Speaking at The B Word conference this week, Elon Musk described himself as a supporter of Bitcoin (BTC) and said Tesla would likely start to accept Bitcoin payments again soon. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX also shared his crypto holdings during a panel on ways to use Bitcoin as a tool for economic empowerment.
The event was organized by the Crypto Council for Innovation to raise awareness about the popular digital currency. Speakers include Bitcoin bulls like Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood and Square’s Jack Dorsey.
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So, what cryptocurrencies does Elon Musk own?
The only real surprise about the billionaire’s crypto portfolio is that he doesn’t hold more coins. Elon Musk said that these are the only three coins he owns in any significance:
Musk stressed that he owns more Bitcoin than anything else and confirmed that both SpaceX and Tesla also own Bitcoin. “The Bitcoin that I own is worth much more than the Ethereum or Doge,” he said.
The crypto enthusiast also reiterated that he is in this for the long term. “I might pump, but I don’t dump,” smiled the billionaire whose tweets have been known to rock the cryptocurrency market.
He couldn’t resist a chance to share his views on Doge either. Musk explained that he likes Dogecoin because, “I love dogs and memes,” and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Musk went on to say, “The most ironic and entertaining outcome would be that the cryptocurrency that was started as a joke to make fun of cryptocurrencies ends up being the leading cryptocurrency.”
Musk’s complicated relationship with Bitcoin
Musk clearly believes in the long-term future of Bitcoin. But his offhand tweets and support of Dogecoin have often alienated him from others in the industry. Dogecoin was started as a joke and now sits in the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, primarily due to Musk’s frequent tweets.
Here’s a timeline of some key Musk-Bitcoin moments this year:
- Feb. 8: Tesla says it has bought $1.5 billion in BTC and announced that the company would accept Bitcoin payments. This news contributed to the incredible rise in cryptocurrency prices in the following months.
- March 24: Musk tweets that you can now buy Tesla with Bitcoin.
- April 14: Bitcoin reaches an all time high of $64,863.10, according to CoinMarketCap.
- May 12: Musk tweets that Tesla would suspend Bitcoin payments due to environmental concerns. This was one of several factors that caused Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency market to tumble.
- May 16: BTC falls further on rumors that Musk would sell all his Bitcoin holdings. This misunderstanding came from a twitter conversation in which one user said they wouldn’t blame Musk if he dumped all his Bitcoin. Musk replied, “Indeed.”
- May 17: Musk reassured investors the next day that Tesla would not sell its coins. Several cryptocurrency exchanges crashed in the following week, unable to handle the high volume of trade as investors rushed to cash out and others tried to buy the dip.
Musk’s environmental concerns
Musk’s concerns about the environment are valid, especially given Tesla’s commitment to sustainable energy. According to Digiconomist’s Energy Consumption Index, Bitcoin consumes as much energy as a country like Sweden each year.
What frustrated many investors was the sudden U-turn. It’s not like Bitcoin’s carbon consumption was a new phenomenon. And now, almost six months later, it looks like Musk is ready to change course again.
He says he is still worried about the environmental issues, but it looks like Bitcoin is shifting toward renewables. If he can confirm that Bitcoin is powered by at least 50% renewable energy, Tesla will take Bitcoin payments once again. “Most likely the answer is that Tesla would resume accepting Bitcoin,” said Musk.
Watch this space.