Elon Musk has been one of cryptocurrency’s champions

Oliver Noah

Elon Musk has been one of cryptocurrency’s champions

Anybody who has had even a passing interest in cryptocurrencies over the last year or so would have come across at least one statement or tweet by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, among others. The South African-born investor, innovator, and tech tycoon, who is one of the richest people in the world, has long been one of the most vehement and ardent supporters of cryptocurrencies and given his profile, this has been a huge boost to various crypto assets at different times.

Bitcoin has been his favourite cryptocurrency for a long time. Let alone his personal preferences, this is also reflected by the fact that Tesla bought $1 billion worth of Bitcoin earlier this year, which was a major factor behind a huge spike in Bitcoin’s price when the news was announced. Tesla has also begun accepting payments for its cars in Bitcoin, and this has made it one of the first major global companies to accept crypto as a payment method. Musk’s Twitter bio was changed to #bitcoin back in January 2021, in another move that sent Bitcoin soaring. Critics have pointed out that Musk owns a significant amount of Bitcoin personally, and therefore these tweets amount to manipulation of the asset’s price to benefit himself. There has been no investigation by the SEC so far on this, but he does have a bad rep for this sort of thing, having been sued by the SEC previously due to misleading tweets about Tesla which affected the share price of the company. Nevertheless, Bitcoin has been the crypto asset that Musk has been most bullish about, and given its dominance over the crypto market, we can expect this to continue for some time, even though he has tweeted on a couple of occasions that he believes the price of Bitcoin to be too high.

One of the more intriguing crypto assets that have received Musk’s blessing in some form is Dogecoin. Dogecoin was essentially a joke asset, being created as an extension of the popular ‘Doge’ meme featuring a Shiba Inu dog. However, the token has soared in value in recent months (it was up nearly 7,000% year-to-date in 2021 at one point) and has become one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world by market capitalization. Musk has tweeted that Dogecoin is his favourite cryptocurrency and that SpaceX would “put a literal dogecoin on the literal moon”. This latter tweet was made on 1st April, so it should probably be taken with a bag of salt, but the wider point remains – that Musk is incredibly fond of dogecoin for some reason. He has publicized the cryptocurrency on multiple occasions, and this has been a big reason behind its rise in price as well. Dogecoin is being considered a ‘bubble within a bubble’ by many critics of the crypto space, but it is certain that Musk continues to support it, well, at least until the bubble bursts.

Lastly, Ethereum is another asset that has received some support from Musk. He has been a lot more reticent about this crypto asset, having stated last July that he does not own it or use it, but he did speak on a podcast a couple of years ago where he named Ethereum as one of the cryptocurrencies that has a lot of merit. Ethereum is an open-source blockchain-based platform rather than a cryptocurrency as such – the crypto token is known as Ether, but people all over the world are more familiar with Ethereum. The Ethereum blockchain has many backers and users all over the world, due to the presence of smart contracts, and it is far less likely to encounter resistance from banks and governments than Bitcoin. Thus, it is possible that Ethereum will be the long-term winner in the crypto market, in which case we can expect to see Musk get behind this crypto asset a lot more vehemently quite soon.

Elon Musk is one of the most influential people in the world today, both through his wealth and his position as the leader of Tesla and SpaceX, two cutting-edge companies that are at the forefront of innovation in their respective fields. Thus, his comments about cryptocurrencies carry a lot more weight and influence than of other people, and this is one of the reasons that the likes of Bitcoin and Dogecoin have seen so much popularity.