Bitcoin down: 51% attack? No, put the blame on Elon Musk

The price of Bitcoin falls after Elon Musk declared that its company, Tesla, may have sold holdings of the cryptocurrency

We have a long-debated about the possibility that the Bitcoin price could be influenced by threat actors through 51% attacks, but recent events demonstrate that it could be easier to manipulate its value.

A simple Tweet from an influencer could cause the fall of the price of a cryptocurrency, opening the door for any type of financial speculation.

Do you trust a cryptocurrency system that is influenced by the declaration of a single individual?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk published a Twitter on Sunday to confirm that his company sold or is going to sell the rest of its bitcoin holdings and the news that had a dramatic impact on the Bitcoin value.

Bitcoin’s price plummeted after Musk’s posts and is yet to recover, this implies that the price of the most popular cryptocurrency depends on the account of a single man. If someone is able to hack his account can make a lot of money influencing the prices of cryptocurrencies.

Media pointed out that the alleged sale comes just days after Musk declared that Tesla planned to hold rather than sell the Bitcoin it already has.

“A potential sale comes just days after Musk said the company planned to hold rather than sell the bitcoin it already has and intended to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.” reported CNBC.

Tesla representatives have yet to provide any comment on the event.

In an SEC filing in February, Tesla announced that it bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, then it earned $101 million from sales of bitcoin during the quarter.

Even if Musk has always sustained cryptocurrencies, last week his company “suspended vehicle purchases using bitcoin.” The move was the result of concern over “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining,” and also in that case it had an impact on the price of bitcoin that dropped about 5% in the first minutes after the announcement.

Musk also influenced the price of another cryptocurrency, dogecoin, with the announcement that SpaceX would accept dogecoin as payment to launch “DOGE-1 mission to the Moon.” The announcement pumped up the price of the coin.

Is this really good for cryptocurrencies? Or we are faced with a new real threat to their credibility.

What will be the reason for the next bubble? I focus on sustainability and respect for the environment for cryptocurrencies.

Follow me on Twitter: @securityaffairs and Facebook

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Musk)

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Pierluigi Paganini: Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer. Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US. Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines. Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.

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