Cryptos: Elon Musk implies Tesla could dump its bitcoin holdings

United States

Prices of the leading cryptocurrencies continued to slide Sunday, with bitcoin falling after Elon Musk suggested Tesla Inc. has sold or may sell its remaining bitcoin assets.

On Sunday, Twitter user @cryptowhale tweeted: “Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their #Bitcoin holdings. With the amount of hate @elonmusk is getting, I wouldn’t blame him…”

Musk replied cryptically: “Indeed.”

That was enough to push bitcoin BTCUSD, +4.54% even lower. The leading cryptocurrency by market cap finished the trading day down about 8%, around $ 44,400, according to Coindesk data. While bitcoin and other cryptos are traded 24 hours a day, the daily session ends at 5 p.m. Eastern. Bitcoin is down about 18% over the past five days, and 27% over the past month, though is still up 53% year to date.

Ethereum ETHUSD, +5.32% sank about 11% on Sunday, and Ripple XRPUSD, +4.19% fell around 8%.

Crypto prices — especially the prices of bitcoin and dogecoin — have swung wildly over the past week following comments by Musk, starting with his “Saturday Night Live” appearance.

Musk’s comment Sunday came days after he announced Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin as payment for it cars, citing the negative environmental effects caused by the high energy usage that bitcoin mining takes. He later tweeted that dogecoin is a “potentially promising” alternative, sending its prices soaring.

Dogecoin DOGEUSD, +1.97%, meanwhile, slipped Sunday to about 48 cents, still up about 3% over the past five trading sessions.

Tesla TSLA, +3.16% bought about $ 1.5 billion in bitcoin earlier this year. In its first-quarter earnings report last month, Tesla said it sold about $ 101 million — 10% of its bitcoin holdings — which helped boost its bottom line.