Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Tesla & Elon Musk-Triggered Selloff Shakes Crypto Market, Raises Questions

Electric car manufacturer Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk once again moved the whole crypto market, triggering a sharp selloff, massive liquidations, and prompting speculations about Tesla’s move and reigniting debates about Bitcoin (BTC) mining. (Updated at 12:18 UTC: updates throughout the entire text. Updated at 14:50 with additional comments and the latest market data.)

Elon Musk announced that Tesla suspended vehicle purchases using BTC and is looking at other cryptoassets.

BTC plunged from almost USD 55,000 to USD 47,600, before recovering above USD 51,500 and correcting lower again.

At 14:48 UTC, BTC trades at USD 50,446 and is down by 10% in a day. The 24-hour BTC trading volume surpassed USD 110bn, compared with USD 68bn yesterday. Other coins from the top 10 club have also followed a similar path and are now down by 2%-13% in the past 24 hours, except cardano (ADA), which is up by 5%.

Meanwhile, total liquidations in the crypto derivatives market reached USD 4bn (392,741 traders “were liquidated”) in the past 24 hours, per data. BTC is responsible for USD 2bn, while ETH liquidations reached USD 742m.

“We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transaction especially coal, which was the worst emissions of any fuel,” according to a screenshot, shared by Musk on Twitter.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It added the company still believes cryptocurrency is a good idea and has a promising future, “but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.”

Tesla said it won’t be selling any BTC it holds and intends to use it for transactions “as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy.”

However, in April, Musk agreed that BTC “incentivizes renewable energy.”

“We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin's energy/transaction," they concluded. This week, Musk asked his Twitter followers, whether the company should start accepting dogecoin (DOGE). Ben Gagnon, Director of Mining Operations at listed BTC mining company Bitfarms, stressed that, according to data from Cambridge and Digiconimist Bitcoin Electricity consumption index, Bitcoin only represents approximately 0.1% of the global man-made emissions. "And these emissions are largely a result of consuming electricity that would otherwise be lost due to lack of demand or cost-effective energy storage systems," he said in an emailed comment. Tesla started accepting BTC in March this year. Industry players seem unconvinced that Tesla was not aware of the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining, and speculate that this decision to suspend BTC payments might be related to subsidies Tesla is receiving from the US government. Moreover, just yesterday, Reuters reported that Tesla is seeking to enter the multi-billion dollar US renewable credit market, hoping to profit from the Biden administration’s march toward new zero-emission goals. "It's difficult to understand how this issue was not identified during their initial due diligence process. For me, the timing of the announcement seems arbitrary. This news is not new nor surprising but yet forced the price down 17%. It really demonstrates the vast information asymmetry in this industry and the oversized role Musk has on influencing the price of bitcoin. These issues will consistently catch retail investors out," Luke Sully CEO of Ledgermatic, a crypto treasury technology specialist, told According to him, buying a car with BTC doesn't make much sense and Tesla has not disproved that assumption. Read more: cryptonews