The prices of bitcoin, dogecoin and other digital currencies have plunged more than 40% in recent weeks. While Elon Musk isn’t the only reason for the crypto carnage, he certainly isn’t helping.
Whether it’s going on “Saturday Night Live” and joking that dogecoin is a “hustle” or having his epiphany that bitcoin mining may not be great for the environment, Musk’s behavior has cryptocurrency bulls wishing he would stop tweeting and focus more on building cars instead. Bitcoin (XBT) fans are tired of Musk exerting so much influence over the near-term price movements of seemingly all cryptocurrencies. “People who followed Musk blindly have lost a lot of money. They may have gotten burned and never come back,” said Alex Mashinsky, CEO and founder of Celsius, a crypto lending platform that offers digital tokens as rewards to customers — similar to a publicly traded company paying a dividend.
“The crypto community needs to be more responsible in how it explains these assets and the risk,” Mashinsky added. “Pundits kept saying we’d never see a down market for bitcoin again because of institutional interest, Square and PayPal, etc. When you hear that, you have to worry.” Investors and analysts are particularly irked by that all cryptocurrencies have been rising and falling with bitcoin and dogecoin — in part due to Musk making flip-flopping remarks about them. Some crypto investors are also annoyed, to put it mildly, that a comment from Musk can move prices so wildly. “Musk is very calculated,” said Eloisa Marchesoni, an angel investor and cryptocurrency consultant. “People are angry.” Tesla did not respond to requests for comment about Musk’s thoughts on bitcon, dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies. But Musk hasn’t been silent on Twitter — and, for the time being, he seems bullish.
In one tweet early Monday morning, Musk shared a parody of the famous movie poster of “Jaws.” A crumpled dollar was the substitute for the hapless swimmer about to get attacked, and the infamous shark was replaced with a giant dog. DOGE appeared in big red letters at the top, with the caption “You’ll never use the dollar again.” Musk also responded to a Twitter follower on Saturday who asked him: “what do you think about the peeps who are angry at you because of crypto?” Musk said that “the true battle is between fiat & crypto. On balance, I support the latter.” Musk isn’t the only reason for the sell-off. Also contributing to the slide are fears of stricter regulations in China (where many bitcoin mines operate) as well as the potential for more taxes on cryptos in the United States.