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Elon Musk break-up memes cut short bitcoin's price revival

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·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
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Watch: Crypto falls after Musk breakup tweet

The price of bitcoin (BTC-USD) and other crypto tokens fell on Friday as Tesla (TSLA) boss Elon Musk appeared to double down on his newfound scepticism of the world's biggest cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin was down 6.2% to $36,322 at 8.20am on Friday morning in London, cutting short a brief price revival that began a day earlier.

Bitcoin slumped on Friday following Musk's tweets. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK
Bitcoin slumped on Friday following Musk's tweets. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK

The slump came as Musk — the most closely watched figure in the crypto space — took aim at bitcoin on Twitter. The billionaire tweeted "#Bitcoin" with a broken heart emoji and a series of meme images about break-ups, appearing to reference his recent split with bitcoin and the bitcoin community.

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In February, Tesla had announced an investment of $1.5bn (£1bn) in bitcoin and said it was planning to accept the cryptocurrency as payment for its cars. Critics pointed out the hypocrisy of a supposedly environmentally friendly electric vehicle company accepting bitcoin, which uses a huge amount of electricity and has a large carbon footprint. Musk subsequently abandoned Tesla's payment plans, citing environmental concerns.

The loss of support has taken the air out of bitcoin's price rally. The cryptocurrency reached a record high above $63,500 in early April but has pulled back sharply since then. Musk withdrew support last month.

SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks on as he visits the construction site of Tesla's gigafactory in Gruenheide, near Berlin, Germany, on 17 May. Photo: Michele Tantussi/Reuters
SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks on as he visits the construction site of Tesla's gigafactory in Gruenheide, near Berlin, Germany, on 17 May. Photo: Michele Tantussi/Reuters

Bitcoin's decline has bled into the broader cryptocurrency market, which peaked in value at over $2tn earlier this year before reversing. The entire market was worth $1.63tn as of Friday, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.com. The market's value was down 7% over the last 24 hours.

Ethereum (ETH-USD) was down 7.8% to $2,615 on Friday morning and BinanceCoin (BNB-USD) was 10% lower at $371. 

Dogecoin (DOGE-USD) had rallied strongly earlier in the week after being listed on Coinbase Pro but the joke token was caught up in the wave of selling across the market. Dogecoin was down 15% to $0.36.

Watch: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?