SpaceX Founder and Chief Engineer Elon Musk speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition on March 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. Musk answered a number of questions about SpaceX projects during his appearance at the conference.
Win McNamee | Getty Images
Bitcoin’s price fell Friday morning after Elon Musk posted a tweet suggesting he fell in love with the world’s leading cryptocurrency.
Billionaire Tesla CEO tweeted a meme about a couple who split over the male partner, quoting Linkin Park texts and adding the hashtag #Bitcoin and a broken heart emoji.
The cryptocurrency rebounded slightly but remained in the red after Square CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted Friday morning that the digital payments company was considering developing a hardware wallet for Bitcoin.
Bitcoin was down 3.6% to $ 37,170.97 at 1:45 p.m. ET on Friday, according to data from Coin Metrics. Other digital coins followed suit, with cryptocurrency # 2 falling 3.2% to $ 2,706.99 and Dogecoin – Musk’s preferred crypto – falling 3% to 38 cents.
Bitcoin had a wild year, hitting a record high of more than $ 64,000 in April, only to crash to nearly $ 30,000 the following month. It’s now more than 40% below its all-time high, though it’s still up nearly 30% in 2021.
It’s not the first time Musk’s tweets about crypto have moved the market. In May, he said that due to concerns about energy usage, Tesla would stop accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, saving hundreds of billions of dollars in value from the entire crypto market in a single day.
Some in the crypto industry have criticized Musk in the past for his posts about digital currencies. For example, Musk tweeted frequently about “joke” cryptocurrency Dogecoin, which often resulted in wild price movements.
After his latest tweet about Bitcoin, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, turned it down. Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap data.
“Tweets that harm the finances of others are not funny and irresponsible,” tweeted Zhao, known in crypto circles as “CZ”, on Friday.
Musk’s Twitter posts have also impacted assets beyond crypto. On Wednesday, shares in Samsung Publishing, a major shareholder in the producer of Baby Shark, rose after a tweet from Musk about the viral nursery rhyme.
His tweets have drawn the ire of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused Musk and his electric car company of securities fraud in 2018 after the CEO tweeted that he had taken the company private and secured funding for the deal.
It emerged this week that the SEC reportedly reprimanded Musk for allegedly violating the terms of a settlement agreement with the securities commissioner. SEC officials highlighted a tweet in May last year in which Musk said Tesla’s share price was “too high”.
What’s next for Bitcoin?
In a new release this week, JPMorgan said institutional investors would not buy the decline in Bitcoin and recommended prices may have to fall further.
Bitcoin advocates view digital currency as a similar store of value to gold, arguing that it can act as a hedge against inflation as central banks around the world increase incentives in response to the coronavirus crisis. But skeptics say Bitcoin is a speculative bubble waiting to burst.
Thousands of Bitcoin investors have come to Miami this week to hold a conference on the cryptocurrency. Miami’s mayor, Francis Suarez, believes in Bitcoin himself and told CNBC on Thursday that the city is “actively looking at paying employees in cryptocurrencies.”
“I think crypto is just counterfeit,” Andrey Kostin, chairman of Russia’s VTB Bank, told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Friday at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. “Somebody sits somewhere in mining and mining like they were in the Middle Ages and then uses them.”
“No government will accept it because there is no government regulation,” he added. “You can’t control it.”
Kostin alluded to several central bank initiatives to develop digital versions of existing money such as the dollar, the euro, the Chinese yuan or, in the case of Russia, the ruble.
“It’s inevitable,” he said. “The whole world is moving into a digital world. And currency is not excluded from this process.”
– CNBC’s Hannah Miao contributed to the coverage.