Speculation Over Elon Musk Tweet Prompts Bitcoin Selloff -- Update
By Caitlin Ostroff
Bitcoin's continued its recent slide after a tweet from Tesla
Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk prompted speculation that the
electric-car maker had sold, or would sell, its holdings of the
While Mr. Musk later tweeted that Tesla hadn't sold any bitcoin,
the selloff demonstrated his power to shift cryptocurrency markets.
Last week, he said Tesla had suspended accepting bitcoin as payment
for its vehicles, citing concerns over its carbon footprint. Since
then, the market value of bitcoin has fallen to about $815 billion
from more than $1 trillion.
Bitcoin traded as low as $42,102.35 overnight -- its lowest
level since February -- and was recently hovering around $42,950.
It is down about 35% from its record approaching $65,000 a month
Mr. Musk's recent posts on Twitter have shown that his
sentiments are having a significant impact on the market, said
Chris Bendiksen, head of research at London-based asset management
"It's a little too much for my liking," he said.
The Tesla chief has long been a prolific tweeter regarding
cryptocurrencies, sharing memes and posts about the joke
cryptocurrency dogecoin. Earlier this year, Tesla said it added
$1.5 billion worth of bitcoin to its corporate treasury. The
company sold $272 million worth of bitcoin in the first quarter,
helping it report record earnings.
The attention on bitcoin from Mr. Musk likely helped usher new
individual investors to buy it, investors and analysts say. Those
traders might be more likely to sell based on Mr. Musk's tweets,
Write to Caitlin Ostroff at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 17, 2021 14:59 ET (18:59 GMT)
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