Dogecoin gains over 25% after Elon Musk says he might take it as payment for Tesla

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Dogecoin is a ‘meme’ cryptocurrency, seemingly created as a joke

  • Meme cryptocurrency dogecoin gained over 25% in the past 24 hours.
  • The coin’s value jumped after Elon Musk said he was looking into dogecoin as a crypto payment option for Tesla.
  • Tesla had suspended the option to pay for their cars with bitcoin over environmental concerns on Wednesday.
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Dogecoin gained over 25% within 24 hours after Elon Musk said he might accept it as a payment method for Tesla, after having stopped payments for his company’s products in bitcoin over environmental concerns.

Dogecoin rose 25.7% to $0.538253 in the 24 hours to 03:57 E.T. according to CoinGecko. It initially jumped in value at 19:45 E.T. on Thursday after Elon Musk’s tweet about considering the cryptocurrency as a payment method for Tesla.

“Working with Doge devs to improve system transaction efficiency. Potentially promising.” he said.

Dogecoin is the fourth largest cryptocurrency in circulation based on market capitalization. After Musk’s tweet, the value of the dogecoin market rose by over $10 billion to around $67 billion, as trading volume accelerated.

The token, which originally started as a joke and is therefore often described as a “meme coin,” has rallied since early April and reached a record high of $0.731578 on May 8. It has made year-on-year gains of 20,987.6%.

Earlier in the week, Musk said his electric vehicle company Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin payments over environmental concerns. Bitcoin, which is the world’s largest cryptocurrency, fell as much as 15% after Tesla’s announcement and dragged crypto stocks down with it.

In his statement, Musk also said he would be looking into more environmentally friendly cryptocurrencies to use in place of bitcoin as he believed in crypto, but was concerned about the amount of fossil fuel used in the mining process.

On top of dogecoin, Musk may explore cryptocurrencies including ether, Cardano’s ADA, XRP and Chia, all of which have a less significant environmental footprint compared to bitcoin.

Researchers and the crypto community are divided on bitcoin’s environmental impact – Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest published research on Thursday arguing bitcoin mining actually helps the environment, whereas Bank of America said earlier this year bitcoin uses more energy a year than American Airlines.

Tesla shares were last up 1.98% in premarket trading on Friday, after Musk’s tweet about exploring dogecoin as a payment option.

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Elon Musk’s abrupt reversal on bitcoin conflicts with research from Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest that argues mining is actually environmentally beneficial

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Cathie Wood is the founder, CEO, and CIO of ARK Investment Management. Elon Musk is the SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO.

Elon Musk’s abrupt reversal on bitcoin Wednesday evening conflicts not only with his previous stance by holding bitcoin himself and investing for Tesla but also with research from Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest.

The star stock picker’s firm in April argued that mining bitcoin is actually environmentally beneficial.

Mining cryptocurrencies, bitcoin included, can increase the overall share of renewable energy provision to the grid, according to an April post from Ark research director Brett Winton and co-authors Yassine Elmandjra and Sam Korus, as first reported by Bloomberg.

“Bitcoin mining could encourage investment in solar energy systems, enabling renewables to generate a higher percentage of grid power with no change in the cost of electricity,” the authors said in the post.

Without bitcoin mining, they added, “solar could supply only 40% of grid power before utilities would face the need to fund significant investments with higher electricity prices.”

Wood doubled down on her stance by tweeting to her nearly 900,000 followers in April that she is collaborating with Square to debunk the idea that bitcoin mining is detrimental to the environment.

Musk on Wednesday evening announced he is suspending the purchase of Tesla vehicles using bitcoin, citing environmental concerns.

“We are concerned about the rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk said in a tweet.

Musk did clarify that Tesla will not sell its bitcoin holdings, and instead, will use the digital currency for transactions as soon as “mining transitions to more sustainable energy.”

But as Bloomberg reported, Ark has a profit motive in promoting the positive environmental impacts of bitcoin. Ark is invested in Coinbase and Square, companies tied to the success of cryptocurrencies and which have slumped following Musk’s announcement.

Three out of six of Wood’s exchange-traded funds – Ark Innovation ETF, ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF, and ARK Next Generation Internet ETF – count Tesla as their top holding.

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Crypto bulls challenge Elon Musk’s environmental concerns on bitcoin – but billionaire Mike Novogratz takes a softer stance

Elon Musk
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk.

