Tesla CEO Elon Musk has lost his crown as the world’s richest man following a sharp correction in Bitcoin (BTC) and a slump in his company’s stock that some analysts believe are correlated.
Tesla stock (TSLA) has dropped 21% from its high of $890 on January 26, accelerating those losses over the past two days in a fall to $698. Shares of the electric vehicle maker dipped as much as 13% on Tuesday, the stock’s worst day since early September 2020.
Fox Business has blamed this week's stock drop on the company’s association with Bitcoin, citing analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush, who also noted he believes the move was a strategic one for the long-term.
“Investors are starting to tie Bitcoin and Tesla at the hip. While Tesla on paper made roughly a $1 billion on Bitcoin in a month that exceeded all its EV profits from 2020, the recent 48 hour sell off in Bitcoin and added volatility has driven some investors to the exits on this name in the near-term.”
Tesla stock traded at around $865 on Feb. 8 when the announcement it had purchased $1.5 billion in Bitcoin was made. It bottomed out at $681 on Tuesday, according to Yahoo Finance. However, reports of quality control issues in China may have also affected the price.
Tesla owns an estimated 48,000 BTC, which means that paper profits were in the region of $1 billion dollars by the time the asset hit its all-time high of a little over $58,000 on Sunday.
Despite this week’s price plunge, the firm is still in profit on the Bitcoin buy, as the asset was priced at a touch over $39,000 when the purchase announcement was made (the buy happened prior to that).
The Telsa stock drop has knocked Musk off the top of Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, with recent losses reported at $3.56 billion. Jeff Bezos tops the list again, with an estimated total net worth of $187 billion, while Musk has $180 billion, according to Bloomberg.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin prices had corrected by 17% to around $48,000, marking a $10,000 slide in just three days. In terms of pullbacks, markets are used to much larger ones such as the mid-January retreat that resulted in a 30% correction for BTC.