Elon Musk sent the price of bitcoin soaring Sunday night after a positive tweet about the cryptocurrency, which has tracked closely with Musk’s tweets over the past six months. The SpaceX founder also revealed his electric car company Tesla has sold roughly 10% of its bitcoin holdings.
Musk, the second wealthiest person in the world, was responding to a tweet from crypto news outlet CoinTelegraph that accused the billionaire of running a pump and dump scheme when he made his latest revelations.
“This is inaccurate. Tesla only sold ~10% of holdings to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving market,” Musk tweeted on Sunday, using the abbreviation of bitcoin.
Oh, for sure. It’s perfectly normal to sell off millions of dollars in assets to… test the market. That’s just smart business and not a sign of trying to dump your Monopoly money.
Musk continued by explaining that he’ll let Tesla accept bitcoin as a payment for electric cars once the energy consumed to mine the cryptocurrency reaches about 50% renewable.
“When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions,” Musk tweeted.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are notoriously bad for the environment, consuming enormous amounts of energy to run properly. Musk started accepting bitcoin for Teslas back in March but stopped in May when the billionaire said he was worried that crypto was bad for the environment.
The weird part, of course, is that nothing changed environmentally in that period when Tesla accepted bitcoin. Everyone knew it was bad for the environment when Musk started taking bitcoin and there’s basically no way that someone like Musk could’ve been ignorant of the environmental impact before he made that decision.
The price of bitcoin is currently sitting at roughly $US39,200 ($50,278), up 9.64% over the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk. That’s still quite a ways off it’s all-time high of $US64,829 ($83,150), but bitcoin diehards have to be excited that it’s moving in a positive direction after Musk’s tweets from the past few months sent the price tumbling.
Musk knows what he’s doing by manipulating the bitcoin market with his tweets, but he still has some level of plausible deniability, if only because the market isn’t regulated in any serious way. The only question left is whether Musk’s legion of followers realise it’s all a grift before they empty their bank accounts on the wrong side of Musk’s crypto rollercoaster. We’re not going to hold our breath.