When Elon Musk Tweets About Cryptocurrency, It's All About Eloncoin

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This Monday, When Elon Musk tweeted that he had chatted with the Dogecoin development team about ways to improve the coin's efficiency, the result was predictable: Dogecoin's price skyrocketed. It was the latest in a series of Musk pronouncements that have sent the viral cryptocurrency into a tailspin over the last several weeks.

When Elon Musk Tweets About Cryptocurrency, It's All About Eloncoin
Image Credits: The Japan Times

And still, it surprised Doge's core development team, according to Michi Lumin, a Colorado-based developer who assists with the cryptocurrency's maintenance. Yes, the billionaire behind Tesla and SpaceX has been "spitballing ideas" with the team for some time, according to Lumin, including how to make Dogecoin more efficient. They embraced his perspective. However, he admits that the strong attention generated by Musk's recent spate of Doge-boosting and Bitcoin-bashing tweets has been stressful, drawing criticism from critics who see Doge as a joke and throwing the market into convulsions. While their cryptocurrency is mostly built on hype, they intended to maintain secrecy.

“We are not Eloncoin,” he states emphatically. Except when Musk chooses to tweet.

Musk's impact extends beyond Doge. Musk also tweeted last week that Tesla will no longer take Bitcoin in payment for automobiles, three months after he had said that it would. Excellent work, Elon. As WIRED has previously reported, Bitcoin consumes enough energy to power a mid-sized nation, with a large (albeit contentious) percentage derived from fossil fuels such as coal. The real puzzle is why Musk seemed unconcerned about this only a few months ago. Perhaps this is a green marketing strategy or a regulatory preemption. Or maybe it's a troll intended to make us all consider the value of things for the sake of tautology.

Regardless of the logic, Musk is building and destroying little fortunes one 280-character sentence at a time. “It seems to be quite frightening and profoundly irrational,” says Jill Carlson, a blockchain investor at Slow Ventures. When Musk originally revealed that Tesla would accept Bitcoin in exchange for automobiles — and that the business would purchase $1.5 billion worth — the price soared. When he backed down last week, the news immediately wiped $300 billion off the market. His further condemnations over the weekend, including a Sunday tweet implying Tesla had already liquidated its Bitcoin holdings, sent the market further lower. (He subsequently emphasized that the business had not been sold.)

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