Musk's U-turn on bitcoin: Genuine concern or publicity stunt?

Investors caught off guard by tech mogul's volte-face

Anna Fedorova
clock • 6 min read
Elon Musk's tweet sparked a 17% drop in the price of bitcoin. Photos: iStockphoto/Steve Jurvetson/Flickr CC BY 2.0
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Elon Musk's tweet sparked a 17% drop in the price of bitcoin. Photos: iStockphoto/Steve Jurvetson/Flickr CC BY 2.0

Tesla and bitcoin once again dominated news headlines last week, as CEO Elon Musk announced his firm would no longer accept bitcoin as payment on concerns over the environmental impact of mining the cryptocurrency.

The Tesla founder's U-turn on the cryptocurrency has led to scepticism from bitcoin investors and equity analysts alike, with the former labelling the announcement a PR stunt and the latter questioning the company's valuations. Musk's tweet sparked a 17% drop in the price of bitcoin, while Tesla's shares also slid 4.4% as investors digested this policy reversal. Just three months ago, Tesla bought $1.5bn worth of bitcoin and announced it would accept it as a payment method; there are no plans to sell its existing holdings.  The move was welcomed by some, including Mark Carney, the UN ...

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