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In context: Bitcoin’s surge in recent times owes a lot to Elon Musk. But all the gains it’s made since Tesla publicly embraced the crypto have been wiped out by... Elon Musk. BTC’s price fell below $40,000 earlier today for the first time since the EV maker announced its investment in the currency three months ago.
Tesla appeared to be Bitcoin’s biggest supporter earlier this year. The company’s $1.5 billion investment and announcement that it would accept the crypto as payment for its products pushed the price to $44,000. In April, BTC reached a record high of almost $65,000.
But Tesla’s relationship with Bitcoin has soured recently. The price crashed last week when Musk reversed the decision to allow customers to pay for Tesla vehicles using the token due to environmental concerns over mining, wiping 17% off the price. He also suggested over the weekend that the company had sold its holdings, and while Musk later confirmed this wasn’t the case, the damage had already been done.
Bitcoin’s price dropped to $38,500 a few hours ago, the lowest since before Tesla’s investment and a drop of around 40% from last month’s peak.
While Musk’s actions have had a significant impact on BTC’s price, there were other factors behind the decline. As noted by Bloomberg, that includes the People’s Bank of China “reiterating that digital tokens can’t be used as a form of payment, highlighting the regulatory risk hanging over cryptocurrencies.”
Bitcoin isn’t the only crypto being affected by Musk. Dogecoin’s price plummeted 35% recently after he described it as a “hustle” during his appearance on Saturday Night Live. He did help Doge make back some of the losses by proposing an upgrade to its efficiency and tweeting a poll asking if Tesla should accept it as payment.
Those in the industry aren't happy about the influence Musk holds. “I’m not comfortable with any one person or small entity being able to manipulate the market. I guess that’s where we are in crypto right now,” Michi Lumin, a Colorado-based developer who helps maintain Dogecoin, told Wired. “It’s not great, that’s for sure.”
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