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Bitcoin Climbs in Latest Roller Coaster Fueled by Elon Musk’s Twitter Account

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Bitcoin hasn’t been the star player in the cryptocurrency world this year, when it comes to performance.

Photo llustration by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Bitcoin prices pushed back above $45,000 on Monday, as
Elon Musk
said his electric-car company Tesla hasn’t done any divesting, a day after a single-word comment sparked fresh selling of the digital asset.

“To clarify speculation,

Tesla

has not sold any Bitcoin,” Musk tweeted in the early hours of Monday, in response to another tweet from user Bitcoin Archive, who blamed him for a 20% drop in the cryptocurrency.

Musk’s latest remark followed a Sunday Twitter exchange with user @cryptowhale, who said investors would “slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their #Bitcoin holdings. With the amount of hate @elonmusk is getting, I wouldn’t blame him …”

“Indeed,” was Musk’s response, which to some indicated that he may have sold or could sell the rest of his digital holdings. Bitcoin was last up over 2% to $45,051, but down 8% in the last 24 hours, with a low of $42,212 in that period being recorded by CoinDesk. Bitcoin has lost just over 18% in the last five trading days, but remains up 56% year to date.

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In first-quarter earnings released in late April, Tesla said it sold around 10% of its $1.5 billion position in Bitcoin “for a small gain in our Q1 financials.” Explaining why that investment was made, its chief financial officer
Zach Kirkhorn
said the company wanted to earn a return on its excess cash balance and saw few opportunities in traditional options. As well, the Bitcoin market seems to have plenty of liquidity, he added.

Musk’s latest tweet sparked a flood of exasperated comments from

Twitter

followers who have found themselves riding a price roller coaster linked to his remarks. While many pleaded with Musk to be more responsible about tweeting, some also appeared dubious.

“I would not be surprised to find out they’ve been buying #Bitcoin,” tweeted Scott Melker, a crypto trader with over 400,000 followers known as “The Wolf of All Streets.”

“It’s ‘interesting’ to see that one person, whose company owns less than 0.2% of an asset class, which aims to be a store of value, has such an impact on price #volatility, #Bitcoin,” tweeted Jeroen Blokland, head of multiasset trading at Robeco.

Last week, Musk wiped out more than $360 billion of value in Bitcoin via his tweet saying that Tesla was reversing a decision to accept payment of the cryptocurrency for its cars, due to environmental issues. There were, of course, other reasons for crypto wobbles last week, such as a U.S. money laundering and tax evasion probe into cyrpto exchange Binance. And payments fintech

Square,

after losing money on its own Bitcoin holdings, said it wouldn’t add any more soon.

He also triggered a tumble in the price of meme currency Dogecoin through an appearance on U.S. comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” over a week ago. Dogecoin came charging back after he tweeted a few days later that he was working with the cryptocurrency’s developers on “transaction efficiency.”

Bitcoin hasn’t been the star player in the cryptocurrency world this year, when it comes to performance. Ethereum is up about 372% year to date, and Ripple is up over 500% as investors have moved into alternative coins. Dogecoin, meanwhile, has had an eye-popping gain this year of 10,500%.

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