The value of the original digital currency dropped overnight after Tesla’s billionaire boss Elon Musk implied on Twitter that he may be considering selling the company’s Bitcoin stash, worth in excess of US$1bn
The price of Bitcoin has slumped to its lowest level in three months as crypto traders fretted over rumours that electric car maker () could be on the verge of selling off part of its large holdings of the digital currency.
In early trading in London on Monday, Bitcoin was trading 8.7% lower over the last 24 hours at US$44,680, its lowest level since early February.
The latest slide was triggered on Sunday lunchtime by yet more antics from Tesla boss Elon Musk on Twitter, with the billionaire responding to a Tweet in a manner that seemed to imply he was considering offloading the company’s Bitcoin holdings, which currently amount to over US$1bn.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2021
Despite clarifying early on Monday morning that Tesla had not yet sold any of its Bitcoin stash, the price of the crypto has yet to recover to the level it was trading at before the initial comment.
To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 17, 2021
Fears that Tesla could be planning a possible sale of its Bitcoin holdings follow a decision by Musk last week to suspend the company accepting the crypto as payment for its cars amid concerns about the environmental impact of the Bitcoin mining process, which uses large amounts of electricity partially generated from non-renewable sources.
The decision sent the price of Bitcoin down sharply, wiping hundreds of millions of dollars off Tesla’s balance sheet.
In recent months, Musk has emerged as perhaps the most influential figure for the price of Bitcoin and the wider crypto market, with his comments and interventions both on Twitter and elsewhere often followed by wild price swings in the market.
Musk is credited by many to be a key factor in the dramatic rise of meme-inspired cryptocurrency Dogecoin, which despite being created as a joke in 2013 has seen its value rocket 9,700% so far this year.