Early this morning, Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, as well as the richest person in the world, changed his Twitter profile to read “#bitcoin” and tweeted a cryptic message that many in the Bitcoin space interpreted as advocacy for the technology or acknowledgment that his tacit endorsement was bound to happen.
Within minutes of the tweet surfacing, the price of bitcoin climbed sharply. It rose from about $32,000 at the time of the tweet to about $37,500 just an hour later, a 14 percent spike, per TradingView. The BTC price eventually reached a 14-day high of $38,300 on the day. This price gain caused more than $446 million worth of short liquidations across several cryptocurrency exchanges, according to the data aggregator Coinalyze.
Commemorating the moment, bitcoin mining pool F2Pool embedded Musk’s message into block 668,197.
While it isn’t possible to draw a direct line between Musk’s tweet and the rise in bitcoin’s price, it’s clear that it generated major interest. According to Google Trends, searches for the word “bitcoin” more than doubled within two hours of the message.
Some have also speculated that the price was moved by Musk himself making a significant investment in bitcoin. Last month, Musk publicly asked Michael Saylor — the MicroStrategy CEO who has diverted millions of dollars of treasury assets into bitcoin — about the feasibility of making large bitcoin transactions.