By Mike Murphy
A day after sparking another selloff in the world’s biggest digital asset, Tesla’s chief executive officer Elon Musk took to Twitter to say his electric-car company hasn’t done any divesting.
“To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any bitcoin,” Musk tweeted in the early hours of Monday. He was responding to a tweet from another user who accused him of triggering losses in the cryptocurrency.
His latest tweet came after a Twitter exchange on Sunday with user @cryptowhale who said investors would “slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their #Bitcoin holdings. With the amount of hate @elonmusk is getting, I wouldn’t blame him…”
Musk replied cryptically: “Indeed.”
Bitcoin /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD -0.31% moved higher after that tweet, last hovering at $44,792, a roughly 9% drop over 24 hours, but off a low of $42,212 seen over the period.
The leading cryptocurrency by market cap finished Sunday down about 8%, around $44,400, according to CoinDesk data. While bitcoin and other cryptos are traded 24 hours a day, the daily session resets at 5 p.m. Eastern; bitcoin prices gained in the new session Sunday evening. Bitcoin is down about 20% over the past five days, and 21% over the past month, though is still up 53% year to date.
Ethereum /zigman2/quotes/108573964/realtime ETHUSD -0.72% and Ripple /zigman2/quotes/108573966/realtime XRPUSD -1.16% fell 11% and 9%, respectively over 24 hours, but bounced off lows after Musk’s fresh tweet.
Musk’s latest tweet sparked a flood of exasperated comments from Twitter followers who have found themselves riding a price roller coaster linked to his remarks:
Some were dubious about Musk’s latest tweet:
The prices of bitcoin and dogecoin — have swung wildly over the past week following comments by Musk, starting with his “Saturday Night Live” appearance .
Musk’s latest tweets came days after he announced Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin as payment for its cars, citing the negative environmental effects caused by the high energy usage that bitcoin mining takes. He later tweeted that dogecoin is a “potentially promising” alternative, sending its prices soaring.
Dogecoin /zigman2/quotes/226077044/realtime DOGEUSD +6.59% , meanwhile, slipped to about 48 cents on Monday, still up about 3% over the past five trading sessions.
Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +3.54% bought about $1.5 billion in bitcoin earlier this year. In its first-quarter earnings report last month, Tesla said it sold about $101 million — 10% of its bitcoin holdings — which helped boost its bottom line .
Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this article .