A meme tweet cost Bitcoin 4.5% of its valuation.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has become something of a pseudo-celebrity in cryptocurrency investment circles. His short, often cryptic tweets on the subject of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin have caused sizable shifts in their valuations in the past, usually for the better. However, last month, Musk said that Tesla would no longer be accepting Bitcoin payments due to environmental concerns, and today, he reaffirmed his new disinterest in Bitcoin with a meme post.
On his personal Twitter, Musk tweeted a meme involving a couple breaking up over the lyrics to a Linkin Park song. That in itself was likely just a joke, but what drew more attention was Musk’s caption: a Bitcoin hashtag with a broken heart emoji. In other words, Musk doesn’t love Bitcoin anymore.
Despite being a rather innocuous comment, it still dealt a blow to Bitcoin’s valuation. Shortly after Musk posted his tweet, Bitcoin’s value dropped by 4.5% to $36,852, while other cryptocurrencies also experienced smaller losses. Enthusiasts and investors in the crypto sphere have criticized Musk’s tweeting habits, as he should be aware by now that his comments, even if they are jokes, can carry real weight and harm the livelihoods of others.
“Tweets that hurt other people’s finances are not funny, and irresponsible,” tweeted Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.
Musk has also come under fire from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for his tweeting habits; several years ago, Musk tweeted that he was planning on taking Tesla private. This landed him in hot water with the SEC, who reprimanded him for committing securities fraud.