Billionaire Elon Musk is a huge fan of cutting-edge technology and is usually ahead of the curve when it comes to finance, but he's not a bitcoin bull. The co-founder of Tesla Inc. revealed on Twitter that he owns only a tiny fraction of one bitcoin token.
"I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from .25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago," Musk confessed. Using today's bitcoin price of about $10,000 a coin, that translates to $2,500.
The serial entrepreneur – whose net worth tops $20 billion – made the revelation in response to a question about an online scam where random users pose as celebrities (like Musk) in a bid to steal people's cryptocurrencies. (See also: IRS Wants to Tax Your Bitcoin Gains: Orders Coinbase to Turn Over User Data.)
Musk's indifference to bitcoin probably wasn't a shock to his fans, since he recently revealed that "a friend sent me part of a BTC a few years, but I don’t know where it is." (See also: Elon Musk: Education, Success Story and Net Worth.)
Is Elon Musk Satoshi Nakamoto?
In November 2017, Musk denied rumors that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious inventor of bitcoin. The brouhaha erupted after a former SpaceX intern, Sahil Gupta, in a blog post on Medium, wrote "Satoshi is probably Elon."
Gupta reasoned: "Elon is a self-taught polymath. He’s repeatedly innovated across fields by reading books on a subject and applying the knowledge. It’s how he built rockets, invented the Hyperloop (which he released to the world as a paper), and could have invented Bitcoin."
The true identity of Nakamoto has never been confirmed, but there has been a steady stream of speculation about who he is ever since bitcoin quietly launched in 2009. (See also: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Denies Being Bitcoin Creator.)
Meanwhile, Musk isn't the only billionaire who's skeptical of bitcoin and the crypto phenomenon. Bitcoin cynics are put off by the virtual currency's erratic price movements, lack of regulation, and absence of a valuation guarantee because it's not backed by a central bank.
Billionaire Charlie Munger, the second-in-command at Berkshire Hathaway, slammed bitcoin as a "noxious poison" and called the media hype surrounding digital currencies "totally asinine."
Similarly, Munger's boss, mega-billionaire Warren Buffett, predicted that cryptocurrencies will almost certainly "come to a bad ending." (See more: Bitcoin Is 'Poison,' Says Berkshire Billionaire Charlie Munger.)
And in its latest letter to clients, the Paul Singer-led Elliott Management, which oversees $34 billion in assets, excoriated cryptocurrencies as a bubble, a scam and a fraud. “This is not just a bubble," Elliott wrote. "It is not just a fraud. It is perhaps the outer limit, the ultimate expression, of the ability of humans to seize upon ether and hope to ride it to the stars."
Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns no cryptocurrencies.