Wall Street is abuzz with rumors that Apple might dip into its $245 billion war chest to purchase electric vehicle giant Tesla, but all Crypto Twitter wants to talk about is what Elon Musk thinks about bitcoin – and its pseudonymous creator.
Just one day after heaping praise on bitcoin during the latest episode of the ARK Invest podcast, Musk revealed that he still owns a relatively small amount of cryptocurrency. All of it, he said, is denominated in bitcoin.
Responding to a report that he had called bitcoin “brilliant” and said that crypto was a “far better way to transfer value” than paper money,” he stressed that he had not yet made the transition himself:
“That said, I still only own 0.25 BTC, which a friend sent me several years ago. Don’t have any crypto holdings.”
Musk has long maintained both that he only owns one-quarter of a bitcoin and that it was a gift – he did not purchase it himself.
Almost exactly one year ago, Musk tweeted:
“I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from 0.25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago.”
Rumors have long circulated that Elon Musk himself created bitcoin, though he flatly denies them and few within the crypto industry give them any credence anyway.
Replying to yet another tweet implying that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the Tesla CEO joked that Satoshi deserves a Nobel Prize for “delayed gratification,” given that he/she/they owned a fortune in cryptocurrency but never spent a dime, other than for testing purposes.
“Whoever owns the early BTC deserves a Nobel prize in delayed gratification”
Whoever owns the early BTC deserves a Nobel prize in delayed gratification
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 21, 2019
While the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has not yet recognized “delayed gratification” as a valid scientific field, Musk does have a point.
Satoshi is believed to have at one time controlled bitcoin wallets holding as much as 1 million BTC – funds that have never been spent.
At the height of the crypto boom, the mysterious programmer would have ranked as one of the world’s richest people, with a net worth – nearly $20 billion – rivaling that of Musk’s. However, a decade after the cryptocurrency’s launch, the general consensus is that those coins are locked away forever, either because Satoshi died or otherwise lost access to the wallets containing them.
Despite his praise for bitcoin, Musk maintains he does not think it is wise to involve Tesla in the still-fledgling crypto industry. However, some believe that his love for technology and courage to gamble on nascent-but-potentially-world-changing ideas makes a future embrace of cryptocurrency inevitable.
After all, if someone’s going to take bitcoin to the moon, it makes sense that it would be the founder of SpaceX.
Elon Musk Image from AP Photo / Rich Pedroncelli
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