The meme-inspired digital asset tumbled 20% to trade around 40 cents. Litecoin fell 14%, while Ripple’s XRP and Ethereum’s ether lost 11% – having each dropped more than 20% from their peaks.
Bitcoin dropped as much as 15% on Thursday, prompting a knock-on effect for other digital currencies, as the entire crypto market value wiped off as much as $365 billion at one point.
The sell-off is being driven by a number of factors, according to Simon Peters, a crypto-asset analyst at investment platform eToro.
“Valuations were at or near all-time highs earlier this month, so there will naturally be some profit-taking, while we are also seeing a general sell-off among risk assets – such as technology stocks – as economies start to unlock post the pandemic and investors fret over potential rate rises and higher inflation,” he said.
But he expects buyers to return to cryptocurrencies in the coming weeks to take advantage of lower prices.
An overall drop in the crypto market saw “#cryptocurrencies” trending on Twitter with many users reacting to the sudden surprise that Musk delivered.
Musk, who has regularly tweeted about dogecoin, said he was concerned about “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining and transactions.” Only earlier this week, he teased that Tesla could accept payments in dogecoin.
But dogecoin was already suffering a bad week after Musk’s “Saturday Night Live” appearance, at which he called it a “hustle.” The digital asset is down 32% this week so far.
“Bitcoin will not last as a financial instrument with the underlying climate damage it causes through carbon emissions,” Jeff Schumacher, CEO and founder of New Asset Exchange, said.
“In a post COVID-19 world, as the focus of companies shifts back to climate concerns, bitcoin’s poor environmental credentials – the CO2 production it is responsible for – will make companies and governments unwilling to use it as they attempt to green their image and push towards a net-zero world.”
Elon Musk on Friday said his aerospace company SpaceX may attempt another blast off of its fifth Starship rocket soon, following its successful landing on Wednesday.
Starship serial No. 15, or SN15, lifted off from SpaceX’s launch facilities in Boca Chica, Texas, and flew to high altitude, before plunging back down to Earth and landing smoothly back on the landing pad.
The latest version of the mega-spaceship was the only version to not explode, taking SpaceX closer to adding another reusable launch vehicle to its collection. The previous four Starship prototypes burst into flames either during or shortly after landing.
These prototypes are the upper stage of a two-part system. SpaceX want to add on a Super Heavy booster, which will fire the rocket towards orbit, the moon and eventually Mars. The idea is that Starship will return to Earth so the mission can be repeated again and again.
A final version of the 16-story tall Starship rocket is set to land the first humans on the moon since 1972 under an exclusive contract with NASA. The spaceship will send two astronauts to the moon as early as 2024.
Meanwhile, progressive consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen, also reshared the post, saying Musk should “do a skit where you donate the $126,000,000,000 you added to your wealth during the pandemic.”
Musk is the second-richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $184 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. His wealth more than quintupled during the COVID-19 pandemic – Insider reported in January that his net worth increased 545% from January 2020 to 2021. However, his wealth is primarily tied up in his companies.
The Service Employees International Union also replied: “Let your workers form a union without trying to intimidate them,” and linked a New York Times article about Tesla firing an employee for organizing a union, which the National Labor Relations Board ruled illegal in March.
The tycoon also received suggestions from other Twitter users about how his sketch should revolve around him denying the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the start of the pandemic, Musk has spread misinformation about coronavirus case numbers, calling the panic around the deadly virus “dumb” on March 6.
The billionaire also suggested “Baby Shark & Shark Tank merge to form Baby Shark Tank.”
NBC announced in late April that Musk would be hosting the May 8 episode of the long-running, late-night comedy show SNL. Donald Trump was invited to host the show in 2015, which brought the show’s highest ratings in years.
Across the Atlantic, SpaceX is planning exactly the same thing. The only difference is that Musk’s company is way ahead of OneWeb. It currently has around 1,300 satellites at 550 kilometres in orbit and plans to launch 42,000 by mid-2027.
OneWeb plans to have 648 satellites at 1,200 km in orbit to provide a global service. The company’s most recent launch on March 25 took it up to 146 satellites.
“We’re beginning to think less is more,” said Chris McLaughlin, chief of government, regulation and engagement at OneWeb.
He told Insider that the main issue in the space industry right now is “the sheer number of satellites that Musk and Jeff Bezos want to put up.”
Amazon-founder Bezos hasn’t launched any satellites yet but aims to get a fleet of 3,236 in orbit in the near future for its Project Kuiper.
