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

Bitcoin rebounds after its initial decline.

AccessTimeIconMay 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."
CoinDesk - Unknown

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

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

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. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Investing in the Future of the Digital Economy
October 18-19 | Spring Studio, NYC