Elon Musk’s fortune plunges by more than $20 billion since his controversial SNL appearance

Musk’s comments about dogecoin and bitcoin have led to a severe fall in both cryptocurrencies

Stuti Mishra
Friday 14 May 2021 11:38 BST
File: Elon Musk made several controversial comments on dogecoin during his appearance on the sketch comedy show last week
File: Elon Musk made several controversial comments on dogecoin during his appearance on the sketch comedy show last week (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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Elon Musk’s net worth has plunged roughly $20 billion since his controversial appearance on the Saturday Night Live last week.

According to Forbes estimates, the billionaire’s company Tesla has taken a hit in its stock value by over 15 per cent this week, bringing his net worth down by $20.5 billion—to $145.5 billion by Thursday.

Before his appearance on the sketch comedy show last weekend, where he took a dig at his business plans and said dogecoin was a “hustle”, Musk’s net worth was $166 billion.

On Friday, Tesla shares were down 18.2 per cent and trading at roughly $571 per share.

However, apart from the falling stock, Musk’s comments on cryptocurrency also contributed largely to this fall. The value of dogecoin dropped sharply, falling more than 30 per cent within 24 hours after Musk’s comments.

During his opening monologue on SNL, he was joined by his mother who said: “I’m excited for my Mother’s Day gift, I just hope it’s not Dogecoin.”

On Wednesday, Musk also announced that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin as payment for its electrical vehicles due to environmental factor, which led to its deep dive. While the world’s largest cryptocurrency recovered slightly after slumping 17 per cent, it is still down 8 per cent.

This was a U-turn from Musk’s earlier statement in February where he announced that Tesla will accept bitcoin as payment for its cars.

Bitcoin impacts Tesla since it holds around $1.3 billion in the currency, so with a dip in Bitcoin’s value, Tesla depreciates, affecting Musk’s net worth.

However, environmentalists have been raising concerns over bitcoin mining for a long time, as they argue that the creation of the cryptocurrency may harm efforts to limit global warming. Crypto mining involves giant and powerful systems to solve complex mathematical algorithms or puzzles that ends up using a massive chunk of electricity. However, Musk has always been a vocal proponent of cryptocurrency and also has an influence on its prices as investors hear him.

A Forbes report quoting investment firm Wedbush says Musk’s latest moves are confusing crypto investors now and causing additional volatility for Tesla’s stock, which has already struggled over the past month with sell-off in tech stocks.

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