In brief

  • Bitcoin's price is currently spiraling down.
  • Elon Musk no longer supports the coin.
  • Will Tesla sell its Bitcoin holdings soon?

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk appeared to imply on Twitter on Sunday that Tesla has sold, or plans to sell, its Bitcoin

When Twitter user @CryptoWhale tweeted the hypothetical scenario that “Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their #Bitcoin holdings,” Musk replied with a single word: “Indeed."

Although it is unclear which part of the tweet Musk is agreeing with (the prediction Tesla dumped its Bitcoin or the comment about how much hate he's getting), or whether he’s even agreeing at all, the insinuation that Tesla could dump the 43,200 Bitcoin it bought in February for $1.5 billion immediately depressed the price of Bitcoin by almost $5,000 dollars, down to $44,700. 

Musk, who has spent much of the year publicly supporting Bitcoin, started to trash the coin earlier this week, pointing out the environmental damage caused by fossil-fuel-powered Bitcoin mining operations. 

The rest of today’s damage was done when Musk widened his criticism against Bitcoin, lobbing invectives at some of the most prominent Bitcoin maximalists on Crypto Twitter, and tearing arguing with their claims that proof-of-work mining helps decentralize the network. 

“Hey cryptocurrency "experts", ever heard of PayPal? It’s possible … maybe … that I know [more] than you realize about how money works” tweeted Musk, who co-founded PayPal.

Musk also took aim at crypto podcaster Peter McCormack, who described Musk’s recent criticism of the environmental impact of Bitcoin as “poorly informed.” 

McCormack had tweeted at length about why he believes Musk is wrong—mirroring the innumerable Twitter threads that did the same. McCormack concluded that Musk's criticisms of Bitcoin and support for Dogecoin "may be the perfect troll... or you might actually believe this (God I hope not)." Musk replied: “Obnoxious threads like this make me want to go all in on Doge.” 

Musk also trained his sights at Michael Saylor, the Bitcoin ultra-bull, who has used the treasury of his company, U.S. cloud computing firm MicroStrategy, to spend billions of dollars on Bitcoin

Musk called him “Saylor Moon,” and suggested he dress up like the anime character Sailor Moon “with ‘Bitcoin’ tattooed high on thighs.” Saylor took the jibe on the chin before redirecting Musk to his own educational site for Bitcoin.

Musk also ripped through the claim that Bitcoin’s proof-of-work consensus mechanism helps it stay decentralized. 

He tweeted: “Bitcoin is actually highly centralized, with supermajority controlled by handful of big mining (aka hashing) companies. A single coal mine in Xinjiang flooded, almost killing miners, and Bitcoin hash rate dropped 35%. Sound “decentralized” to you?” 

Who or what in crypto will Musk go after next? Keep reading Decrypt to stay informed.

UPDATE, May 17, 9:30am EST: 

Late on Sunday night, in response to a tweet from a popular Bitcoin account that highlighted the price impact of Musk's tweets, Musk clarified that Tesla has not sold off any Bitcoin (yet):