. They replace financial "middlemen" like banks and credit card companies, to facilitate direct loans and other transactions with Ether.

Crypto mainstreamification is going beyond coins.... The crypto spotlight has expanded from Bitcoin to other coins like Ether and Doge. But there's also growing excitement about the applications of crypto and blockchain tech (like: DeFi apps). NFTs, the collectible digital assets that have gone viral recently, mostly live on the Ethereum blockchain. Also: The European Investment Bank just issued $120M worth of bonds on the Ethereum network.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Vaxed: President Biden will reallocate vax doses to states with higher demand, targeting for 70% of adults to have at least one shot by July 4.
  • Taxed: Wealthy families could face tax rates of up to 61% on inherited wealth under President Biden’s tax plan.
  • Lyfted: Lyft showed signs of recovery last quarter, with sales jumping 7% from the previous quarter. It also snagged more riders than expected.
  • Protect: Demand for Under Armour's sports apparel is roaring back as shoppers return to (real) stores — sales jumped 35% last quarter.
  • Stay: Hyatt's quarterly loss widened as people staycationed, but it says demand is picking up as vaccines roll out.


  • Earnings expected from Etsy, PayPal, GM, Twilio, Hilton, Hyatt, Wynn Resorts, Booking, Fox, Scotts Miracle-Gro, and Zynga
  • Jessica Alba's Honest Co expected to IPO

Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Moderna

ID: 1634624