Elon Musk says SpaceX owns Bitcoin and he owns Ethereum in Jack Dorsey talk

Quick Take

  • After a Twitter discussion last month, Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey and Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk took the stage at The B Word conference to debate the merits of Bitcoin.

Elon Musk confirmed both Tesla and SpaceX own Bitcoin during his discussion with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood today.

In his opening remarks at The B Word panel, Musk said he is ultimately a supporter of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies despite his skepticism towards proof of work concepts. He said the only public stock he owns is Tesla, but the only "three meaningful assets" he owns outside of company stock is bitcoin, ether and dogecoin, and that he owns "much more bitcoin than ether or doge."

In addition to his private holdings, he confirmed SpaceX also owns bitcoin. Musk made headlines earlier this year when he added $1.5 billion in BTC to electric vehicle firm Tesla's balance sheet. Because SpaceX is private, it was previously unknown that the space exploration tech firm also had a portion of its holdings in the crypto. 

Musk did not disclose how much SpaceX holds. The firm could wade further into crypto, though, according to Musk's comments.

“Bitcoin by itself cannot be the monetary system of the world at the base layer, but at the second layer it’s possible depending on how it’s implemented," said Musk. 

He said SpaceX is "playing a role in this" vision for Bitcoin's future, although he did not further clarify how the firm is furthering that mission.

Energy renewables

Musk reiterated Tesla will resume accepting bitcoin when the renewable energy sources reach 50%. Tesla could also play a role in solving this problem, according to Musk, since it has strong connections in the renewables industry in addition to its own solar solutions.

"Energy production doesn't have to be pure as the driven snow, but it can't be the world's dirtiest coal...for Tesla to support it," he said.

Musk also said he's "pro nuclear" and that nuclear plants are safe despite public opinion, although he clarified that he's talking about "fission not fusion."

"At Tesla we really do aspire to be the good guys...that doesn't mean we don't make mistakes, but we're trying," he said.

Wood contended that the network is already well on its way in comparison to other industries. 

“I really do believe that bitcoin will be much more environmentally friendly certainly than gold mining or the traditional financial services sector. In many ways, it already is," she said.

Dorsey and decentralization

Musk inquired whether Twitter would consider accepting advertising money in crypto.

Dorsey said "absolutely," although it's not his main focus. He noted that had crypto been around at the dawn of the internet, the advertiser model may not be so prevalent in the social media space.

But since advertisers are the reality, he's focused on furthering the decentralized aspects of the crypto community. For that reason, Dorsey said his "biggest focus" is on BlueSky — his decentralized social media project. It remains early days, according to Dorsey. 

How it came together

Musk and Dorsey first agreed to take the stage together at The B Word event following a discussion on Twitter. Dorsey tweeted in support of the event, and Musk responded that the event title perhaps referred to "bicurious" rather than the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Dorsey quipped that the comment was "bizarre" and then suggested the two have a talk for what Musk later called the "Bitcurious." 

ARK Invest's Cathie Wood also shared the stage with Musk and Dorsey, filling out the financial services point of view on the cryptocurrency.

Dorsey has long been a Bitcoin advocate and Lightning network champion. He recently spoke at Bitcoin 2021 in Miami, Florida, where he announced his payments company Square has plans to develop a bitcoin hardware wallet. Last week, Dorsey also announced Square will build an "open developer platform" for bitcoin-tied financial services. Square also has stake in the success of the Bitcoin network, holding about 1% of its assets in bitcoin after a $50 million purchase last October. 

Despite his historically zealous takes on cryptocurrency, Musk stands as a skeptic to Dorsey's Bitcoin believer. Once an advocate for the Bitcoin, he has since grown wary of the environmental implications. After adding "Bitcoin" to his Twitter bio, putting $1.5 billion worth of BTC on Tesla's balance sheet and enabling payments for electric vehicles in the cryptocurrency, Musk abruptly changed course.

He expressed concern over the electricity use of the bitcoin mining community. Tesla discontinued bitcoin payments — although Musk later posted a Twitter poll on whether the firm should instead accept Dogecoin. He also now endorses the meme-themed token in his Twitter bio. Still, he said he remained interested in finding solutions and even took a meeting with MicroStrategy's Michael Saylor, who subsequently organized the so-called Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) to combat negative media narratives surrounding mining. 


© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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