Elon Musk – the South African entrepreneur behind billion-dollar companies such as Tesla and SpaceX – and Jesse Powell – the CEO of popular cryptocurrency exchange Kraken – are duking it out on Twitter, and the bitcoin price is taking it hard.
Elon Musk and Jesse Powell Go Head to Head
The fight began when Powell called out Musk over recent comments regarding the bitcoin mining process. Elon Musk had originally stated a few months ago that he would permit bitcoin payments for Tesla-based goods and services, though this decision was later rescinded citing concerns over how much energy is used to extract new coins from the blockchain.
Powell took issue with these statements and claimed on social media that the entrepreneur needed to do “more studying.” He further stated that bitcoin was a lot “greener” than people gave it credit for, to which Musk responded with:
Based on what data?
Powell’s entire statement was as follows:
I have said one bitcoin, one Lambo by the end of the year. It may be a Lambo with fewer options or a smaller engine at this point, but I think we are still looking at very lofty price targets. I think Elon has some more studying to do.
As of late, anger towards Musk amongst crypto fans and investors seems to be at an all-time high. Recently, he was voted the most “hated” individual in the crypto space given that his tweets and social media messages appear to send most traders into a massive frenzy. In addition, his messages constantly cause bitcoin’s price to endure massive swings.
Not long ago, several protesters gathered outside a Tesla factory in northern California to protest Musk’s continued influence in the crypto space. His messages regarding the retraction of bitcoin payments for Tesla caused the world’s number one digital currency by market cap – which was trading in the mid-$50,000 range at the time – to fall into the mid-$40,000 range. The price tanked even harder after that when Musk hinted on Twitter that he was looking to part with his personal BTC stash.
Bitcoin was initially trading at a new all-time high of approximately $64,000 per unit in mid-April, though now it is trading for around $35,000. Initially, the currency had sprung up a bit and was trading in the low $40,000 range early last week, but the fight between Musk and Powell has allegedly brought it down by about $5,000.
A Softened Position?
In recent days, Musk has lessened his stance on bitcoin mining and claimed that if miners can potentially run their firms with cleaner energy and lower emissions by as much as 50 percent, he will once again permit bitcoin payments for Tesla vehicles. He stated:
When there is confirmation of reasonable (~50 percent) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing bitcoin transactions.