Bitcoin Price Slips on Elon Musk’s Breakup Meme Tweet

Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and other cryptocurrencies slipped on Friday, extending their month-long escape after another cryptic tweet from

Elon Musk.

Bitcoin

was about 4% below course at 9:00 p.m. ET on Thursday. That was minutes before the CEO of Tesla Inc Breakup memes tweeted with “#bitcoin” and a broken hearted emoji. Bitcoin’s price slipped to $ 37,070.84, far from the record high of $ 64,802 it was trading at in mid-April.

The prices of other cryptocurrencies also took a hit: Ether fell 4.2% from its 5 p.m. Thursday to $ 2,702.23. Another Mr Musk favorite, Dogecoin fell 4.7% to around 38 cents.

Two hours after his first tweet, Mr. Musk posted an “I miss you” meme.

The two posts generated thousands of comments, including pictures of a man shaking and calls to “leave us alone” and “stop manipulating”. You also asked some to do so

Twitter

User to block Mr. Musk, but that didn’t hurt his 55 million+ followers.

Mr. Musk and Tesla representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

The latest installment is another sign of influence Mr Musk wields over the world’s largest decentralized cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin’s value has been around since May 12th when Mr Musk tweeted that Tesla would suspend the acceptance of the cryptocurrency as payment for its vehicles, citing the use of fossil fuels, including coal, in Bitcoin mining.

The decision marked a sharp turnaround from February, when Tesla said it would be making a big financial bet on Bitcoin and accepting it as a means of payment in the United States, causing the price to skyrocket.

“Elon Musk is the gorilla in the room,” said Stephen Kelso, Head of Markets at brokerage firm ITI Capital. “The personality culture that is such a big part of the internet will be something that moves Bitcoin.”

Still, Mr Musk’s influence on Bitcoin could wane, Mr Kelso added.

Earlier this year, Tesla said it had sold some of its Bitcoin holdings for a profit in the first quarter.

The market for Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency set up as a joke, was also sensitive to Mr. Musk’s comments. Its price Increased earlier this week after its listing on

Coinbase Global Inc.’s

free platform, supported by a tweet from Mr Musk who indicated that the Dogecoin system would take over the global financial system. Less than a month ago, he drove Dogecoin prices higher than he did called it “a hassle” on a “Saturday Night Live” episode.

His latest tweets raised concerns that he might not be able to easily change his stance on Bitcoin. Others were just confused.

“It’s a love and hate relationship,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at brokerage firm AvaTrade. “It’s not clear if he wants to leave Bitcoin: his tweets are very cryptic and keep people busy.”

Some traders have chosen to see Friday’s weak prices as an opportunity to buy more Bitcoin.

Mr Musk’s prolific tweeting has also moved stocks, including Tesla’s, in the past, and sparked concern among regulators. In 2018, Tesla and the Securities and Exchange Commission settled an enforcement lawsuit alleging that Mr Musk committed fraud by tweeting about a possible takeover of his company.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that securities regulators had notified the electric vehicle maker last year that Mr Musk was using Twitter violate a court-ordered policy twice requires his tweets to be pre-approved by corporate attorneys.

China’s recent warning about cryptocurrencies has left the market in a tailspin. WSJ’s Aaron Back explains why recent changes in the value of Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies may point to barriers to mainstream adoption. Photo: Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com

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