Claims That Elon Musk Is Manipulating Crypto Markets Continue

Elon Musk holds a lot of sway in the market, which is precisely why some are accusing him of manipulating crypto values through pumping Bitcoin only to turn his heel shortly after.

Rachel Curry - Author

May 14 2021, Published 10:36 a.m. ET

Elon Musk's impact on cryptocurrency overshadowed his SNL announcement that he has Asperger's syndrome. While he incorrectly claimed to be the first SNL host with an autism spectrum disorder (that title belongs to Dan Aykroyd), he does retain his role as one of the most influential cryptocurrency investors out there. That's exactly why some want to hold him accountable for crypto market manipulation.

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What do Musk's crypto positions on Bitcoin and Doge say about potential manipulation in the marketplace?  

Elon Musk's exact crypt portfolio is unknown, but he's spoken about Bitcoin and Doge.

Musk has been particularly vocal about his positions in Bitcoin (BTC) and Dogecoin (DOGE). Recently, he reversed his decision to have Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) accept Bitcoin as payment over environmental concerns, which correlated with a measurable drop in the coin's value. 

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This comes just a couple of months after Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. Around that time, the currency gained 35 percent in value over the course of February.

Meanwhile, the last month hasn't been so kind to Bitcoin, which has fallen 21.42 percent during that time period. Current valuation is $51,039.60 per coin.

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Musk has also publicized his position in Dogecoin, which has increased in value dramatically since the start of the year. With 24-hour returns at 26.58 percent, YTD returns are as high as 11,175.54 percent.

Right now, there's an unknown Dogecoin holder with 36.7 billion dogecoin, which is a massive 28 percent of the entire circulating supply. As the current price is around $0.53 per DOGE (and rising), that whale has a Dogecoin position worth about $20 billion. 

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Has Elon Musk sold his Bitcoin?

Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital, said in March that Musk owns more than $5 billion in Bitcoin through his personal portfolio plus his companies Tesla and SpaceX. Scaramucci's claims have not been confirmed by Musk himself, and it's unclear whether Musk has retained his full crypto positions during this period of volatility mostly spurred by himself.

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Based on his Tesla stake, Musk is projected to have lost $20.5 billion this week. Tesla shares are down 13.2 percent this week, which puts YTD losses at 20.87 percent for the tech company. 

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Elon Musk isn't currently under investigation, but that could change.

Word about a potential SEC investigation against Musk came to light in February. The reports suggested that his tweets about Dogecoin served as market manipulation. In 2018, Musk settled securities fraud charges with the SEC but has remained on their radar ever since.

While Musk is not currently under investigation, that could change depending on how the SEC views this week's events.

Did Elon Musk pump Bitcoin?

The question remains: Did Musk conduct a pump-and-dump scheme on Bitcoin? Whether intentionally or not, pumping the market only to send it crashing down is a risky move that could potentially get you in trouble. 

The SEC would have to conduct a formal investigation to determine whether Musk's SNL performance, Tesla-Bitcoin reversal, and general market sway provide evidence he is manipulating crypto markets. 


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