Elon Musk has been at the forefront of so many scientific innovations and continues to maintain status as one of our generation’s great pioneers. From payment processing to new vehicles to even ventures into space he has pushed forward initiatives in a way that few other humans ever had. And now it appears he’s starting to back a possible new frontier when it comes to institutional money systems. In the wake of recent events in the stock market and beyond, it appears that Elon Musk is fully endorsing Bitcoin.
Elon Musk made one of the more high-profile moves for the cryptocurrency on Thursday simply by changing his profile notes to #bitcoin followed by its yellow “B” symbol. It was a clear endorsement of the sometimes-maligned digital currency which has risen greatly in popularity over the last few years. This caused quite the stir both for fans of Bitcoin as well as those becoming increasingly distrustful of the monetary systems currently in place. That includes distrust both within the current markets and around the value of fiat currency.
The placement of Bitcoin in his profile by Elon Musk wasn’t a standalone act. He also tweeted this as well:
This likely references the inevitable move away from traditional and legacy systems and institutions. He was joined by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who also placed the currency’s name and logo in his profile. There’s some chance, moving forward, this becomes something of a calling card among tech elites going forward.
Elon Musk’s endorsement of Bitcoin comes in response to the stock market craziness over the course of this last week. To make a long story short, a group of Reddit users, and retail investors made a market play on a few different stocks they had identified as possible pain points for larger hedge funds. Those funds owned substantial short positions on stocks like Gamestop (GME) and AMC Theaters (AMC). Retail investors, in response, began buying these stocks in large volume, driving the price up and putting the hedge funds at considerable risk of being completely overexposed on their shorts.
What got Elon Musk into the discussion was when trading app Robinhood suspended trading on the stocks in question, leaving many investors unable to close their positions. A great many saw this as market manipulation at the request of the aforementioned hedge funds to mitigate the damage caused to the large portfolios. The answer may have been more boring and they did it to stay within SEC compliance. Whatever the reason, Musk and some others signaled that Bitcoin was a way to avoid this kind of risk, having a decentralized currency that couldn’t be “controlled” by legacy investors or large exchanges.
Elon Musk obviously isn’t the first person to be interested or invested in Bitcoin. The digital currency was first formed in 2011. It uses open-source software to offer a decentralized currency that exists outside the bounds of common exchanges. Accumulated through “mining”, Bitcoin distribution and record-keeping is done through the use of blockchain technology. Many see it as a way to move currency away from traditional exchanges and currencies.
Whether Elon Musk’s endorsement of Bitcoin is a short-lived thing remains to be seen. If he decides to move the cryptocurrency on to Tesla or SpaceX’s balance sheet then that would be the clear sign he’s all-in. This is still very much a developing story and likely a sign that Bitcoin will be here to stay. Since the time of Musk’s tweet, Bitcoin had risen about 15% to $37K for one coin.