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Bitcoin flash crash knocks Elon Musk off rich list top spot

Comments from the Tesla boss that prices of the cryptocurrency "do seem high" sent Bitcoin tumbling and sparked a domino effect that also hit shares in the electric car maker, wiping over US$15bn off Musk's net worth

Tesla Inc - Bitcoin price crash knocks Elon Musk off rich list top spot

A sharp drop in the price of Bitcoin overnight has cost Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) boss Elon Musk his status as the world’s richest man after the decline in the value of the cryptocurrency was accompanied by a drop in the share price of the electric car maker.

Bitcoin’s slide, which saw it fall around 12.1% to US$49,696 over the last 24 hours, seemed to have been sparked by Musk himself, who tweeted over the weekend that prices of the cryptocurrency and fellow digital token Ether “do seem high lol”.

The comments came as Bitcoin notched another record over the weekend, reaching a high of around US$58,000 before the ‘flash crash’.

The sharp decline also hit shares in Tesla, which unveiled a US$1.5bn investment in Bitcoin in early February, with the stock ending Monday’s session on Wall Street down around 8.6% at US$714.50.

Tesla’s stumble has also cost Musk personally around US$15.2bn through his holdings in the company, meaning he is no longer the world’s richest man and will likely be replaced at the top of the list by Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) head Jeff Bezos.

“There is little doubt that it’s less than ideal for a ‘safe haven’ asset to follow one man’s words to the letter. Bitcoin remains highly volatile, and unpredictable – unless you can predict Elon Musk thoughts in advance”, said Swissquote analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya.

“Bitcoin remains highly volatile, and unpredictable – unless you can predict Elon Musk thoughts in advance. Therefore, it’s difficult to say what’s the upside potential in this market, though we know that the downside potential is huge,” she added.

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NASDAQ:TSLA
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