The crypto community was swift to reject Elon Musk’s decision late on Wednesday to halt payment in bitcoin for Tesla vehicles due to environmental concerns, suggesting that renewable energy is largely used to mine the popular cryptocurrency.

“We are concerned about the rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk said in a tweet Wednesday.

Here’s how some bitcoin bulls reacted to Musk’s announcement:

“Ironic because no incremental energy is used in a #bitcoin transaction. The energy is used to secure the crypto-asset network, and the net impact on fossil fuel consumption over time will be negative, all things considered.” – MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor.

“Elon probably did not research how much energy is required to run other (non crypto) currencies that Tesla accepts.” – Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

“Elon … you realize that 75% of miners use renewable energy, right? This energy story has been debunked over and over again.” – Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano.

“When Elon realizes that bitcoin mining is actually pushing the renewable energy industry forward, he will refresh position and #bitcoin will moon.” – co-founder and president at crypto exchange Gemini Cameron Winklevoss.

“FWIW, Bitcoin mining is a massive subsidy for renewable energy.” – co-founder and CEO at Gemini Tyler Winklevoss.

“We at Mavs.com will continue to accept BTC/Eth/Doge because we know that replacing gold as a store of value will help the environment and shrinking big bank and coin usage will benefit society and the environment.” – Dallas Mavericks owner and investor Mark Cuban.

Novogratz and El-Erian were less at odds with Musk:

“My take on @elonmusk is to take him at his word. He cares about the environment and he is using his considerable influence to push BTC mining towards a greener future. Lots of companies in the space have already been working on this. Stay tuned. And buy $BTC.” – Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz.

“This unexpected development has placed pressure on #Bitcoin. @elonmusk and @Tesla were front runners in the process of private sector adoption of the #crypto #currency, opening the way for others to follow. The reasons for this apparent U-turn are not yet clear.” – Allianz chief economist and president of Queens’ College, Cambridge University Mohamed El-Erian.

Musk appears to have changed his stance

The self-proclaimed “Technoking” had only recently agreed with Twitter boss Jack Dorsey by saying bitcoin “incentivizes” renewable energy. Dorsey’s Square payments company and Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest asset management firm had collaborated on research that suggested bitcoin mining isn’t environmentally-damaging.

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He now says Tesla will look at using other cryptocurrencies that take up less than 1% of bitcoin’s energy use for transactions.

Bitcoin dropped as much as 15% at one point following Musk’s tweet to trade around $46,350, but recovered to around $50,850 as of 3:45 a.m. ET on Thursday.

“In some capacity, distancing the brand from bitcoin could win some ESG love,” Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone Financial, said.

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Tesla suspends bitcoin payments for vehicle purchases over the negative environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining

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Elon Musk.

  • Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases made using bitcoin, according to a tweet from CEO Elon Musk.
  • Crypto “is a good idea … but this cannot come at great cost to the environment,” Musk said.
  • Tesla reported buying $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in February.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases made using bitcoin, according to a tweet from CEO Elon Musk.

“We are concerned about the rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk said in a tweet Wednesday.

Tesla reported buying $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in February.

The electric-car maker will sell its bitcoin but intends to use the digital currency for transactions as soon as “mining transitions to more sustainable energy,” Musk said.

Musk has personally supported investment in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and dogecoin. Cambridge’s Centre for Alternative Finance reported bitcoin’s energy consumption – which is more than American Airlines, according to one measure – jumped 80% since the beginning of 2020.

“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment,” Musk said.

Bitcoin’s energy consumption has recently come under scrutiny. Ars Technica reported a private-equity firm revived a defunct coal-fired power plant largely to mine bitcoin. And The Washington Post said the Iranian government blamed a power outage on bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency advocates defend bitcoin by saying miners increasingly rely on renewable energy sources, but estimates vary widely about how much that’s the case, with studies saying anywhere from 39 to 74% of the bitcoin network’s energy usage is green.

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Dogecoin scammers pocketed millions by exploiting Elon Musk’s SNL appearance through giveaway schemes on YouTube

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Elon Musk with his mother Maye during the SNL monologue on Saturday, May 8.

