Not all billionaires are celebrities, but thanks to his insistence on being in the public eye, some outlandish statements, and a commitment to futuristic technologies, Elon Musk has very much become a celebrity billionaire.
Revered by many as a kind of tech demigod, many people follow him across social media and take heed of what he says. However, the man with a net worth of some $162 billion is now seemingly causing the already volatile market of cryptocurrencies to rise and fall.
So, how did this tech entrepreneur become so influential and is his social media activity hurting or helping crypto?
Rising in fame, net worth, and influence
Born in South Africa in 1971, Elon Musk has enjoyed a successful line of business ventures since coming to the United States. It began with a company that he started with his brother, Zip2, which they sold. Next, he co-founded PayPal by merging X.com and Confinity.
After selling PayPal, Musk went all-in on future tech in the form of electric vehicles, with Tesla Motors, and space exploration, with SpaceX. Both moves have been seen as tremendous gambles, but as they steadily cemented themselves, so too did Musk’s stardom and net worth.
Fuelling his celebrity status, Musk has been married toor had children with Justine Wilson (Canadian writer), Talulah Riley (English actress), and Grimes (Canadian musician). He was also heavily covered in 2017 for dating American actress Amber Heard.
In May 2021, he appeared on Saturday Night Live as the host, following several cameo appearances in films and series. These include Iron Man 2, Men in Black: International, South Park, and Rick and Morty. Through his pioneering business efforts and celebrity status, Musk has become a trusted figure in the public eye, but appears to have been gambling with the crypto markets of late.
A very influential billionaire in a trillion-dollar market
It should be noted that Musk has publically warned people to be cautious if investing in cryptocurrency, with the unique market’s volatility lending it to gambling more strongly than stock markets. Many people bet with bitcoins at licensed online casinos because of the anonymity and lack of location restrictions for crypto payments, but that’s quite different to someone who would bet with bitcoins in the market.
The key aspect is that Musk clearly knows how influential he is,how’s he’s looked up to, and how he’s known by so many for his tech-savvy. So, if he Tweets something that shines Bitcoin in a good light, people will likely invest to bet with bitcoins and ride his influence to higher prices. Recently, Musk has seemingly risen and sunk cryptocurrencies with just a few Tweets.
First, he sent the meme-based Dogecoin price soaring by 30 per cent, but then his later remarks would have a knock-on effect of Bitcoin dropping by 20 per cent. He’d follow up by suggesting that Tesla would sell its bitcoins, but stabilised the price by saying that the company hasn’t sold. In early June, he started again, pumping up Dogecoin by reposting an older Tweet predicting the coin’s success.
The cryptocurrency market is far too volatile to say if his influence will harm it in the long run, but for now, he is bringing attention to the nascent market and its altcoins, which will surely raise its profile around the world.