Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, has received a lot of criticism from cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the past few days.
"For the millionth time, Elon is not your friend," an angry Bitcoin fan said after Musk announced that Tesla no longer wanted to accept the digital currency last week. "He is a billionaire who will continue to use crypto as an investment vehicle to make him more money."
But now Musk is starting to respond to criticism and points to time spent at digital payment company PayPal for credentials in the world of online finance.
“Hey cryptocurrency experts, have you ever heard of PayPal?” Musk said, taunting his detractors. "Is it possible ... maybe ... that I know [sic] about how money works."
A brief verification of the facts
The reality, of course, is that PayPal (PayPal shares - ticker PYPL) has found a sizable niche in online finance and has made Musk quite a nest egg in the meantime. But at its core, PayPal positions finance as the domain of a central authority that controls the movement of money, unlike Bitcoin, which is basically decentralized.
Musk, however, opposed that conception of the two types of financial technology. "Bitcoin is actually highly centralized, with the absolute majority controlled by a handful of large mining companies (also known as hashing)," he wrote on Twitter.
Musk has positioned himself somewhere between a serious cryptocurrency advocate and a troll posting a recurring message about it.
On the less serious side, he has posted countless memes about dog-themed cryptocurrency Dogecoin, pushing its price up to unprecedented levels.
On the other hand, however, under his leadership Tesla acquired $ 1,5 billion in Bitcoin and began taking the digital token in exchange for new electric vehicles earlier this year. All these moves have been welcomed by cryptocurrency advocates.
But then, this month, Musk reversed his stance, saying that due to the cost of mining to the environment, Tesla was suspending all car payments in Bitcoin. A move that was met with outrage by the very people Musk courted with his tech memes.
In other words, Musk is once again doing what he does best: keeping the world on its toes, without making it clear where he wants to go.
At this point, the markets began to collapse due to the descent of bitcoin, including "its" Doge. And if it is true that Tesla has not sold his bitcoins, as he himself claims, then the losses will also have been heavy.
At this point it is not clear what his next move will be. Meanwhile, he traveled to his factory in Germany to push the production of the new models. And finally, some rumors increasingly insist that it would be ready to launch its own cryptocurrency.