  • Con artists netted dogecoin worth $5 million through fake giveaways during Elon Musk’s SNL hosting.
  • Victims were tricked into believing they would receive twice the amount of dogecoin sent to fake addresses.
  • The misleading YouTube videos were taken down on Sunday in an attempt to conceal activity.
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Dogecoin investors eagerly awaited Elon Musk’s Saturday Night Live skit last week, expecting his remarks to send the meme-coin to new highs.

Quite the opposite happened. Not only did the cryptocurrency tank 30% over the weekend, but the Dogecoin community was led on by con artists attempting to trick them out of their holdings.

A report published by blockchain intelligence provider TRM Labs detailed how the fraudsters manipulated Musk’s promotion of the digital currency, pocketing dogecoin worth $5 million at the time of the scam.

Here’s how the scam worked:

During the SNL telecast, viewers who searched for “Elon Musk SNL” on YouTube could see multiple livestreams that seemed to be hosted by the NBC show. They were actually being run by scammers.

The livestreams publicized links to unique websites that viewers could visit to receive dogecoin.

A message carried on the broadcasts read: “Elon Musk has devoted 500,000,000 DOGE to be distributed to all DOGE holders. Anybody can get some, just visit the website.”

This was perhaps somewhat believable as his followers expected the billionaire’s SNL hosting would pump the digital asset.

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Users were asked to transfer dogecoin to a specified blockchain address with the assurance that they would receive double the amount sent.

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As of May 9, the report showed scammer addresses received about 9.7 million dogecoin worth $5 million at the time. Initial findings noted most inflows were sent to the wallets by the owners themselves, falsely creating the illusion that they were legitimate accounts.

Most of these videos were taken down on Sunday in an attempt to cover any tracks.

One victim that fell for the scam warned others on the Dogecoin subreddit, saying: “Don’t fall for it like I did. The website won’t send you back twice the amount of coins you send them. I just went from having savings for this first time in my life to 60 bucks left in my pocket.”

“Giveaway scams are not new,” TRM Labs said. “According to the FBI, Mass Marketing Fraud schemes – like crypto giveaway scams – ‘victimize millions of Americans each year and generate losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.'”

Dogecoin rebounds after Musk hints Tesla could accept it as payment

The digital asset recouped some losses by climbing as much as 20% to 55 cents on Tuesday. Musk ran a poll asking his followers whether they wanted his electric-vehicle maker to accept dogecoin as payment.

Most respondents said “Yes,” while about 20% didn’t think it was a good idea.

“As much of the value in Doge is speculative or perception driven, Elon seems to have anointed Doge as the de facto cryptocurrency with what seems to be a half-humorous, half-financial decision,” EdoziĆ© Izegbu, founder and managing director of digital-art for crypto platform Chimera, said. “The real question to be wary of is how long can this joke last.”

The meme-inspired cryptocurrency is up more than 11,000% so far this year, while bitcoin is up 90%.

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Tesla stock drops as China sales decline 27% in April

Tesla Model 3
Tesla’s Model 3.

  • Tesla shares fell by more than 7% on Tuesday following sales data from China.
  • The electric vehicle maker’s sales fell 27% in April from March, according to China’s Passenger Car Association.
  • Tesla has been facing PR issues in China that hurt monthly sales, said Wedbush.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla shares dropped Tuesday after the electric vehicle maker’s monthly sales in China fell by on a double-digit percentage basis, setting the stock on course for a second consecutive session of losses.

The company sold 25,845 vehicles made in China in April, a fall of 27% from the 35,478 vehicles sold in March, the China Passenger Car Association reportedly said Tuesday.

In a separate report from Reuters, Tesla, due to uncertainty created by tensions between the US and China, has put on hold plans to buy land to expand its flagship plant in Shanghai into a global export hub. The report cited people familiar with the matter.

Tesla dropped as much as 7.3% to $583.20 during premarket trade then pared the fall to 1.7% after the regular trading session began. Losses on Tuesday would add to the stock’s 6.5% drop on Monday when fears of rising inflation prompted a selloff in the broader tech sector. The shares, however, have jumped by roughly 288% over the past 12 months.

The company’s market share gains stagnated against domestic vehicle makers Nio, Xpeng, and Li Auto in April as the company faced “a handful of negative PR issues in China” related in part to safety issues and a protest at the Shanghai Auto Expo, said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives in a note Tuesday.

