Elon Musk-led Tesla Inc announced on Monday it had invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and said it may start accepting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment soon for orders. The move sent Bitcoin up more than 10% to a record high.
Musk, one of the richest people in the world, has displayed more than just a passing interest in Bitcoin over the years and has used his candid Twitter feed, where he has over 46 million followers, to convey his opinion on cryptocurrencies, most times impacting its price.
Last month, the multi-billionaire, who also heads SpaceX and the underground tunneling enterprise The Boring Company, added to the retail-driven frenzy in a handful of heavily shorted stocks like GameStop Corp when he tweeted “Gamestonk!!” along with a link to Reddit’s Wallstreetbets stock trading discussion group.
Here is a timeline of Musk’s comments on cryptocurrencies over the years:
- Jan. 29: Musk adds “#bitcoin” to his Twitter bio, leading to a 14% surge in the price of the largest cryptocurrency. The billionaire has since taken the tag off.
In January, total market value of all cryptocurrencies reached more than $1 trillion for the first time.
- Feb. 1: In a chat on social media app Clubhouse, Musk says, “I am a supporter of bitcoin.” He said bitcoin was “on the verge of getting broad acceptance” by conventional finance people. Musk added that he was “a little slow on the uptake” and should have bought it years ago.
- Feb. 4: Musk tweets “Doge”, in reference to a cryptocurrency based on a popular internet meme. He later tweeted, “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto.” and “I am become meme, Destroyer of shorts.” Dogecoin surged more than 60%.
With a market value of around $10 billion, Dogecoin becomes the eight-biggest cryptocurrency.
- Jan. 10: Musk tweets, “Bitcoin is not my safe word.”
- Dec. 20: Musk tweets, “Bitcoin is my safe word.” The Tesla chief later tweeted, “Just kidding, who needs a safe word anyway!?”
- Dec. 20: On a Twitter exchange with Michael Saylor, chief executive officer of MicroStrategy Inc, who is also an advocate of digital currency, Musk asks about the possibility of converting “large transactions” of Tesla Inc balance sheet into bitcoin.
- Feb. 19: Musk says Tesla would stay away from cryptocurrencies, despite calling Bitcoin’s structure “brilliant”. “I don’t think it would be a good use of Tesla’s resources to get involved in crypto,” he said in a podcast.
- Feb. 20: In a podcast, Musk says paper money is “going away” and cryptocurrencies would be a better way to transfer value.
- Feb. 21: Musk tweets, “I still only own 0.25 BTC, which a friend sent me several years ago. Don’t have any crypto holdings.”
- Feb 22: When asked about spamming by one of Musk’s Twitter followers, he says “I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from .25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago.”
- Oct 23: Musk comments on the cryptocurrency scam in which hackers stole about $180,000, posing as him on the micro-blogging site, “Twitter thought I got hacked & locked my account haha.”
- Oct 20: News reports reveal The Boring Company, Musk’s underground tunneling enterprise, was not accepting payments in bitcoin for its popular flamethrowers, contrary to what was reported by several news websites a day earlier.
- Nov 27: A former intern at SpaceX claims Musk was Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Musk in response says it was not true and “a friend sent me part of a BTC a few years, but I don’t know where it is.”