Elon Musk loses £10 billion in a single day after tweet about Bitcoin

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Elon Musk is no longer the world's richest person after losing $15 billion (£10 billion) in a single day.

Tesla shares have fallen more than 20% in recent weeks after a risky investment in Bitcoin.

The cryptocurrency itself has dropped almost 20% since Sunday and was trading at less than $48,000 (£34,000) on Tuesday.

Mr Musk has been blamed for sending the stock of both companies tumbling after he tweeted over the weekend that the prices of Bitcoin (as well as smaller cryptocurrency Ether) "do seem high".

The Tesla CEO, who is notorious for his Twitter habit, got into a debate with economist Peter Schiff over Mr Musk's comments that Bitcoin is "almost as BS as fiat money".

Fiat money is a term for government-issued currency with no intrinsic value, as opposed to a currency like gold.

Mr Musk retorted to Schiff's tweet with his own which read: "An email saying you have gold is not the same as having gold. You might as well have crypto.

"Money is just data that allows us to avoid the inconvenience of barter.

"That data, like all data, is subject to latency & error. The system will evolve to that which minimises both."

He added: "That said, BTC & ETH do seem high lol."

In a later Twitter exchange with Mr Schiff, the tech billionaire simply responded with an eggplant emoji.

Two weeks earlier Tesla announced the company had added $1.5 billion (£1 billion) worth of Bitcoin to its balance sheet, which triggered a 50% price jump in the cryptocurrency's stock value.

It also said it would start accepting Bitcoin as payment for its products.

Analysts say Tesla's embrace of the controversial digital asset means investors have started to associate it with Bitcoin, and its share prices could start to suffer accordingly.

Tesla shares currently make up the lion's share of Mr Musk's wealth, who was declared the world's wealthiest person last month when his net worth skyrocketed to an eye-watering $185 billion (£136 billion).

This week's decline in the company's share price was the biggest since September and wiped more than $15 billion from its founder's net worth in a single day, Bloomberg reports.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who will step down as CEO later this year, is once again the richest human in the world with a net worth of $193 billion (£136 billion) at last calculation.

  • Elon Musk
  • Twitter
  • Money

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