January 22, 2022

Bitcoin Price Slips on Elon Musk’s Breakup Meme Tweet

Bitcoin, dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies skidded Friday, extending their monthlong rout, following another cryptic tweet from

Elon Musk.

Bitcoin

was down almost 5% from its price at 9 p.m. ET Thursday. That was minutes before the Tesla Inc. chief executive tweeted breakup memes with “#bitcoin” and a broken-heart emoji. Bitcoin’s price slid to $36,417, a far cry from the record $64,802 it traded at in mid-April.

Prices of other cryptocurrencies also took a beating: Ether dropped about 6% from its 5 p.m. Thursday level to $2,637.49. Dogecoin, another favorite of Mr. Musk’s, declined more than 9% to about 36 cents.

Two hours after his initial tweet, Mr. Musk published an “I miss you” meme. The two posts elicited thousands of comments, including images of a shuddering man, as well as requests to “leave us alone” and “stop manipulating.” They also prompted some

Twitter

users to block Mr. Musk, but that hasn’t made a dent in his more than 55 million followers.

Mr. Musk and representatives of Tesla weren’t immediately reachable for comment ahead of U.S. business hours.

The latest episode is another sign of the influence Mr. Musk exerts over the world’s largest decentralized cryptocurrency. Bitcoin’s value has plummeted more than 30% since May 12, when Mr. Musk tweeted that Tesla would suspend accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for its vehicles. The decision marked a sharp reversal from February, when Tesla said it made a big financial bet on bitcoin and would accept it as a form of payment in the U.S., sending the price skyrocketing.

“Elon Musk is the gorilla in the room,” said

Stephen Kelso,

head of markets at brokerage ITI Capital. “The culture of personality that is such a big part of the internet is going to be something that moves bitcoin around.”

Still, Mr. Musk’s influence on bitcoin may be waning, Mr. Kelso added.

Earlier this year, Tesla said it sold a portion of its bitcoin holdings for a profit in the first quarter.

The market for dogecoin, the cryptocurrency that was set up as a joke, has also been sensitive to Mr. Musk’s comments. Its price surged earlier this week following its listing on

Coinbase Global Inc.’s

free platform, aided by a tweet from Mr. Musk that suggested the dogecoin system would take over the global financial system. Less than a month ago, he sent dogecoin prices spiraling when he called it “a hustle” on a “Saturday Night Live” episode.

His latest tweets prompted some concern that he might not reverse his stance on bitcoin as easily. Others were just confused.

“It’s a love and hate relationship,” said

Naeem Aslam,

chief market analyst at brokerage AvaTrade. “It’s not clear whether he wants to leave bitcoin: His tweets are very cryptic and keep people on their toes.”

Some traders chose to view Friday’s weak prices as an opportunity to buy more bitcoin.

Mr. Musk’s prolific tweeting has also moved stocks in the past, including Tesla’s, and sparked concern among regulators. In 2018, Tesla and the Securities and Exchange Commission settled an enforcement action alleging that Mr. Musk had committed fraud by tweeting about a potential buyout of his company.

Last year, securities regulators told the electric-vehicle company that Mr. Musk’s use of Twitter had twice violated a court-ordered policy requiring his tweets to be preapproved by company lawyers.

China’s recent warning on cryptocurrency sent the market in a tailspin. WSJ’s Aaron Back explains why the recent shake-ups in the value of bitcoin, dogecoin, ether and other cryptocurrencies may point to obstacles in mainstream acceptance. Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Related Posts

The U.S. Prepares for a Blockbuster July Fourth

July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021

Mark Penzkover, a civil engineer near Milwaukee, jumped in his car the other day and like many others across the...

New York Life’s Pitch to Entrepreneurs: Sell Life Insurance

November 6, 2021

November 6, 2021

A career in sales is a hard sell right now, and building a diverse sales force is even tougher, recruiters...

U.S. to Downgrade Mexico’s Air-Safety Rating

May 22, 2021

May 22, 2021

U.S. officials are planning to downgrade Mexico’s aviation-safety rating in coming days, people familiar with the matter said, complicating a...

CEOs Welcome! U.K. Says Some Foreign Businesspeople Can Leave Quarantine

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

LONDON—The U.K. will allow foreign senior executives to leave a 10-day quarantine required of overseas travelers, so long as they...

Dallas Fed’s Kaplan Ready to Discuss Pulling Back on Bond Buying Stimulus

May 27, 2021

May 27, 2021

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas leader Robert Kaplan reiterated Thursday he is ready to talk with his colleagues about pulling...

Grand Reopening to Test Consumers’ Appetite to Keep Spending

May 23, 2021

May 23, 2021

For much of the pandemic, housebound consumers in the West snapped up goods ranging from personal computers to treadmills. Now,...

Chinese Shoppers, Stuck in China, Revive Local Malls

May 25, 2021

May 25, 2021

Don’t tell Chinese consumers that the shopping mall is in decline. While shoppers on the mainland like to browse for...

Renault Charged in France in Emissions Fraud Probe

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

French authorities opened a probe in 2017 into whether Renault engaged in fraud concerning auto emissions. Photo: Laurel Chor/Bloomberg News...

Black Market Undercuts Green Targets for Air Conditioners, Refrigerators in Europe

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

BRUSSELS—U.S. corporate giants are being hit so hard by a European smuggling wave that even the White House has weighed...

Americans’ Hunger for the World’s Goods Drives Global Recovery

June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021

A gusher of money is spilling out from the U.S. economy and rippling around the world, driving the global recovery...

Colonial Pipeline Missed Requested Security Review Before Hack

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

Colonial Pipeline Co. last year didn’t undergo a requested federal security review of its facilities and was in the process...

Shareholder of MDC Partners Opposes Merger With Stagwell

May 27, 2021

May 27, 2021

One of MDC Partners Inc.’s largest shareholders is opposing the advertising company’s proposed merger with Stagwell Media, a private-equity fund...

Forget Going Back to the Office—People Are Just Quitting Instead

June 13, 2021

June 13, 2021

More Americans are quitting their jobs than at any other time in at least two decades, adding to the struggle...

Why Two Leading Inflation Gauges Show Different Results

June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021

The Commerce Department’s measure of inflation showed Friday that consumer prices rose 3.9% in May from a year before, a...

Biden, Senators Agree to Roughly $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Biden and a group of centrist senators agreed to a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan, securing a long-sought bipartisan...