Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears to have finally come around to, after years of observing it, making comments about it but remaining gently skeptical about it.
Until now, the biggest indication that this may have happened came last Friday when he changed his Twitter bio to read "#Bitcoin"—inadvertently pumping its price by $8,000. But last night on audio chat app Clubhouse, he gave his clearest statement yet.
"I am a supporter of bitcoin. I am late to the party but a supporter. Bitcoin is on the verge of getting broad acceptance by traditional finance people," he told his audience, according to Forbes.
But what about other cryptocurrencies? Well, not so much. He added that he "doesn't have a strong opinion on other cryptocurrencies."
Musk had to be careful, too. After adding one word to his Twitter bio sentskyrocketing, he realized how big of an effect he carries in this nascent, relatively undersized market. So, it was no surprise that he added, "I have to be careful what I say, it can affect the market."
Musk falls down the Bitcoin rabbit hole
Musk's road to Bitcoin has been a long one. Some of his first thoughts about Bitcoin came during a January 2020 interview with the Third Row Tesla podcast, where he said that Bitcoin had some limited use but that it wouldn't become the main currency of the future.
“Where I see crypto as is effectively a replacement for cash. But not as a replacement for a primary—I do not see crypto being the primary database,” he said, at the time.
Cut to earlier this month when he both expressed a similar view, but also seemed to acknowledge that Bitcoin might have a greater purpose. When engaging in tweets with Parallax Digital CEO Robert Breedlove, Musk argued that, "We should look at currencies from an information theory standpoint. Whichever has least error & latency will win.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 31, 2021
This obviously puts Bitcoin at a disadvantage. It can only process 7 transactions per second, well below rates that would be needed to process every transaction in the world. But, as someone in the discussion pointed out, Bitcoin can work in addition to fiat currencies, providing a hedge against inflation. To this, Musk replied, "Good point," either recognizing the point, or learning something new.
It was only two weeks later that he changed this Twitter bio and made his recent comments that he's now a Bitcoin supporter. The only question that remains is whether he still owns a paltry (relative to his net worth) 0.25 Bitcoin or if he has started making use of MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor's playbook.