Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX chief who has recently become the world’s richest person, has a rather complex yet interesting relationship with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
In the past few years, there has been something stirring between Musk and crypto.
While he endorsed digital assets multiple times and greatly impacted Dogecoin and BTC prices with his recent Twitter activity, some had taken things further, claiming the billionaire is perhaps Bitcoin’s anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto (shocked face emoji).
Most importantly, on February 8, Tesla announced with an SEC filing that it had bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, confirming the billionaire’s positive stance on digital assets.
In this article, we have collected the most important events concerning Musk and Bitcoin to reveal the true relationship between the billionaire and crypto.
Elon Musk Calls Bitcoin a ‘Good Thing’ But Argues it Is Used Primarily for Illegal Transactions
Elon Musk’s relationship with Bitcoin started in October 2014 when the billionaire called the cryptocurrency a “good thing” during an interview at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit.
After a question by the host, Walter Isaacson, Musk also argued that Bitcoin is primarily used for illicit transactions:
“I think Bitcoin is probably a good thing. I think it’s primarily going to be a means of doing illegal transactions. But that’s not necessarily entirely bad. You know, some things maybe shouldn’t be illegal,” he stated.
In addition to disclosing that he was not holding BTC at the time, the Tesla chief added that the cryptocurrency “would be useful for legal and illegal transactions” as well.
Musk Reveals BTC Holdings, and Says He Is Not Satoshi
In November 2017, Sahil Gupta, a former intern at Musk’s space transportation company SpaceX, stated that the billionaire is probably Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous inventor of Bitcoin.
The author based his theory mainly on Musk’s “deep understanding of economics and cryptography” as well as his technical skills.
However, the Tesla chief later rejected the claim, stating that it is “not true.” In the same tweet, Musk also revealed that he is holding a small amount of BTC a friend had previously sent him.
The Twitter Hack and Fake Elon Musk Crypto Scams
Maybe due to the billionaire’s interesting flirtations with Bitcoin, Elon Musk has been a favorite among cryptocurrency scammers.
Especially between 2017 and 2019, Musk has been impersonated numerous times by cybercriminals to lure in victims with fraudulent digital asset schemes.
In November 2018, hackers gained access to verified Twitter accounts, which they used to impersonate Musk and collect nearly $170,000 with fake giveaways.
Something similar happened in July 2020. However, this time, the Tesla chief’s Twitter account had been hacked, with fraudsters using the billionaire’s handle on the social media platform to promote fake giveaways and investment opportunities.
Musk Calls Bitcoin’s Structure ‘Brilliant’ and Praises Ethereum
In February 2019, during an interview with investment manager ARK Invest, Musk stated that Bitcoin’s structure is “quite brilliant,” saying that the cryptocurrency is a “far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper,” arguing that “paper money is going away.”
In addition to praising Bitcoin, Musk stated that “there’s some merit to Ethereum as well, and maybe some of the others.”
On the other hand, the SpaceX chief criticized the energy-intensive nature of cryptocurrencies, arguing that it’s “one of the downsides of crypto.”
Learn more about Bitcoin and sustainable energy.
The Dogecoin Pump
Besides Bitcoin, Elon Musk has also pushied the meme-inspired digital currency Dogecoin numerous times.
In April 2019, Dogecoin posted a poll on Twitter, in which users could “elect” the new CEO of the digital asset project.
From candidates ranging from Litecoin founder Charlie Lee, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, and Metal Pay chief Marshall Hayner, Elon Musk received the most votes, scoring over 54% in the “race.”
In response to the poll, the newly elected Dogecoin CEO stated that the meme-inspired digital asset “might be” his favorite cryptocurrency in a tweet.
In addition to tweeting that dogs “have the best coin” in March 2020, Musk posted an image in July 2020 with the description “it’s inevitable,” showing the “Dogecoin standard” taking over the global financial system. Following his tweet, the cryptocurrency’s price gained 14% on the same day.
Something similar happened on December 20 when the Tesla chief tweeted “One word: Doge” and changed his bio to “Former CEO of Dogecoin,” driving the digital asset’s value up by 25%.
Interestingly, other celebrities joined in later as well to praise Dogecoin, such as the rapper Snoop Dogg, who posted an image on Twitter with a mock “Snoop Doge” album cover.
Musk Changes Twitter Biography to ‘#Bitcoin,’ Endorses BTC
On January 29, Elon Musk changed his Twitter bio to “”#bitcoin,” with the billionaire stating that “in retrospect, it was inevitable” in a follow-up tweet.
As a result of his Twitter activity, Bitcoin surged 20% on the same day, with the cryptocurrency’s value later dropping from above $38,000 to nearly $33,000 on January 30.
A few days later, Musk spoke on the social audio app Clubhouse, arguing that “Bitcoin is a good thing,” but he is “late to the party,” and he should have purchased BTC eight years ago.
Interestingly, the billionaire admitted that his Dogecoin tweets are meant to be jokes, and he doesn’t have a strong view on cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin.
Tesla Invests $1.5 Billion in BTC and Plans to Accept Bitcoin as Payment
Probably the hottest event in Elon Musk’s history with Bitcoin happened on February 8 when the billionaire-led electric car maker Tesla announced in a Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that it had purchased $1.5 billion of Bitcoin.
Thanks to the move, Tesla has become the second-largest BTC holder among public companies right after business analytics firm MicroStrategy.
According to the SEC filing, the electric car maker argued that it purchased Bitcoin for “more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns” on its cash holdings.
In addition to announcing the $1.5 billion BTC purchase, Tesla stated that the firm will start accepting Bitcoin payments for its products in accordance with the applicable laws and “initially on a limited basis.”
Following the company’s announcement, Bitcoin has skyrocketed , surging from $39,200 to $44,300 within 40 minutes and further increasing its value to as high as $48,200 the next day.