Published in El Pais, 6 November 2021.
One can certainly call Elon Musk a success in life. From PayPal to Tesla to one day even Mars, he certainly has left a legacy, and he only just turned 50. He of course is not without controversy, he has been accused of manipulating the price of Tesla several times, most famously tweeting that the stock price was “too high” and causing a crash and has been the target of several lawsuits by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). So instead of getting involved in the highly regulated stock market, he seems to have turned his attention to the highly unregulated crypto market.
On April 15 he tweeted a Spanish painting “Dog Barking at the Moon” but captioned it “Doge barking at the Moon” in reference to the famous cryptocurrency Doge Coin. The coin is known as a Meme Coin, that is a coin that has no value, the blockchain is unwritable meaning no smart contracts and it is only famous for being named after a meme. As a result, the coin went up 30% in value and he has since regularly tweeted about the cryptocurrency, each time causing an increase in price eventually going from under a cent to 70 cents in a span of a few months. On the eve of Musk’s debut on Saturday Night Live it was expected to go to $1 and many investors were foaming at the mouth, but something unexpected happened, during a skit he referred to the coin as a “sh*tcoin”, an insult in the crypto community for projects that are considered garbage. Just like that it instantly lost half its value. Investors lost thousands of dollars all because Elon Musk made a joke.
It does not stop there, a few weeks ago he made another tweet about a competing meme coin called Shiba Inu. Again, you cannot do anything with this cryptocurrency and really has no value, of course the project is now at an all time high, and many will think it will make the millionaires.
I have been trading in cryptocurrencies for the past 3 years. I stick to projects that are writable and have a use case in the real world and for the most part this strategy has worked for me. I, however, will not play Elon’s game. He is playing with millions of other people’s money. In average 1% knows where they are getting into, others do not know the game or have little knowledge of the subject and have a lot to lose. Unfortunately, due to the fact the industry is so unregulated I fear there is nothing really that can be done but hope that he sees what he is doing and changes his ways, or the rest of the world sees through him and stop listening. I do not know what will happen first.