“[Musk and Bezos] both want to put them up in the same place at 550 km and have nobody else in their way,” McLaughlin said.
Thursday’s launch was the second out of five OneWeb launches this year to deliver internet coverage to the top of the globe down to the 50th degree latitude, according to McLaughlin. This includes Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, the Nordic countries, and northern Europe.
The fifth launch will be in June, when OneWeb aims to provide broadband to the whole of the UK. By mid-2022, areas down to 21 degrees latitude will be covered, McLaughlin said, including the rest of Europe and parts of Africa.
Put in comparison with Starlink, which operates across six countries worldwide, OneWeb seems to lag behind. But the London-based company says its tactics are deliberately slower.
“Do you want the low Earth orbit completely messed up because of collisions between two billionaires satellites?” McLaughlin said. “Or would you prefer a more gradualist approach, like OneWeb is doing?”
The way that the big space companies are launching thousands of satellites is “not a responsible way forward for the next generations to be able to benefit from space,” according to McLaughlin, who added that OneWeb is “adopting a more responsible use of space.”
How OneWeb’s technology works
OneWeb works around a business-t0-business model – it delivers internet service to existing telecommunications companies who then distribute the internet to homes and businesses. OneWeb will leave the pricing for the telecom firms to set because “they know their customers best,” McLaughlin said.
Musk’s SpaceX, on the other hand, targets consumers directly with its satellite internet. So far, it’s gained more than 10,000 users and already plans to connect moving vehicles, such as trucks and planes, to Starlink. Users can set up the $499 Starlink kit, including a tripod, a WiFi router, and a terminal, from their own home
“We are not going down the ‘send you a box and tell you to install it’ route,” said McLaughlin. Instead, OneWeb users may have a wifi antenna mounted on their house, rather than a satellite dish.
Like Starlink, OneWeb could be part of the UK’s government’s $6.9 billion Project Gigabit internet plan, which aims to provide faster broadband to more than 1 million homes and businesses in rural areas of the country. SpaceX reportedly took part in discussions with a UK minister on March 22.
McLaughlin confirmed that OneWeb is also included in the plans for Project Gigabit and has “held ministerial and other discussions.”
Neil Masterson said in an interview with CNBC on March 25 that the company “has been speaking to various elements of the government” and other organizations in the UK.
Now that the UK is joining the likes of Starlink, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, and Canada’s Telesat, McLaughlin said it’s exciting for the British economy to have a slice of the space industry too.
“Who knew that Britain was in the space business?” he said.
Billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya also joined the Reddit frenzy by excitedly announcing he bought 50 call options in GameStop with a strike price of $115 and an expiration date of February 19.
Scores of WallStreetBets users have driven the video-game retailer’s stock to record highs, while targeting short-sellers like Gabe Plotkin’s Melvin Capital and Maple Lane Capital.
The online stock-investing chat group now has over 2.4 million members. Their battle against institutional short-sellers on GameStop has led to an eye-popping 750% rally in 2021 as retail traders grabbed the opportunity to make money off a short squeeze of institutional investors.
“These are not normal times and while the r/wallstreetbets thing is fascinating to watch, I can’t help but think that this is unlikely to end well for someone,” said Jim Reid, a managing director of cross-asset research at Deutsche Bank.
Legendary investor Michael Burry criticized retail investor behavior on Tuesday for working to boost GameStop’s stock and target Wall Street shorts, calling it “unnatural, insane, and dangerous.”
GameStop shares closed $147.98 a share on Tuesday, but were last trading 105% higher around $301 a share as of 9:50 a.m. ET.
Tesla is coming closer to launching sales in India later this year.
The electric vehicle giant has now registered a company in the country, Reuters reported, citing documents filed on Tuesday.
India is home to the world’s second largest population and fifth biggest car market.
The company, called Tesla Motors India and Energy Private Limited, was incorporated on January 8, Reuters reported. Its office is registered in Bangalore, a city in the south that has become the country’s technology hub, and it has three listed directors.
The company’s registration came less than two weeks after Nitin Gadkari, India’s transport minister, told The Indian Express that Tesla would launch operations in India in “early 2021.” The company would start with sales then potentially moving on to assembly and manufacturing, he said.
CEO Elon Musk has been teasing Tesla’s entry into the Indian market for years.
“Next year for sure,” he said in October in response to a tweet asking when Tesla would sell its electric cars in India.
The Indian government is pushing for a boost in electric vehicle sales as it increasingly focuses on cutting emissions and other sustainability measures.
