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Bitcoin Drops After Musk Suggests Tesla May Sell Holdings, Says It Hasn't Yet

Bitcoin rebounds after its initial decline.

May 16, 2021 at 8:11 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:56 p.m. UTC

UPDATE (May 17, 11:42 UTC): After a steep sell-off over the weekend and early Monday to as low as $42,185, bitcoin's price bounced back to just over $45,000.

Bitcoin's weekend price slide took the largest cryptocurrency down to nearly $42,000 before it rebounded to just over $45,000, down 8.9% over the past 24 hours.

It was the third straight daily decline, coinciding with a series of tweets by Tesla CEO Elon Musk during which he initially failed to outright deny that his electric-car company has sold or could soon sell all of its more than $1 billion holdings of bitcoin because of the criticism he has received after Tesla suspended bitcoin as a form of payment. Later, he clarified that Tesla hadn't sold any bitcoin.

  • "Indeed," Musk tweeted at 2:48 p.m. ET on Sunday in a response to a tweet by Twitter handle @CryptoWhale, which said that "Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their #Bitcoin holdings."
  • Bitcoin's price dropped immediately after the tweet to almost $45,100 and eventually sank to as low as $42,185.
  • BTC bounced back to above $45,000 after Musk confirmed that Tesla has not sold its bitcoin holdings some 10 hours after this story was published. He tweeted: "To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin."

BTC/USD trading pair on Coinbase.

  • In recent trading, bitcoin had rebounded a bit to $45,627.90, down 8.1% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk 20.
  • Earlier the day, Musk also tweeted at Peter McCormack, who posted a Twitter thread about Musk's criticism of bitcoin and support for dogecoin, saying that "obnoxious threads like this make me want to go all in on Doge."
  • At press time, DOGE was changing hands at $0.505, down 5.1% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk data.
  • Last Wednesday, Musk announced that Tesla was discontinuing bitcoin payments because of concerns about its impact on the environment. That news sent bitcoin down by $2,000.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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