TOPLINE Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk stirred up the cryptocurrency market with his Twitter account again Sunday when he appeared to hint Tesla would cast out its bitcoin holdings, a move that saw the cryptocurrency plunge.
When a Twitter user speculated Sunday Musk would ditch bitcoin over the hate the billionaire had received after announcing Tesla would no longer accept the cryptocurrency as payment last week, Musk replied with one word: “Indeed.”
The vague message was enough to push cryptocurrency investors to sell off their bitcoin, and the price dipped nearly 8.5% down to $44,395 a coin Sunday.
Cryptocurrency is notoriously volatile, but Sunday’s dip was bitcoin’s biggest slump in more than three months and represented one of its biggest drops in value since the price first began to rapidly ramp up in January.
Last week, Musk said Tesla would no longer accept the cryptocurrency until bitcoin, which requires colossal amounts of electricity to work with, shifts to more sustainable energy use,
Musk said at the time Tesla would not sell off the bitcoin it already had.
$1.5 billion. That’s how much Musk spent on buying bitcoin just three months ago, in preparation for using the cryptocurrency at Tesla.
Running bitcoin uses more electricity than some countries, according to a University of Cambridge study published in February. Researchers said the cryptocurrency burns through 121.36 terawatt-hours annually, roughly the equivalent of used by countries like Argentina and Norway.
Just two months ago, bitcoin prices soared when Musk announced Tesla would accept the cryptocurrency as payment for Tesla’s pricey electric vehicles. Musk’s quick reversal last week to suspend Tesla bitcoin payments and the cryptocurrency’s loss of value soon after angered many bitcoin investors, who said the billionaire was misinformed about bitcoin’s energy consumption. Musk has bickered with and made fun of the bitter investors on Twitter in recent days.
Musk is no stranger to playing the cryptocurrency market with his tweets. His current cryptocurrency of choice, dogecoin, is regularly boosted by the eccentric CEO’s Twitter memes and public enthusiasm.
by Carlie Porterfield, Forbes Staff