Tesla CEO and Dogecoin enthusiast Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he “never said that people should invest in cryptocurrency” as retail investors feel the sting of the plummeting digital coins market.
Despite buying and touting Dogecoin, Musk told the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday that he made a distinction between publicly supporting the digital coin and urging others to invest.
“In the case of Tesla, SpaceX, myself, we all did buy some bitcoin, but it’s a small percentage of our total cash assets,” Musk told Bloomberg News on Tuesday.
Musk added that he also bought Dogecoin, which can also be used to buy Tesla merchandise.
Musk on Tuesday also clarified the scope of his planned layoffs at the electric car maker. He said that Tesla would cut its salaried workforce by 10% in the next three months, though the firm plans to hire more hourly workers.
He told Bloomberg News that the planned layoffs would affect 3.5% of its overall workforce. Reuters reported earlier this month that Musk planned to lay off 10% of the overall workforce.
The billionaire has repeatedly touted investments in cryptocurrencies in recent years. In March, he declared that he “won’t sell” his holdings in bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin despite rising inflation and economic uncertainty that has led many investors to sell riskier assets.
The world’s richest person doubled and tripled down on his support for Dogecoin — sending the meme cryptocurrency soaring by more than 12% on Tuesday.
“I’m responding to those people.”
As of 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, the value of a single unit of Dogecoin was trading at $0.067 — up 12.77%. However, it is still down more than 90% since hitting its all-time high of $0.74 in May 2021.
This is the second time in three days that Musk has reiterated his support for Dogecoin, which was originally created in 2013 as a joke.
“I will keep supporting Dogecoin,” Musk tweeted on Sunday.
When a Twitter user replied by saying Musk should “keep buying it” to show his support, the billionaire replied, “I am.”
Musk has emerged as a major backer of bitcoin, Dogecoin, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months despite their propensity of volatile trading.
Dogecoin has regularly surged in value when Musk speaks publicly about his interest. Last year, the price surged ahead of Musk’s appearance as a guest host on “Saturday Night Live,” hitting its all-time high before quickly dipping once the episode aired.
The cryptocurrency markets have tanked in recent weeks. Bitcoin was trading at just north of $21,600 as of 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday — down more than 60% since reaching an all-time high of nearly $70,000 in November.
The collapse of the crypto markets has prompted questions about whether backers of the digital coins were irresponsible in promoting them to retail investors.
Author: Ariel Zilber