Angry attendees of the world’s biggest Bitcoin conference lashed Elon Musk after his latest tweet about the cryptocurrency tanked its value by seven per cent.
One guest at the Miami event was seen wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘Stick to Space, Elon’ – a reference to Musk’s successful SpaceX business.
And others were even more blunt in their disdain for the Tesla tycoon, wearing tops that simply said ‘F**k Elon Musk.’
Musk was notably absent from the speakers list at this weekend’s Bitcoin 2021 convention – the largest such event ever organized for the burgeoning cryptocurrency.
Other guests who spoke include Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and boxer Floyd Mayweather – who was booed after claiming there would some day be another cryptocurrency as large as Bitcoin.
Musk attracted the ire of crypto investors with regular tweets supporting, or dismissing the currencies, with his outsize influence sending the value of the alternative payment methods up or down accordingly.
The latest drama saw Musk tweet a ‘heartbreak’ emoji with the word ‘Bitcoin’ alongside a meme about a couple breaking up over the boyfriend’s love for Linkin Park lyrics.
Panicked amateur investors speculated that the meme amounted to a disclosure that Tesla would liquidate the massive reserve of Bitcoin that it acquired for $1.3 billion, sparking a sell-off that sent Bitcoin down as much as 7 percent on the day.
Musk then mocked furious investors, posting a meme depicting a day trader crying as his portfolio plunged in value and replying ‘nice’ to an illustration of rival crypto Dogecoin. It was unclear what, if anything, any of the tweets meant.
Bitcoin, seen in a one-week chart, plunged after Elon Musk’s ‘breakup’ tweet
Musk seemed to be trolling furious investors with his follow-up tweet on Thursday
Musk was not on the list of invited speakers at a major Bitcoin conference in Miami, where Jack Dorsey (above) made headlines on Friday
Meanwhile in Miami on Friday, Musk was not on the list of invited speakers for what was billed as the world’s largest Bitcoin conference ever, and hostility toward the Tesla CEO was on full display.
Some conference attendees were spotted wearing T-shirts reading ‘F**k Elon Musk,’ and around town, someone had paid for billboards reading ‘Stick to Space, Elon.’
Promoters of Bitcoin seem to have grown frustrated with Musk, who appears to delight in moving markets with jokes on Twitter.
As Musk’s jokes wear thin, his ability to influence cryptocurrency prices has waned. As of Friday afternoon, Bitcoin had pared losses and stood at $36,903, down 4 percent on the day and up about 6 percent from a week ago.
At the Miami conference, being held over the weekend at the Mana Wynwood Convention Center, Jack Dorsey made headlines and burnished his credentials as a serious backer of Bitcoin.
Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter as well as the payment company Square, announced that Square is considering creating a non-custodial hardware wallet for Bitcoin
The logo of the crypto-currency conference Bitcoin 2021 Convention hangs above people buying drinks at a stand at the Mana Convention Center in Miami, Florida, on Friday
Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention. ‘I don’t understand everything about Bitcoin, but I do understand liberty,’ said Paul, 85
Boxer Floyd Mayweather was cheered as he walked on stage, but met by boos after he speculated: ‘I believe there’s gonna be another cryptocurrency just as large as Bitcoin’
Bitcoin wallets can be stored offline or online with cryptocurrency exchanges, venues where Bitcoin can be bought and sold for traditional currencies or other virtual coins.
With a non-custodial wallet, you have sole control of your private keys, which in turn control your cryptocurrency and prove the funds are yours.
With a custodial wallet, another party controls your private keys. Most custodial wallets are internet-based exchange wallets.
‘We don’t want to compete with other hardware wallets out there,’ Dorsey said. ‘We just want to take it to the next level and get to 100 more million people, which have non-custodial solutions.’
As Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies have gained in popularity, many companies have emerged to serve a growing need to protect these assets from online theft.
‘If we do it, we would build it entirely in the open, from software to hardware design, and in collaboration with the community,’ said Dorsey.
People attend the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, at the Mana Convention Center on Friday
Bitcoin 2021 is the world’s largest-ever crypto-currency conference, with a sold-out crowd of 12,000 attendees and thousands more throughout Miami
People listen as Jack Dorsey creator, co-founder, and Chairman of Twitter and co-founder & CEO of Square is seen on a screen as he speaks during the Bitcoin 2021 Convention
Former Rep. Ron Paul, the staunch libertarian and father of Sen. Rand Paul, also appeared on stage in Miami on Friday.
‘I don’t understand everything about Bitcoin, but I do understand liberty,’ said Paul, 85, to an enthusiastic reception from the crowd.
Paul, a longtime critic of fractional reserve banking, spoke out against the Federal Reserve and argued that Bitcoin could pave the way for a new liberty-focused monetary policy.
Former world welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather, who is scheduled to fight YouTuber Logan Paul on Sunday, also appeared at the conference.
Mayweather was met by boos after he appeared on stage wearing a shirt from a sponsor involved in the alternate cryptocurrency Ethereum, and speculated: ‘I believe there’s gonna be another cryptocurrency just as large as Bitcoin some day.’
Conference organizers were clear that the conference would be devoted to Bitcoin, not alternate coins, and the audience response to his remark was harsh.
Critics accuse Musk of ‘trolling’ Bitcoin community with immature tweets
Musk has been a major promoter of cryptocurrencies but has turned critical of Bitcoin since suspending Tesla plans to take it in payment for cars, owing to concerns about its energy use.
Tesla’s big position in Bitcoin and Musk’s large personal following set crypto markets on edge whenever he tweets.
Musk has previously said Tesla would not sell its Bitcoin, but his ‘breakup’ tweets on Thursday were enough to unsettle markets still fragile following May’s crash.
‘When Elon Musk tweets any crypto-related content, the market … expects a reaction,’ said Nick Spanos, co-founder of ZAP Protocol, a crypto project in Switzerland.
Many crypto specialists have struggled to understand the motives behind his tweets.
Musk’s tweets on cryptocurrency initially endeared him to the Bitcoin community, but now some accuse him of ‘trolling’ with his frequent outburst
Bitcoin is well off its peak but remains up 28% from the start of the year
‘He’s trolling the community,’ said Bobby Ong, co-founder of crypto data aggregator and analytics website CoinGecko.
Bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies are still recovering from a crash last month in the wake of that decision and on news of renewed regulatory scrutiny in China.
Telsa stock has now fallen by a third since it announced a $1.5 billion Bitcoin purchase in February, and Bitcoin is more than 40 percent below April’s record peak of $64,895.22.
The second biggest cryptocurrency, Ether, which tends to move in tandem with Bitcoin, also sank on Friday.
Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency perhaps most sensitive to Musk’s opinions as he helped to turn the coin, started as a joke, into a multi-billion dollar market valuation, also fell by more than 10 percent but pared losses in the afternoon Friday.