Elon Musk Confirms Tesla Has Not Sold Bitcoin After Price Crash

Elon Musk has said that Tesla, his electric car company, has not sold any of its Bitcoin holdings.

It comes after earlier speculation that Tesla had dumped some of its vast cryptocurrency portfolio.

Musk made a statement to the contrary in a tweet early on Monday morning. Replying to another user, he wrote: "To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin."

To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 17, 2021

Speculation that Tesla had sold some of its bitcoin investment was sparked on Sunday after Musk was involved in a Twitter exchange.

Twitter user CryptoWhale wrote: "Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their Bitcoin holdings. With the amount of hate Elon Musk is getting, I wouldn't blame him."

Musk replied: "Indeed."

Indeed

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2021

Observers have noted the price of bitcoin fell sharply after Musk's tweet on Sunday. At one point on Sunday morning the cryptocurrency was worth nearly $50,000 per token. By Monday morning it had fallen as low as $42,700, according to Coindesk.

Tesla announced that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in an SEC filing back in February. Musk also said the company would start accepting the cryptocurrency as payment if customers preferred to buy a vehicle that way.

The company changed course last week, however, with Musk announcing it would no longer be accepting bitcoin as payment. Tesla cited environmental concerns associated with bitcoin mining—the power-intensive method by which new bitcoin tokens are made—as the reason behind the decision.

The company said it would "not be selling any bitcoin" and would use it for transactions when more sustainable energy sources are used for mining. Musk said the trend of energy usage for bitcoin mining over the past few months was "insane." The price of bitcoin fell following the decision.

The billionaire entrepreneur has become an influential figure in cryptocurrency circles and is known for his support for the Dogecoin cryptocurrency token. Musk has received some criticism from those who see him as backing Dogecoin—started as a joke in 2013—over bitcoin.

1/ Dear @elonmusk. The perfect troll is one where people don't know whether it is a troll or not. Your recent poorly informed criticism of #bicoin + support for Doge may be the perfect troll...or you might actually believe this (God I hope not).

— Peter McObnoxious (@PeterMcCormack) May 16, 2021

Elon Musk announced just over a week ago that his other company, SpaceX, would launch a rocket as part of a moon mission by Geometric Energy Corp., and would accept Dogecoin as payment.

Dogecoin is currently worth around $0.50 at the time of writing, down 4.5 percent over the past 24 hours. Bitcoin is worth roughly $45,000, down around 8 percent.

Correction 5/20/2021 6:45 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to correct a quote by @CryptoWhale, which previously read: 'With the amount of hate Elon Musk is getting, I would blame him.'"

Elon Musk speaking
Elon Musk speaking at the Washington Convention Center, Washington DC, March 2020. The Tesla CEO has said his electric car company has not sold its bitcoin. Brendan Smialowski/AFP / Getty