Elon Musk has “destroyed lives” through irresponsible tweets that have recently roiled cryptocurrency markets, a group claiming to represent the hacker collective Anonymous said in a weekend video.
The nearly four-minute video, posted Saturday, attacked the Tesla Inc.
chief executive for being “another narcissistic rich dude who is desperate for attention” and for “constantly trolling” crypto markets. It racked up 1.7 million views as of late Sunday.
“Millions of retail investors were really counting on their crypto gains to improve their lives,” a Guy Fawkes-masked figure said in the video. “Of course, they took the risk upon themselves when they invested, and everyone knows to be prepared for volatility in crypto, but your tweets this week show a clear disregard for the average working person.”
Musk has become perhaps the single biggest driver of crypto price swings in recent months, with the prices of bitcoin and dogecoin especially feeling the effects of his tweets. “Musk is definitely too influential on bitcoin prices,” Kevin Kang, co-founder and principal at BKCoin Capital, told MarketWatch last week.
On Thursday, Musk sent a cryptic tweet that suggested he had broken up with bitcoin, sending the price of the digital asset down about 5% since then.
Last month, Musk sent bitcoin prices plunging after announcing Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin as payment for its vehicles, citing the high levels of carbon emissions produced by bitcoin mining. Musk said it was looking into other cryptos, such as dogecoin, that are more eco-friendly.
The post also claimed the recent formation of the Bitcoin Mining Council, ostensibly to promote environmentally sustainable mining, was a bid by Musk to control the industry.
“The games you have played with the crypto markets have destroyed lives,” the weekend video said. “Millions of retail investors were really counting on their crypto gains to improve their lives.”
“You may think you are the smartest person in the room, but now you have met your match,” it concluded. “We are Anonymous! We are Legion! Expect us.”
The video came amid a weekend bitcoin conference in Miami, attended by around 12,000 crypto enthusiasts. Prices of bitcoin
fell slightly over the weekend, but were relatively stable compared to recent volatility.
It was unclear exactly who was behind the video, particularly because of the decentralized nature of Anonymous. Though the video’s creators claimed they represented Anonymous, the two most popular Anonymous Twitter accounts, @YouAnonNews and @BscAnon, denied responsibility. However, another Anonymous Twitter account, @YourAnonCentral, did claim it was from Anonymous. The YouTube channel “Anonymous” that it was posted on has just two previous videos, both posted six months ago, and 164,000 subscribers, compared to the “Anonymous Official” YouTube account, which has hundreds of videos dating back nine years, and 3.5 million subscribers.
Despite its wild price swings, the price of bitcoin is still up 23% year to date, and up more than 266% over the past year. Dogecoin is up more than 7,700% this year, and more than 14,000% over the past 12 months.