Remember when Tesla CEO Elon Musk agreed — somewhat spontaneously — to chat with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey about Bitcoin? Well, the talk actually happened.
The two rich dudes spoke on Wednesday, together with Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood and moderator Steve Lee, at a livestreamed panel from Bitcoin conference The B Word. And even though Musk has been very vocal about Bitcoin on numerous occasions, this was perhaps his most level-headed and revealing public chat on the topic.
Here are the big takeaways from Musk’s side of things:
1. Elon Musk personally owns Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin
The world’s second richest man has spoken about all three cryptocurrencies before, especially Dogecoin, but this is the first time that he’s revealed, in fairly exact language, that he owns these three cryptocurrencies.
“I do own Bitcoin (…) and I do personally own a bit of Ethereum, and Dogecoin, of course,” he said.
While Bitcoin is often compared with digital gold, and is mostly used as a store of value, Ethereum is the world’s largest platform for decentralized apps. It opens up vast possibilities beyond what Bitcoin can currently do, so it’s interesting to see Musk publicly saying he owns some.
2. SpaceX owns Bitcoin
Yes, we knew about Tesla, but now we also know that Musk’s other company, SpaceX, owns Bitcoin. That’s pretty big.
In general, there was a lot of chatter about companies owning or doing things with cryptocurrencies. Wood things it’s something companies should explore, for example Bitcoin as a hedge against both inflation and deflation. And Musk asked Dorsey whether he’d take crypto payments from advertisers on Twitter; Dorsey said he’s open to the idea, but he’s more focused on creating economic incentives within Twitter, “without having to rely on advertisers.”
3. Musk does not partake (or at least he says he does not partake) in pump and dump schemes
In other words, he doesn’t hype up coins just to sell them, and then slam them just to buy them cheaper. “I might pump, but I don’t dump,” he said. “I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling, or anything like that.”
This is notable, because Musk does tweet about cryptocurrencies a lot, and it sometimes does seem like he’s trying to push the price of one coin up while slamming another coin. But he doesn’t do it. At least that’s what he says.
4. Musk tried to put Bitcoin nodes on Starlink
Bitcoin nodes are an important part of running the Bitcoin network. It’s important that there’s as many of them as possible, and that they are located in as many different locations as possible. Putting some nodes into orbit, aboard Starlink’s many satellites, does make some sense. Apparently, it was not meant to be, as Musk explained, but he seems to still be open to the idea.
5. Tesla will resume Bitcoin payments if Bitcoin cleans up its act
“I wanted a little bit more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50 percent, and that there is a trend toward increasing that number, and if so Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin,” Musk said. Wood chimed in on the topic as well, saying that she believes Bitcoin will ultimately be much more environmentally friendly than gold mining, and the traditional finance sector.
Tesla made quite an impact on the market in March 2021, when it started accept Bitcoin payments for cars, but the company suspended Bitcoin purchases over environmental concerns in May. The issue was left in a bit of a limbo, given that Bitcoin’s environmental issues were a known fact for years, but now we know that there’s still a chance that one day, you’ll be able to purchase that Model 3 with one, three, or 77 bitcoins. You know, depending on the state of the market.
6. Elon is learning
While this is a bit of an interpretation (by me), it appears that Musk has improved his overall knowledge of the cryptocurrency space since his notorious “fix Doge” tweet. He’s thinking about sending Bitcoin nodes into space, he’s looking into Ethereum, he’s looking into L2 blockchain technology. We’ve seen billionaires go to space, which felt like a dick measuring contest. But seeing Musk geek out with Wood and Dorsey about crypto feels…well, like fans geeking out over something they like. And that’s pretty cool.
Check out the entire conversation on YouTube.
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.