Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who last year proclaimed himself the “Dogefather,” wants you to know that he never told people to invest in cryptocurrency, sparking confusion among those familiar with his enthusiasm for the subject.
Speaking on Tuesday at Bloomberg’s Qatar Economic Forum, the richest man in the world stepped away from his past bullishness on cryptocurrency, a move that seems fitting given all virtual currencies’ recent downward spiral. He even went so far as to suggest he’s only supporting dogecoin as a favour to folks who aren’t that wealthy.
“I have never said that people should invest in crypto. In the case of Tesla, SpaceX, myself, we all did buy some Bitcoin, but it’s a small percentage of our total cash assets,” the Tesla CEO said, adding: “I intend to personally support dogecoin because I just have a lot of people who are not that wealthy who have encouraged me to buy and support dogecoin, so I’m responding to those people, just people who work at the factory at SpaceX or Tesla.”
Nonetheless, as an experienced Twitter user, Musk likely knows that he doesn’t need to give an explicit order to convince his hordes of fans to do something, including buy crypto.
Have your doubts? Take a look at these tweets and judge for yourself.
Although Musk has said that he talks about dogecoin, which he once called his favourite cryptocurrency, as a joke, it can frankly be hard to tell if the billionaire is joking or not. After all, this is a man who speaks in memes even when he’s concerned about serious topics, such as his purchase of Twitter or his bungled plan to take Tesla private.
When Musk tweeted a meme about dogecoin overtaking the global financial system in June of 2020, it also hiked the value of the currency up 14% at the time.
“One word: Doge”
A few months later, Musk again brought up dogecoin. This time, it was with one word. Literally. In addition, he also changed his Twitter bio to read “Former CEO of dogecoin” and threw shade at bitcoin, calling it “BS.”
“In retrospect, it was inevitable.”
Apparently, Musk’s beef with bitcoin was short lived. Just one month after calling the biggest cryptocurrency “BS,” he added “#bitcoin” to his Twitter bio, which sent its value soaring 20%. Although Musk didn’t provide many details at the time, he did publish a tweet saying,“In retrospect, it was inevitable,” which some speculated was about bitcoin.
Days later on January 31, the Tesla CEO made it official in a Clubhouse chat: He was a supporter of bitcoin. In fact, Musk said he regretted not buying bitcoin eight years ago, adding, “talk about being late to the party.”
“I do at this point think bitcoin is a good thing, and I am a supporter of bitcoin,” Musk said, according to CNBC. “I think bitcoin is really on the verge of getting broad acceptance by conventional finance people.”
“You can now buy a Tesla with bitcoin.”
In March 2021, Musk gave cryptocurrency the biggest sign of his confidence to date. He announced that customers would now be able to buy a Tesla with bitcoin. The CEO also said that bitcoin received as payment by Tesla would remain bitcoin and not be converted to traditional currency.
“SpaceX is going to put a literal dogecoin on the literal moon.”
Still tickled with crypto, Musk spent sent out three delighted tweets about dogecoin in April of 2021. On April Fool’s Day, he said that SpaceX, his rocket company, was going to put a literal dogecoin on the literal moon. A few weeks later, Musk shared art of what he said was “Doge Barking at the Moon.”
At the end of the month, he inextricably linked himself to dogecoin when he said “The Dogefather,” a reference to himself, would be appearing on Saturday Night Live on May 8.
“Cryptocurrency is promising, but please invest with caution!”
Every once in a while, it seems like Musk pauses and starts to think about how his words influence others. On May 7, in anticipation of his SNL debut, he had one of those days.
“Cryptocurrency is promising, but please invest with caution!” Musk tweeted.
The billionaire linked to an interview he had done with TMZ on cryptocurrency in February of 2021. In the interview, Musk said it was unwise for people to go big on crypto. “People should not invest their life savings in cryptocurrency, to be clear,” he explained.
The next thing he said though was less clear. “But if you want to speculate and maybe have some fun — there’s a good chance that crypto is the future currency of Earth. Then it’s like, which one is it going to be? Maybe there will be multiple. But it should be considered speculation at this point.”
“1st meme in space… To the mooooonnn!!”
Despite expectations that he would tout cryptocurrency as the future the world needed to believe in, Musk confused stans of the virtual currency when he called dogecoin “a hustle” on SNL. The price of dogecoin fell by 30% during Musk’s appearance on the show.
Never one to disappoint his fans, just two days after his SNL debut, the billionaire announced that SpaceX would be launching a satellite called “Doge-1” to the moon. The satellite will be paid for entirely with dogecoin and is expected to launch this year.
“1st meme in space,” Musk tweeted. “To the mooooonnn!!
That same month, Musk polled his followers and asked them if they wanted Tesla to accept dogecoin. At 78.2%, the “yes” option won. (Tesla currently accepts dogecoin as payment for merchandise and at some charging stations.)
“If you’d like to help develop Doge, please submit ideas on GiHub and [Reddit]”
Changing course, the Tesla CEO said on May 13 that the electric car company would stop accepting bitcoin over environmental concerns, calling the amount of energy needed to mine bitcoin “insane.”
Also in May, Musk asked any followers interested in helping develop dogecoin to submit ideas on GitHub and the dogecoin reddit.
His reasoning why he didn’t support other cryptocurrencies: “Doge has dogs & memes, whereas the others do not,” he tweeted in reply to a question.
“I will eat a happy meal on tv if @McDonalds accepts Dogecoin”
To be clear, we could go on and on, but let’s jump into 2022, shall we? In January of this year, tech’s most eccentric billionaire tried to bring dogecoin into the mainstream once more.
“I will eat a happy meal on tv if @McDonalds accepts Dogecoin,” he tweeted.
McDonald’s didn’t take the bait.
“I still own & won’t sell my Bitcoin, Ethereum or Doge fwiw.”
In March, Musk decided to give the ordinary folk concerned with rising inflation some advice, telling them it was better to own physical things, such as homes, or stock in companies that make good products instead of dollars during high inflation. He did have one caveat, though.
“I still own & won’t sell my Bitcoin, Ethereum or Doge fwiw,” Musk said.
“I will keep supporting Dogecoin”
And that brings us back to the present, or this past Sunday. Two days before his appearance at the Qatar Economic Forum, where he said he never told people to invest in cryptocurrency, Musk gave a clear indication that his love for dogecoin was strong.
“I will keep supporting Dogecoin,” Musk tweeted on June 19.
With all this in mind, can he really say that he never told people to invest cryptocurrency? Musk is a smart cookie, and he’s currently being sued by a U.S. dogecoin investor who accuses him and SpaceX of inflating the price of the virtual currency.