With the posting of just one meme, Elon Musk caused Bitcoin to tumble after it had just reached a weekly high.
Cryptocurrencies across the board were in the red on Friday morning after Thursday evening tweets by the Tesla CEO, who posted two memes cryptically indicating a split with Bitcoin. Musk captioned the first photo with the word Bitcoin and a broken heart.
The first meme shows a couple sitting on a sofa with their arms crossed not looking at each other. “Her: I know you said it would be over between us if you quoted another Linkin Park song but I’ve found someone else. Him: So in the end it didn’t even matter,” the meme reads, in reference to a popular song from the band.
#Bitcoin 💔 pic.twitter.com/lNnEfMdtJf— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 4, 2021
Bitcoin was at more than $39,200 at about 8 p.m. EST. Musk’s first meme was posted about an hour later and caused the virtual token to drop to a little more than $37,700. Then, Musk sent another tweet at about 11 p.m.
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The second meme, which has three comic strip-like panes, shows a cartoon couple video chatting on their laptops while lying in different beds. The woman says she misses the man, who is seen on the monitor crying. She asks why he is crying, and the final panel cuts to the man’s monitor, which shows a chart of some sort of stock or cryptocurrency plummeting and the video chat with the woman in a small thumbnail.
June 4, 2021
Bitcoin continued its freefall after the posts and, by 8 a.m. on Friday, had dropped to below $36,500. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, fell from more than $2,800 to just above $2,600. Dogecoin, a “meme coin” that has been touted by Musk in the past, has shed more than 10% of its value in the last 24 hours.
The tweets and subsequent drops speak to the power that Musk has in the cryptocurrency market. It is not the first time that his online musings have caused the virtual tokens to increase or decrease in value.
Last month, Musk announced that his company would stop accepting Bitcoin for car purchases. Musk, a billionaire investor, cited environmental concerns with mining Bitcoin as the reason for distancing Tesla, although the company still invested some $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies went into a tailspin as a result of the missive.
Bitcoin then surged again last week when he tweeted: “Spoke with North American Bitcoin miners. They committed to publish current & planned renewable usage & to ask miners WW to do so. Potentially promising.”
Not everyone is pleased with the power Musk holds over the crypto realm. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, said: “Tweets that hurt other peoples’ finances are not funny, and irresponsible.”
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“Greater power with great responsibility, great. Great power with random ‘humor,’ not great, and not funny,” he said in another tweet.