Elon Musk and Michael Saylor played a significant role in shaping crypto investor sentiment during the second quarter, underscoring just how nascent digital asset investing remains when compared with other, more established markets.
Sentiment-driven analysis from The TIE and eToro USA reveals the extent to which Musk and Saylor impacted Bitcoin (BTC) values in the second quarter. The results were presented in eToro USA’s quarterly report, titled “The True Value of Influence.”
On average, Musk’s Bitcoin tweets were followed by a 1.6% decline in BTC’s price over the proceeding 24 hours, the report showed. However, Musk’s Bitcoin-focused tweets positively affected investor sentiment and contributed to a 44.4% surge in BTC-related tweet volume.
The researchers identified three occasions where Musk’s Bitcoin-related tweets were associated with an even bigger drop in price. On May 16, his tweet on the centralization of mining was associated with a 7.6% decline in Bitcoin’s price over the next 24 hours.
Bitcoin is actually highly centralized, with supermajority controlled by handful of big mining (aka hashing) companies.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2021
A single coal mine in Xinjiang flooded, almost killing miners, and Bitcoin hash rate dropped 35%. Sound “decentralized” to you?https://t.co/Oom8yzGRNQ
His May 12 tweet regarding Bitcoin’s fossil fuel usage likely contributed to BTC falling 9.4% over the same period. Finally, on May 20, Musk’s claim that global Bitcoin mining exceeds the energy usage of some medium-sized countries preceded an 11.3% decline in the BTC price over 24 hours.
Bitcoin hashing (aka mining) energy usage is starting to exceed that of medium-sized countries. Almost impossible for small hashers to succeed without those massive economies of scale.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2021
Musk earned the scorn of the Bitcoin community when he said Tesla would no longer accept BTC payments due to environmental concerns. The Tesla CEO appeared to have walked back those comments last week when he said Bitcoin miners may have already hit his benchmark on renewable energy.
The tweets of MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor also appear to have influenced Bitcoin’s price, but in the opposite direction. As The TIE and eToro USA explain:
“[T]he majority of his tweets came as Bitcoin’s price increased from $11k to $60k. Most present a positive perspective, ranging from announcements of MicroStrategy’s recent Bitcoin purchases or overall promoting the asset as a whole.”
On average, in the 24 hours following Saylor’s Bitcoin-focused tweets, the price increased by 4.4%, investment sentiment fell by 0.8%, and tweet volume jumped 4.1%.
The MicroStrategy CEO is convinced that Bitcoin is the “apex” achievement of humanity, describing it as a “cure” for civilization-destroying inflation. Entities under his direct control have amassed more than 111,000 BTC since mid-2020.
In a recent poll, Saylor asked his 1.3 million Twitter followers how long they think Bitcoin will last. Of the more than 105,000 people who participated in the poll, nearly 38% said they believe Bitcoin would last 10,000 years.
#Bitcoin will last— Michael Saylor (@michael_saylor) July 23, 2021
Rise of YouTube influencers
The report also highlighted the growing impact of YouTubers on the cryptocurrency market. "Just as influencers are well known to stimulate engagement in the consumer product and fashion industries, popular social media personalities do the same with crypto assets and protocols for both users, traders and investors," the researchers said.
In particular, the report singled out Bitboy Crypto, a channel with over 1.1 million followers, as having one of the most engaged audiences in the industry. Channels like Coin Bureau, Altcoin Daily and Sheldon Evans were also cited for their substantial growth during the bull market.