Musk accused of pump and dump as Bitcoin sale boosts Tesla earnings

Bitcoin logo and chat bubbles on a smartphone screen with a human face representing Elon Musk

Elon Musk was involved in a Twitter spat this week after he was accused of pumping Bitcoin before selling it off to make a fortune.

The accusation was made by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy. He suggested that Musk had been using his influence over his sizeable Twitter following to inflate Bitcoin’s price.

But the self-styled TechnoKing was quick to clarify he hadn’t sold any of his own Bitcoin. Instead, he explained, Tesla had simply offloaded 10% of its holdings — as disclosed in its latest earnings release.

Musk claimed Tesla did this to demonstrate Bitcoin’s liquidity and its ability to be more than traditional currency.

But that wasn’t good enough for Portnoy who continued to poke the clearly-rattled Musk with a GIF of a dog attacking a lettuce along with the line “I’m holding 100% of my Bitcoin.”

Mercifully, before things spiralled out of control, Portnoy was back online to calm things down. He insisted he and Musk had not been fighting, and that as “owner of 1 [BTC], it’s my duty to defend against all lettuce handed threats no matter big or small.”

[Read more: Tesla accepting Bitcoin means it stacks 0.7 BTC per Model 3 sold for crypto]

Musk has spoken about Bitcoin’s liquidity before

Musk branded Bitcoin “a less dumb form of liquidity than cash” in February, calling it “almost as bs as fiat.” This was in the context of Tesla purchasing $1.5 billion worth of the currency.

Despite his initial reservations and conflicting opinions on Bitcoin, Musk has done pretty well out of that investment.

The company posted record earnings during the most recent quarter, with $101 million of its overall $438 million net income due to the “positive impact” from selling Bitcoin.

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