Elon Musk seems to have again become a catalyst for bitcoin’s (BTC) price losing over 10% over the weekend. The losses came in after the Tesla CEO seemed to suggest that the company may be aiming to dump bitcoin from its balance sheet in Q2 2021.
Musk is duking it out with the Twitter crypto community after his comments rubbed the sector in the wrong way. On May 16, the Tesla CEO replied to a tweet projecting that Tesla may drop all its bitcoin holdings this quarter. Musk simply replied: “Indeed” to the dissatisfaction of the bitcoin community.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2021
With his popularity now dwindling within the crypto sector after he decided to criticize the energy efficiency of bitcoin amid Tesla’s suspension of support for car purchases using BTC payments, his one-word comment elicited more condemnation from most of the leading figures in the crypto space.
Peter McCormack, who updated his handle to “McObnoxious,” who is also the host of the What Bitcoin Did podcast, said that Musk’s recent criticism of bitcoin is ‘poorly informed’ and adding his support for Dogecoin (DOGE) might make him the ‘perfect troll.’
1/ Dear @elonmusk. The perfect troll is one where people don't know whether it is a troll or not. Your recent poorly informed criticism of #bicoin + support for Doge may be the perfect troll…or you might actually believe this (God I hope not).
— Peter McObnoxious (@PeterMcCormack) May 16, 2021
McCormack’s comments seemed to have irritated Musk, with the Tesla CEO saying:
“Obnoxious threads like this make me want to go all-in on Doge.”
Yearn.finance developer “banteg” was not left behind in voicing his opinion. He jumped in to imply that Musk’s support for Dogecoin over Bitcoin has featured a clear pump-and-dump scheme, stating:
“I guess you really need all retail in the world to unload 28.34% of Dogecoin supply.”
At the time of publication, DOGE prices have dumped over 30% since their peak of $0.73 on May 8. The losses accelerated after Musk’s appearance on Saturday Night Live (SNL) on the same day.
The Tesla CEO also claimed that he has a superior understanding of money than crypto analysts due to his past executive positions at PayPal’s precursor, saying:
“Hey cryptocurrency ‘experts’, ever heard of PayPal? It’s possible … maybe … that I know [more] than you realize about how money works.”
Michael Saylor, the MicroStrategy CEO and prominent Bitcoin proponent mentioned the differences between Bitcoin and PayPal, saying:
“The world needs a decentralized, secure, deflationary store of value like #Bitcoin much more than it needs the more centralized, less secure, inflationary medium of exchange that you describe above.”
PayPal lead engineer Daniel Brain also came in to insist on the expanded utility that Bitcoin offers over PayPal.
Even at PayPal, we understand the difference between a settlement layer and a transactional layer. 🙂
— Daniel Brain (@bluepnume) May 16, 2021
These comments indicate that relations between Saylor and Musk might be cooling.
In August last year, Saylor’s leading business intelligence company MicroStrategy became the first prominent mainstream firm to include BTC in its balance sheet. At the time, the company acquired 21,000 BTC for an aggregate price of around $250 million.
In December 2021, Musk was seen asking Saylor about the ease with which a huge company may acquire hundreds of millions/billions worth of BTC. The friendly advice that was given precipitated Tesla’s purchase the following month.
On February 8, 2021, news broke that Tesla had acquired $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin. That revelation sent prices exploding to new all-time highs above $43,000 at the time. While responding to Saylor’s defense of Bitcoin today, Musk tweeted:
“He should wear outfit for Halloween, but with ‘Bitcoin’ tattooed high on thighs.”
Bitcoin is down over 8% in the past 24 hours, having rebounded from below $43,000 to trade around $45,000 currently. To cool things down, Elon Musk also tweeted:
“To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin.”