“Taking a step back, Tesla is clearly facing chip shortage issues which is putting more pressure on production and logistics to fulfill demand globally and speaks to more cars heading to Europe this month than the Street expected,” Ives said, adding that Tesla’s overall China demand appears on track for an annual run rate of at least 300,000 units and is poised to represent about 40% of deliveries for Tesla by 2022.

“That said, clearly Musk & Co. need to play nice in the sandbox with Beijing and smooth out PR issues in the region which have been a black eye for Tesla over the last month and clearly impacted China sales negatively in the month of April,” said Ives, referring to Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk. Wedbush maintained its outperform rating on Tesla and its $1,000 price target.

Meanwhile, Musk on Tuesday tweeted a poll asking his followers if they want Tesla to accept the dogecoin cryptocurrency as payment. Earlier this year, Musk said Tesla would begin accepting bitcoin as payment for its vehicles.

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Police issue an arrest warrant for a YouTuber who got into SpaceX’s Texas launch site and filmed the Starship rocket

Elon Musk Starship
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk next to a Starship rocket prototype.

  • Police have issued an arrest warrant for a YouTuber who got into a SpaceX facility in South Texas in March.
  • Caesar L. Galaviz filmed himself walking around the SpaceX launch site, and got close to the Starship SN11 rocket.
  • The sheriff of Cameron County said an arrest warrant has been issued for Galaviz.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Police are looking for a YouTube creator who entered SpaceX’s launch site in South Texas and filmed close-up videos of SpaceX’s SN11 Starship rocket.

In late March, Caesar L. Galaviz got into the Boca Chica base of Elon Musk’s aerospace company without any security stopping him. He filmed himself wandering around the launch site and walking underneath the 16-story-tall prototype Starship. He then uploaded the video to his YouTube channel, which is called Loco VlogS.

Sheriff Eric Garza of Cameron County tweeted on Monday that police had issued an arrest warrant for Galaviz “for intentionally going onto the SpaceX property without their consent.”

Garza said Galaviz’s last known location was Conroe, Texas.

Galaviz recorded videos with the Starship prototype days before it burst into flames when landing during a test flight. The rocket was on stilts, so Galaviz couldn’t touch it.

This was the fourth Starship rocket to explode – but SpaceX’s most recent Starship test, on May 5, was successful.

Galaviz later deleted the video, which got five likes and 100 dislikes, but another YouTube account reuploaded the recording on March 31.

Galaviz posted an apology video on April 1, saying his actions were “wrong” and “illegal.”

“In my eyes, in that time of moment, I didn’t really think about that,” he said.

Galaviz told Insider in April that he entered the premises because he thought it would make a good video for his YouTube subscribers. “I hope that the SpaceX community can forgive me for my actions,” he said.

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Tesla has scrapped plans to expand its Shanghai Model 3 factory, and will slow production in China because of US-Beijing tensions, according to a report

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Elon Musk walks with former Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong in 2019

Tesla no longer intends to buy land to increase capacity at its Shanghai factory, Reuters reported.

Tesla also plans a general slowdown in China-based production despite soaring revenues in the country, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The electric-car maker was expected to bid on a plot of land next to its Shanghai factory, but did not make a bid, the sources said. The plot was about about half the size of its current 80-hectare facility, they said.

Tesla has never publicly said it wanted to buy the plot of land. The company told Reuters its Shanghai plant was “developing as planned.”

Local media reports showed construction next to Tesla’s Shanghai plant last month.

The facility makes 450,000 Model 3 and Model Y cars every year, and with the extra space Tesla could have made an extra 200,000 vehicles, the sources said.

Tesla sells its China-made Model 3 cars in Europe, and had considered exporting to more markets including the US, sources said.

The company has now decided to slow down its China output due, in part, to an extra 25% tariff on China-made vehicles imported into the US introduced by former President Donald Trump in 2018, sources told Reuters.

The company made $3 billion in revenue in China in its first quarter, or 30% of its total revenue, but faces a potential regulatory clampdown from state authorities.

Chinese regulators met with Tesla representatives in February after a series of customer complaints about the safety of its vehicles. Since October, the automaker has recalled nearly 85,000 vehicles in China for suspension failures and problems with their touchscreen.

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Autopilot couldn’t have been engaged during fatal Tesla crash, NTSB says

Texas Tesla Crash.
The remains of a Tesla vehicle are seen after it crashed, killing two people, in The Woodlands, Texas, on April 17, 2021.

