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Bitcoin plunges after Elon Musk hints Tesla may sell its crypto stake

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Elon Musk 
Elon Musk

Bitcoin slumped to its lowest price since February after Tesla boss Elon Musk implied that the electric carmaker could sell its cryptocurrency holdings.

The billionaire appeared to agree with a post on Twitter that said Tesla should divest its stake in the largest cryptocurrency, which at one point was worth $1.5bn (£1bn).

Mr Musk later followed up on the tweet, saying: "To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin."

Bitcoin fell by almost 10pc to below $45,000 for the first time in nearly three months on Sunday night, before paring some losses to be just under $45,200.

The digital currency had been trading above $50,000 on Friday.

Elon Musk tweet - Twitter
Elon Musk tweet - Twitter

The slump was triggered by a tweet to the Tesla chief executive that said: "Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their Bitcoin holdings. With the amount of hate [Elon Musk] is getting, I wouldn’t blame him."

Mr Musk replied saying: "Indeed."

Antoni Trenchev, of London-based crypto lender Nexo, said Mr Musk “has to wake up to the reality that with his following, even single-worded tweets can move markets”.

It comes less than a week after Mr Musk knocked nearly $10,000 off the price of the cryptocurrency after he announced that Tesla had stopped accepting Bitcoin as payment for its cars due to concerns about its carbon emissions.

He said the company had stopped vehicle purchases with the virtual currency due to "rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining".

The mercurial boss has been one of the cryptocurrency’s highest profile supporters and announced earlier this year that the company had invested $1.5bn in Bitcoin.

Mr Musk has also been seen as responsible for a wild surge in the price of Dogecoin, a joke cryptocurrency based on an internet meme that peaked in 2013.

Dogecoin's price recently fell after the Tesla boss called its a "hustle" during an episode of Saturday Night Live. It fell a further 10pc to 47 cents on Sunday.

Tesla was contacted for comment.

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