Analyzing Elon Musk’s Crypto Journey

Elon Musk is a genius and one of the greatest mind of our time. This billionaire has founded many iconic companies of the 21st century. But Musk as a person has always been erratic, this is best shown with his […]

Abishek Dharshan

Abishek Dharshan

March 4, 2019 8:40 PM

Analyzing Elon Musk’s Crypto Journey

Elon Musk is a genius and one of the greatest mind of our time. This billionaire has founded many iconic companies of the 21st century. But Musk as a person has always been erratic, this is best shown with his changing views on crypto over the years.

October, 2014: Elon Musk Comments leave crypto community disappointed

During an interview at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in late 2014, host Walter Isaacson asked Musk about the possibility of Bitcoin disrupting the banking industry. Musk didn’t really give a clear answer, instead, he said it will be mostly used for illegal transactions and this made the online community (especially those involved with crypto) really disappointed. They felt this comment downplayed the legitimacy of Bitcoin and focused only on the illegal aspect of the new technology. In the interview, Musk also revealed he did not hold any Bitcoin.


In an article titled “Elon Musk Probably Invented Bitcoin”, a former engineering intern at SpaceX Sahil Gupta, claimed that there is a high probability that Elon Musk could be the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. Published in Medium on November 23, 2017, the article goes on to explain why Gupta reached this conclusion. Musk’s history of innovations across multiple tech disciplines, his deep understanding of economics and cryptography, and of course his exceptional coding abilities were pointed out as the reasoning behind the conclusion. Musk denied the claim, of course denying to be Satoshi Nakamoto is exactly the sort of thing the person behind the pseudonym would do when they were to be confronted with this claim. Musk is a lot of things, but the inventor of Bitcoin? Most likely not. Even after denying the allegations, someone went on to poke Musk on Twitter, the very next month on Dec 22, 2017, to which Musk replied satirically that he has “never heard of it”.

February 2018: Musk comments on Twitter crypto scams, reveals how much BTC he is holding

Rising twitter bot scams involving cryptocurrencies forced Elon Musk to reveal how much crypto he holds, this is a clear attempt by Musk to convince people that there are no giveaways as claimed by the bots. The bots try to claim they are the official handle of famous personalities, like Musk and Trump and then fool people into sending crypto to a said address to verify the user’s account, this is done in order to receive the free giveaways, but there are no giveaways and the user ends up losing the money. This revelation by Musk is a kind reminder that there is not much crypto with him to giveaway.

March 2018: Musk photographed holding a book about cryptocurrencies

We would assume a man like Musk would know everything about technology, especially new ones, also to be noted is the fact that when he enters a new field, a lot will happen. Musk is a disruptor and it is for this same reason that when he was spotted holding a book about cryptocurrencies, people got excited and that excitement was clear from how Twitter reacted to it. The incident happened at South by Southwest festival musk was spotted holding a book called “Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchain & ICOs & Co Simply Explained”, written by Dr. Julian Hosp. Later it was alleged that the book was an item he took from the crowd to sign.

October 2018: Twitter bans Musk for joking about crypto

Last October, Musk’s personal Twitter handle got suspended, later it was revealed that Twitter flagged his account for a joke he made. Twitter has been in the center of scammers who steal crypto from unsuspecting users, and Twitter has a strict rule when it comes to dealing with crypto. Musk in a tweet said “Want to buy some Bitcoin?” which triggered some automatic system which immediately suspended his account (which was later restored).

November 2018: Twitter bots claiming to be Musk steal $157,000 worth of crypto

The hackers pirated the verified accounts of clothing stores Matalan and film company Pathé UK, then claimed to be Elon Musk and promoted a phony giveaway via the social media accounts. The two accounts had a total combined following of around 100,000. By Monday night, the fraudsters managed to steal £137,000 from nearly 400 people donating to the fake contest. Once hacked, the accounts’ photos and names were changed to match Elon Musk’s official verified account, and the deception was aided by the fact that the accounts kept their blue verification check mark.

February 2019: Musk praises qualities of crypto

In an episode of ARK Invest podcast with Tasha Keeney, an analyst at ARK Invest and Cathie Wood, Founder, CEO, and CIO at ARK Invest which was released on Feb 19, Musk finally showed some love towards crypto saying things like structure of Bitcoin “is quite brilliant,”  also he commented that Ethereum has some merit to it. What interests Musk the most is that fact that crypto is a really good way to transfer value efficiently and bypass currency control although he is not comfortable with the high energy use of crypto which is basically against his company Tesla’s mantra of sustainability.
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Abishek Dharshan
Article By

Abishek Dharshan

Abishek is an Entrepreneur, Digital Nomad, Student, and ICO Marketing Manager currently based in Berlin & Champaign. He is actively involved in the Blockchain space and has worked in numerous projects in the Silicon Valley since 2017. His interests revolve around Finance, Consulting, and Blockchain Research.

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