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Elon Musk, John McAfee and the manipulation of Bitcoin and Dogecoin: can tweets alter the value of an asset?

Is Elon Musk the new heir to John McAfee?

“CEO of Dogecoin”, but buys bitcoin. Apparently not his decision, he says he prefers DOGE, but then decides to only accept payments in BTC for Tesla anyway. Invited to Saturday Night Live, he raises the price of Dogecoin, but finally calls it a hustle and brings it down.

Elon Musk is now able to change the crypto market with a couple of tweets. The list of inconsistencies declared by the CEO of Tesla is now endless, between a cryptic tweet and a television appearance with a comical tone to say the least.

Like a few days ago, when Tesla finally declared that it would no longer accept payments in BTC because of its dangerous environmental impact. Yet the day before, Musk had asked his community whether Tesla should also accept Dogecoin as a method of payment. Both currencies are based on Proof of Work, i.e. on mining, and pollute in the same way, even if the adoption of the latter is more limited.

Besides, is Tesla really afraid of Bitcoin’s environmental impact? The timing seems suspicious to say the least: when they decided to accept BTC, were they not aware of how mining works? 

Of course they were, and it would be ludicrous to say otherwise, so it is more likely a case of deliberate market manipulation.

By the way, as the University of Cambridge also explained in a study, “the consumption of always-on but idle devices in US homes consumes 60% more than the entire Bitcoin network” and we are in this case comparing something completely useless, a real waste, against a technology that otherwise could not work.

Whether Bitcoin pollutes little or a lot, this is not the place to discuss it, but what is for sure is that Musk seems to be having fun demonstrating that he is able to change the fate of the prices of various cryptocurrencies and this is not acceptable. 

Elon Musk, John McAfee and freedom

In the traditional world, this would be insider trading, not least because Musk owns both Bitcoin and Dogecoin in his wallet. Moreover, when we talk about regulation of the crypto world we always think of the KYC of the platforms, of making sure that every penny is controlled, declared, taxed, but this is rather ridiculous if we think that Elon Musk, who voluntarily makes the market rise or fall as he likes, even making investors lose millions of dollars, is not controlled in any way.

By the way, as John McAfee’s wife reminded us, her husband has been in jail for seven months for manipulating the market to his advantage (although in McAfee’s case it seems that the real problem is tax evasion).

In any case, this is contradictory behaviour that is ruining a sector that was born to promote freedom, in a perhaps utopian sense of achieving the concept of “freedom of money”. And instead, we are all losing sight of this.


Amelia Tomasicchio
Amelia Tomasicchiohttps://cryptonomist.ch
As expert in digital marketing, Amelia began working in the fintech sector in 2014 after writing her thesis on Bitcoin technology. Previously author for several international crypto-related magazines and CMO at Eidoo. She is now the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Cryptonomist, and also PR manager for the Italian market at Bitget. She is also a marketing teacher at Digital Coach in Milan and she published a book about NFTs for the Italian publishing house Mondadori, while she is also helping artists and company to entering in the sector. As advisor, Amelia is also involved in metaverse-related project such as The Nemesis and OVER.