Yerevan (CoinChpater.com) – Veteran gold supporter Peter Schiff took to Twitter to call out Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, for manipulating the crypto market. As an outspoken Bitcoin skeptic, he also called the cryptocurrency a “gimmick” for such manipulations.
Mr. Schiff’s harsh opinion came as a reply to the billionaire’s earlier tweet on Tesla’s on-and-off romance with Bitcoin. The controversy, however, started much earlier.
Where’s the fire?
All the smoke around Mr. Musk and Bitcoin came from May 13, when he announced that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin payments for their electric vehicles, citing environmental concerns associated with mining. While the concerns are legit, according to Reuters, the CEO was clearly aware of Bitcoin’s carbon footprint back when he initially started accepting crypto payments.
His actions raised eyebrows, as many perceived them to be market manipulation. One of the skeptics was Magda Wierzycka, the founder and CEO of Sygnia, a South Africa-based financial services company. In a podcast interview with John Perlman, she expressed her opinion on the entrepreneur’s tweets and the ‘pump-and-dump activity they led to.
The billionaire entrepreneur asserted that Mr. Musk “sold a big part of [Tesla’s] exposure at the peak” after pumping the price with his constant tweets. She also expressed her surprise that the Tesla CEO is not yet charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In her view, Mr. Musk is a “powerful and influential individual” manipulating the crypto market.
What is Mr. Musk thinking?
Ms. Wierzycka’s comment caught Mr. Musk’s eye, and he replied with the tweet presented above. The Tesla CEO claimed that the firm only sold 10 percent of its BTC exposure. He also asserted that Tesla would be ready to accept Bitcoin again once he’s content with the percentage of clean energy used for mining.
After the tweet, Bitcoin price jumped once again, gaining whapping 14 percent. The token traded at $40,491 in the hours preceding the New York session Monday.
Unsurprisingly, the SEC has already taken notice of Mr. Musk’s behavior. The law enforcement agency claimed that Tesla’s CEO violated a court-ordered policy that requires his tweets to be preapproved by company lawyers. In 2018, Mr. Musk paid $20 million in case settlements after the SEC found his tweets fraudulent.
However, he’s still active on Twitter, often referring to Bitcoin. After the tweet presented below, the crypto market experienced a new wave of ubiquitous declines on June 4.
Is Elon Musk to blame?
Mr. Musk’s relationship with Bitcoin is not quite stable. Like Peter Schiff and Magda Wierzycka, some experts take his active tweets on Bitcoin to be deliberate and manipulative. Not to mention the SEC, which pushed an enforcement action on the billionaire entrepreneur back in 2018. The Tesla CEO claims to have rightful reasons for his U-turn from Bitcoin.
But a part of the crypto community does not agree, along with Anthony Pompliano. The founder of “Pomp Investments” was vocal on the issue in an interview with CNBC. He claimed that more than 75 percent of mining uses renewable energy sources. Given that those numbers are hard to confirm or deny, the issue remains.
However, the CEO’s tweets greatly influence the Bitcoin market, regardless of their vector. The latest tweet partially pushed the price up by 14 percent.