  • The NTSB on Monday released a preliminary investigation into a fatal Tesla crash in April.
  • The agency said its tests indicate Autopilot cannot be used on the road where the crash happened.
  • Local police initially said there was no driver at the wheel when the accident occurred.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Monday released preliminary findings from its investigation into a fatal Tesla crash in April, offering new details about the incident but leaving key questions unanswered.

The agency said security camera footage from the owner’s Houston-area residence showed him entering the driver’s seat of the 2019 Model S. The passenger entered the front passenger’s seat. Video then showed the car traveling roughly 550 feet before skipping over the curb and crashing into a tree.

Autosteer, a key feature of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance system could not have been enabled on the stretch of road where the incident occurred, the agency said, confirming Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s assertions in the wake of the crash.

In tests, the NTSB said it was able to switch on Traffic-Aware Cruise Control – which can maintain speed and distance from other cars – but not Autosteer, the automatic steering feature that makes up the rest of Autopilot’s main capabilities.

The Texas incident attracted a large of media attention when local police said they believed nobody was driving the sedan when it barreled off the road and burst into flames. First responders found the victims’ bodies in the front passenger’s seat and the back seat of the car, according to police and the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office.

But Tesla has disputed that initial characterization of the events. Musk tweeted that the car did not have Autopilot engaged and that the system can’t function on the street where the crash occurred because it does not have lane markings. A Tesla executive said on an April conference call that the company believes someone was driving the car when it crashed.

The NTSB’s investigation is still ongoing, and the agency said its report may be supplemented or corrected over time.

The crash and subsequent fire destroyed the car’s onboard storage device, the NTSB said. However, the car’s restraint-control module, which logs data about vehicle speed, acceleration, seatbelts, and airbags, was recovered and is being evaluated by investigators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also launched a probe into the crash but has not yet released any findings.

Tesla, which is cooperating with the investigation, did not immediately return a request for comment.

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Why Elon Musk has Warren Buffett and other celebrity CEOs to thank for his ‘Saturday Night Live’ hosting gig

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Elon Musk.

  • Warren Buffett helped pave the way for Elon Musk to host “Saturday Night Live.”
  • The famed investor and the Tesla and SpaceX CEO have both transcended corporate America.
  • Buffett and Musk have followed in the footsteps of other celebrity CEOs, experts say.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Elon Musk may not be the biggest fan of Warren Buffett, but he might have the investor to thank for his “Saturday Night Live” hosting gig.

“There’s no question that Warren Buffett and other celebrity CEOs – including a real-estate developer named Donald Trump – helped pave the way for Elon Musk to cross over from the corporate world to pop culture,” Dave Ketchen, a management professor at Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business, told Insider.

Buffett became one of the world’s wealthiest people by picking stocks, striking deals, and buying companies. The investor has also transcended corporate America; he’s inspired scores of magazine covers, books, and documentaries, made cameo appearances on episodes of “The Office” and “All My Children,” and continues to star in an animated children’s TV show called “Secret Millionaires Club.”

Berkshire Hathaway’s billionaire CEO has also mentored pop-culture icons such as LeBron James and Jay-Z, and campaigned for politicians including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Buffett’s face even featured on cans of Cherry Coke in China.

Musk has followed Buffett in becoming a household name. He’s made cameo appearances on “The Big Bang Theory” and “Iron Man 2,” and has attracted vast amounts of free publicity for his companies and assets such as bitcoin and dogecoin.

“People feel personally invested in Musk and his success,” Ketchen told Insider, emphasizing that many of the executive’s fans watched him turn Tesla from a scrappy startup into a $600 billion company, and reignite mainstream interest in space exploration with SpaceX.

“As corporations continue to grow and represent some of the most powerful and influential organizations in the world, CEOs have become celebrities worthy of attention,” Scott Graffin, a management professor at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, told Insider. As more CEOs realize the value of a public profile, it “almost becomes an arms race” to stand out from the crowd, he added.

Graffin highlighted former General Motors CEO Lee Iaccoca as one of the first celebrity CEOs, and General Electric’s ex-CEO Jack Welch as another major one.

Buffett and Musk are part of the same tradition, leveraging their shared talent for self-promotion to garner global fame and attention. Musk’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” is just the latest example of that trend in action.

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