The Tesla founder, who moved here after announcing his new Gigafactory car- and truck-manufacturing plant east of Austin, seems to have an outsized impact on whether the value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin rise or fall.
Tech expert Omar Gallaga tells Texas Standard the market can fluctuate based on what Musk tweets, or whether he performed well on a recent episode of “Saturday Night Live.” That’s because investors watching Musk’s activities aren’t necessarily betting on the health of a company with their investments; they’re participating in “meme culture,” similar to how amateur investors drove Game Stop stock to an artificially high price earlier this year.
“It’s more about people online kind of pushing in either direction to bring up or bring down either a currency or shares of a stock,” Gallaga told Texas Standard.
Highlights from this segment:
– Musk is influential simply because he’s well-known, but also because Tesla owns approximately $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. However Tesla recently announced it wouldn’t accept Bitcoin as payment for its vehicles.
– Musk’s recent appearance on SNL had a negative effect on cryptocurrency values. Gallaga speculates it’s because Musk’s “performance was not well-received.”
– Musk has hinted on social media that he is planning for Tesla to hold onto its Bitcoin, which could help stabilize the cryptocurrency market.
–General trust in cryptocurrency is already shaky: the Chinese government has said it will push against it. That means Musk’s actions could carry even more weight when it comes to whether the market rallies or crashes.