In September 2017, the government said all of the roughly 250 million vehicles on the road must be electric by 2030. But after fierce criticism, the government lowered this target to just 30% in February 2018.
And Delhi, the national capital, will have as many as 2,000 electric public transport buses by the end of 2021, the city’s transport minister Kailash Gahlot announced in August 2020. The ministry for power is also looking into setting up electric vehicle charging points at all gas stations in Delhi, he added.
“I am confident that in five years Indian will become the number one hub for manufacturing electric buses, cars and two-wheelers,” Nitin Gadkari, the county’s minister of road transport and highways, said in June.
“It is interesting, and highly ambitious, to see that (Musk) is hoping to make inroads in a country which has a reputation for huge levels of air pollution, particularly in the big cities,” Sam Bailey from intellectual property firm Mewburn Ellis told Insider.
“It is also evidence of his belief that Tesla is now getting closer to a price point that is attractive and affordable for people in all economies and no longer the preserve of the very rich early adopters of new technology.”
India is the third-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, after China and the US, according to the World Economic Forum, and accounts for around 7% of total global emissions.
“Tesla has rightly identified India as a market with great demand growth potential,” David Leggett, automotive analyst at GlobalData, said. “There is a large and affluent middle class developing in its many urban centres.”
“India has a population comparable in size to that of China – it is approaching 1.5 billion people – but its car market is only around 3 million, around a tenth of China’s. Over the next five years, we expect India’s car market to double in size, with electric vehicles increasing their share.”
Then in March 2019, he tweeted: “Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!” when asked when Tesla would launch sales there.
As Tesla plans its launch into the Indian markets, other vehicle manufacturers continue to pull out.
In September, Harley-Davidson announced it would stop manufacturing in India, despite its status as the world’s largest motorcycle market, and Toyota said that same month it was halting a planned expansion due to India’s high tax regime.
General Motors left India in 2017 after failing to expand its market share, and Ford said in October 2019 it was moving the majority of its assets into a joint venture with Indian vehicle firm Mahindra & Mahindra.
Earlier this month Tesla announced it had begun producing Model Y vehicles in China, the world’s largest car market, which experts say could be crucial to Tesla’s success. It also slashed the pre-order sales price for the vehicle by 30%.
SpaceX launched a capsule carrying a roast turkey, live mice, and meteorite samples to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday morning.
It marked the 21st commercial resupply mission for Elon Musk’s aerospace giant, and the first flight of SpaceX’s updated Dragon cargo ship.
The unmanned capsule, which was launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, Florida by a Falcon 9 rocket booster, is expected to arrive on Monday at 1:30 p.m. EST, after the mission was delayed by a day due to poor weather.
This mission is bringing around 6,400 pounds of supplies to the ISS, including around 4,400 pounds of research. This includes microbes and meteorite samples to investigate how microgravity affects biomining, 3D-engineered heart tissue, a medical device that will provide quick blood test results for astronauts, and a new airlock.
It will join another Dragon capsule that docked at the ISS last month, and it will be the first time SpaceX has had two capsules there at the same time. SpaceX is aiming to always have at least one Dragon docked at the ISS.
The new Dragon model can carry roughly 20% more weight than the previous one.
The capsule is also bringing 40 mice, which will be used to research the impact that living on the ISS can have on astronauts’ bones and eyes, AP reported.
The experiments make it the “the ultimate Christmas present” for NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Kenny Todd, NASA’s deputy space station program manager, said during a press conference on December 4
When asked whether the capsule was bringing personal presents to the ISS for the seven astronauts currently on board, Todd said: “Let’s see what happens when they open the hatch … I’m optimistic.”
Todd confirmed that the Dragon is bringing a festive meal for the astronauts, including roast turkey, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, shortbread biscuits, and tubes of icing.
The capsule will remain at the ISS for around a month before returning to Earth with experiments and old equipment.
The first stage of the Falcon 9 booster detached and landed on SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” in the Atlantic Ocean about nine minutes after launch. The ship catches falling boosters so that SpaceX can use them again.
The updated Dragon model is capable of up to five flights to and from the ISS, compared to three for the previous version, and can dock there by itself rather than using the ISS’s robot arm for anchoring.
It can also stay on the station more than twice as long as the previous version of Dragon, and can hold twice as many powered lockers, which preserve science and research samples during transport to and from Earth.
The flight was the first of at least nine agreed under a space resupply contract between SpaceX and NASA.