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Hot air? Eyes turn to Helium as Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman tweets praise for HNT

By Capital.com News

Edited by Charlie Mellor

14:16, 21 November 2022

Bill Ackman during the Deal Conference, 2016
Ackman later clarified “he was not advocating for any particular crypto project” – Photo: Getty Images

As the collapse of the cryptocurrency trading platform FTX appears to have eroded trust in the industry, one traditional finance investor came to the sector’s defence.

But the token he chose to endorse raised eyebrows in crypto circles. 

Bill Ackman, the billionaire CEO and founder of hedge fund management firm Pershing Square Capital Management, revealed he was a small, direct investor in a handful of crypto projects including Helium (HNT) – which was revealed earlier this year to have claimed working relationships with firms that it didn’t have.

Ackman later clarified that “he was not advocating for any particular crypto project”. 

Helium (HNT) to US dollar

Crypto sceptic no more

“The telephone, the internet, and crypto share one thing in common. Each technology improves on the next in terms of its ability to facilitate fraud,” Ackman wrote in a Twitter thread that has since gone viral on Crypto Twitter. He added: 

“As such, I was initially a crypto sceptic, but after studying some of the more interesting crypto projects, I have come to believe that crypto can enable the formation of useful businesses and technologies that heretofore could not be created.” 

The hedge fund manager admitted that he first believed cryptocurrencies were worthless and likened them to “a modern-day version of tulip mania without the aesthetic benefits”.

Helium (HNT) confusion

Ackman added that he later began to understand how a token could build intrinsic value over time and listed two examples of crypto projects, one of which was HNT. He added: 

“Helium created a global wifi network used by Lime Bike and others to track devices globally as well as for other uses which benefit by access to global wifi networks.” 

However, it didn’t go unnoticed by Twitter commentators that Lime Bike never partnered with Helium. 

BTC/USD

65,714.20 Price
+0.290% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 106.00

XRP/USD

0.63 Price
+4.710% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.01168

SOL/USD

178.85 Price
+3.610% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 2.2652

DOGE/USD

0.13 Price
-0.120% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.0012872

“Sooo, this is awkward, but Lime didn’t use Helium,” tweeted Anthony Bardaro. 

Helium became embroiled in a controversy in July when it was found out for claiming to have had working relationships with two client companies when it hadn’t, reported Mashable. One of these included Lime Bike, which denied having an ongoing relationship.  

“Beyond an initial test of its product in 2019, Lime has not had, and does not currently have, a relationship with Helium,” Lime’s spokesperson told Mashable at the time.

Following the Crypto Twitter backlash, Ackman dialed down on his HNT endorsement.

“To be clear, I am not advocating for any particular crypto project. Rather, I am making the case that crypto can facilitate potentially useful and important businesses that heretofore could not exist,” he tweeted.

“That said, the success of any individual project is a function of the ultimate demand for its products and/or services and the quality and the execution of its management.”

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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