The world’s largest crypto, bitcoin, went into freefall on Sunday, after billionaire Elon Musk fueled speculation in a Twitter exchange that his company, Tesla, may consider selling or has sold its holdings in the cryptocurrency.
“Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their #Bitcoin holdings,” a user named CryptoWhale said in a tweet on Sunday. “With the amount of hate @elonmusk is getting, I wouldn’t blame him,” he added.
Musk simply responded with a single word: “Indeed.”
The price of bitcoin sank almost 8.5% afterwards to as low as $42,441 a coin on Monday in its biggest slump in more than three months, and one of its biggest drops in value since the price first began to soar in January.
Later on Monday, the cryptocurrency rallied more than 5% to above $45,000 per token after Musk tweeted, “Tesla has not sold any bitcoin”.
Last week, Musk hit the top crypto with an unexpected announcement that Tesla was suspending purchases of its vehicles using bitcoin, due to environmental concerns. The billionaire cited issues with the increasing use of fossil fuels in mining bitcoin, particularly coal, as it takes massive amounts of electricity to create a single token. He added that Tesla had no plans to sell any more of its bitcoin, but confirmed that the company is looking at other cryptocurrencies that are much less reliant on energy.
Just three months ago, Musk, a big supporter of cryptocurrencies, revealed that Tesla had invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin. In March, he announced that the automaker would accept the cryptocurrency as payment for Tesla’s pricey electric vehicles.
The announcements sent bitcoin prices soaring at the time.