Michael Saylor Says He Impacted Tesla’s Decision to Buy Bitcoin


Mar. 23 2021, Published 2:59 p.m. ET

One tweet from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor might be responsible for Tesla's headline-making decision to buy $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin

In December 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted a meme image likening himself to a Franciscan monk “trying to live a normal productive life,” while a woman raises her skirt to reveal the Bitcoin logo.

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Saylor replied to Musk’s tweet. He wrote, “If you want to do your shareholders a $100 billion favor, convert the Tesla balance sheet from USD to BTC. Other firms on the S&P 500 would follow your lead, and in time, it would grow to become a $1 trillion favor.”

Musk wrote back later that day. He asked Saylor if “such large transactions [are] even possible,” and Saylor then offered his guidance. “Yes,” he told Musk. “I have purchased over $1.3 billion in BTC in past months and would be happy to share my playbook with you offline—from one rocket scientist to another.”

Here’s more information on the man TIME calls a “corporate Bitcoin evangelical” and a “crypto-guru.”

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Saylor co-founded MicroStrategy at age 24.

Saylor is the CEO, chairman of the board, and co-founder of MicroStrategy, which is an enterprise analytics and mobility software company.

According to his MicroStrategy bio, Saylor attended MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) on a full Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. He studied aeronautics and astronautics at MIT and graduated with the “highest honors” in 1987. After a stint in the Air Force, Saylor started a consulting career and worked with DuPont, Dow, Exxon, and other companies.

In 1989, when Saylor was just 24, he co-cofounded MicroStrategy. “Mr. Saylor combined his passions for technology, business, and the use of computer simulations to launch MicroStrategy,” his bio reads. “The company was founded on his vision of helping enterprises deliver intelligence everywhere.”

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Saylor’s estimated net worth is $500 million.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Saylor's estimated net worth is $500 million. In addition to his MicroStrategy work, Saylor has 40 patents to his name. He also founded the home security company Alarm.com and the interactive voice response service provider Angel.com.

Saylor has other claims to fame too. In 1999, he founded The Saylor Foundation, whose Saylor Academy has provided free educational services to more than 800,000 students, according to his site Michael.com.

In 2012, Saylor published the book The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything, which a Fortune review deemed as “a thoughtful romp across invention and innovation—and blessedly free of MicroStrategy sales pitches.”

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Saylor thinks that his tweet impacted Tesla’s decision.

In a new interview with TIME, Saylor had a one-word reply when asked if he thought his Twitter exchange with Musk impacted Tesla’s decision to buy Bitcoin. He said, “yes.”

However, he refused to say whether he and Musk had talked more. “As a public-company CEO, I can’t comment on any conversation I would have with another public-company officer,” he told the magazine. “It’s against business etiquette.”

Saylor says Bitcoin is like “the Facebook of money.”

The MicroStrategy honcho—who has $5 billion of Bitcoin through the company—told TIME that Bitcoin is a “textbook example of a rational action in response to monetary inflation” and not an example of irrational exuberance.

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“If you’re going to make a rational investment decision today, whether you’re a real estate investor, a stock investor, a bond investor, or just a wage earner, or you’re a treasurer, you have to estimate the rate of monetary expansion for the next eight years,” Saylor told the magazine. “We know there’s a commitment to run deficits, and we know this commitment to stimulus.”

He also said, “So now the issue is, What’s a rational behavior? I’ve got to find a store of value. Bitcoin is a unique new technology, it’s like the Facebook of money or the Google of money. And it grew from nothing to a trillion dollars in monetary value in 12 years.”


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