Elon Musk suggests Tesla may have sold bitcoin

Tesla Chief Executive, Elon Musk, implied in a Twitter exchange Sunday afternoon that the electric vehicle maker sold or may sell the rest of its bitcoin holdings, sending the price of the cryptocurrency down, CNBC reports.

Bitcoin dipped by around 8 percent to around US$44,000 per coin.

A Twitter user who goes by @CryptoWhale said, “Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their holdings. With the amount of hate @elonmusk is getting, I wouldn’t blame him…”

Musk replied, “Indeed.”

A potential sale comes just days after Musk said the company planned to hold rather than sell the bitcoin it already has and intended to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Musk has been a big supporter of cryptocurrencies, helping rally the prices of digital coins, including bitcoin, several times in the past year. In an SEC filing in February, Tesla revealed that it bought US$1.5 billion worth of bitcoin.

The company later said it registered a net gain of US$101 million from sales of bitcoin during the quarter, helping to boost its net profits to a record high in the first quarter.

However, Musk seems to have reversed course in recent weeks in favor of dogecoin, the meme-inspired cryptocurrency. Tesla last week also “suspended vehicle purchases using bitcoin,” out of concern over “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining.”

The price of bitcoin dropped about 5 percent in the first minutes after Musk’s announcement.

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