Elon Musk has shown again he can influence the digital currency market with just his tweets. After saying that his electric vehicle-making company Tesla will not accept payments in Bitcoin because of environmental concerns, he tweeted that he was working with developers of Dogecoin to improve system transaction efficiency. Following the two distinct statements from him, the world’s largest cryptocurrency hit a two-month low, while Dogecoin rallied by about 20 percent. The SpaceX CEO has in recent months often tweeted in support of Dogecoin, but rarely for Bitcoin.
In his latest tweet, Musk said “Tesla has not sold any bitcoin.” That seeming clarification came after his weekend tweets that hinted Tesla is considering or may have already sold some of its massive holdings.
Musk has boosted crypto markets with his enthusiasm for the asset class, but has lately roiled trade by appearing to cool on bitcoin in favor of its one-time parody, dogecoin. The gyrations are beginning to spook even steeled traders.
Bitcoin fell more than 9% on Monday to as low as $42,185, its lowest since Feb. 8, but rallied more than 5% to around $44,220.
Dogecoin is also yet to fully recover from Musk describing it as a “hustle,” although he did boost the price last week by saying he was working to improve its efficiency.
For an asset class that has surged this year, with dogecoin up about a hundredfold, ether up more than fourfold and bitcoin gaining 45%, some are beginning to call time on the wild ride.
“Our weekend trading has kicked up, and we’re looking at some serious liquidations through the exchanges,” said Pepperstone’s Weston.