But on Wednesday, Musk tried to clarify that he is both an investor and an advocate of cryptography.
Speaking at an event called The B Word – which aimed to “explain how institutions can adopt Bitcoin” – next Twitter (TWTR)
i Square (SQ)
Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey
and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood Musk said the only major personal investments she has outside of her companies Tesla (TSLA)
and SpaceX are in bitcoin
. He added that Tesla and SpaceX also own bitcoins.
Despite the turbulence it has created
recently, in the world of cryptography, Musk said he is “a supporter of bitcoin and the idea of cryptocurrency in general.”
Prices for several large cryptocurrencies, including Musk’s three owners, he took a wild walk
in recent months in response to his statements and actions at Tesla. Dogecoin plummeted in May after Musk appeared on Saturday Night Live and he called it “commotion.”
That same month, Musk said Tesla would stop accepting bitcoin
as payment due to the huge amount of energy used to exploit it, causing a price drop.
But ultimately, Musk said on the spot that his financial success is partly tied to the performance of these digital currencies. And in Musk’s fashion, he drafted it in a way that might catch the attention of regulators.
“If the price of bitcoin goes down, I lose money,” Musk said. “I could pump, but I don’t give up … I definitely don’t believe in getting a high price and selling, or anything like that. I wish Bitcoin was successful.”
A “bomb and dump”
is a type of securities fraud in which someone tries to raise the price of an asset through false, misleading, or exaggerated statements (the “bomb”) and then sells them to charge inflated prices (the “dump”), the type of plan supervised and processed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Musk is no stranger to agency. In 2018 it was accused of securities fraud
about his use of Twitter, including to post information about Tesla’s prospects. He agreed to an agreement requiring Tesla’s lawyers to review their publications about the company, which he would have raped twice
in the last two years.
On Wednesday, Musk and Dorsey also headed to the environmental concerns
about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which require large amounts of energy
to power the computers needed to “undermine” them. There are a finite number of bitcoins and computers have to complete complex equations to access (or “make”) them and put them into circulation; as more bitcoins are extracted, the more difficult and energy consuming this process is.
In May, Tesla stopped bitcoin transactions
after Musk said he realized the cryptocurrency network could rely on coal-fired energy.
“Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. We can’t be the company to do that, nor can we do the due diligence on the energy use of bitcoin,” Musk said. “Now it looks like bitcoin is changing a lot more in renewables.”
Musk said the company is keeping bitcoin in their books
and will probably start accepting payments with bitcoins again when about half of the energy used to exploit bitcoin comes from clean sources such as solar and wind energy, which has said earlier on Twitter
. (Musk, however, is known for making promises and then making setbacks).
Dorsey, whose company has Square bought billions in bitcoin
and created an application for cryptography developers: highlighted the potential to harness various forms of unused energy to drive cryptocurrency mining operations. He mentioned a company called Great American Mining, which captures the flames of methane in oil fields to power its bitcoin mining systems.
“Imagine all the unused energy that is wasted every day and being able to get energy and turn it into a safe and sound money system for the planet,” Dorsey said.