Bitcoin (BTC -0.28%) was tumbling in value this morning after speculation arose that Elon Musk might have sold Tesla's (TSLA -2.76%) billions of dollars' worth of the cryptocurrency or was planning to.
As usual, it was Musk himself who ignited the rumor-mongering with a one-word tweet that simply said "Indeed," which subsequently required him to extinguish the fire by assuring everyone Tesla had done no such thing.
In a Twitter exchange on Sunday, a user had posited that Bitcoin holders would be upset for still holding on to the cryptocurrency after Tesla reports its next quarterly earnings and they discover the company had sold off its large holdings. Last quarter, Tesla had purchased $1.2 billion worth of Bitcoin.
When the Twitter user remarked that Musk would be justified in dumping the coin because of the rage-mob hate that the social media platform engendered, Musk gave his one-word response. That set off speculation that Tesla had, in fact, sold off its Bitcoin holdings or soon would. At one point, Bitcoin's price had plunged 9% to around $42,000.
Musk then followed up with another tweet:
To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 17, 2021
The price of Bitcoin rallied soon after, but still trades below $45,000, down about 8% in morning trading today.
It was just last week that Musk caused a tumult when he said Tesla would stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for a Tesla over the crypto's environmental impact, though that came only weeks after saying consumers could buy an EV with Bitcoin.
He also recently appeared on Saturday Night Light talking up rival cryptocurrency Dogecoin, but also caused a brouhaha when he intimated it was "a hustle," suggesting it didn't contain real value.