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Uber Technologies said a pickup in demand for its ride-hailing services led to record gross bookings in March as it also expects to turn a profit before the end of the year. Uber stock rose.
Uber Technologies said a pickup in demand for its ride-hailing services led to record gross bookings in March as it also expects to turn a profit before the end of the year. Uber stock rose.
Inflation fears are dogging Wall Street at a time when the U.S. rebound is picking up speed.
A metal coatings plant in China's manufacturing hub has been hit by price increases of up to 30% for raw materials including steel, aluminium, thinner and paint since the Chinese New Year in February. The firm has had no choice but to pass most of these higher costs on to its clients, including those in the United States, said King Lau, who helps run Dongguan-based Kam Pin Industrial Ltd, in Guangdong province. With their profit margins already tight, Chinese factories are passing on higher raw material and component costs to overseas clients, which will only reinforce the inflation loop.
A metal coatings plant in China's manufacturing hub has been hit by price increases of up to 30% for raw materials including steel, aluminium, thinner and paint since the Chinese New Year in February. The firm has had no choice but to pass most of these higher costs on to its clients, including those in the United States, said King Lau, who helps run Dongguan-based Kam Pin Industrial Ltd, in Guangdong province. "Our customers understand, because it is happening to many different kinds of industries including home appliances, mobile phones, vehicles," Lau said, referring to price hikes by Chinese exporters.
(Bloomberg) -- Wild stock swings, spikes in Treasury yields, startling economic readings? Interesting, sure. But if you really want to get people’s attention right now, you need to tell them a story about crypto.And there have been a lot of those. Even for a market that’s famous for its wild volatility and gimmicks, the past week’s cryptocurrency news set new records for jaw-droppers.It began with Elon Musk’s highly anticipated appearance as host on “Saturday Night Live.” Dogecoin owners watched hoping that the “Dogefather” would further propel the digital currency that had soared this year from less than a penny to 74 cents before he took the stage.What they got instead was a skit in which he laughed after calling the coin a “hustle.” Since then, the Shiba Inu-branded coin created as a joke has lost almost half of its value.Dogecoin wasn’t the only canine-themed coin to take a tumble.Shiba Inu coin -- yes, a meta joke about the joke that is Dogecoin -- soared earlier in the week as it was added to exchanges like OKEx and Binance. It and other Dogecoin imitators’ popularity reached such heights that transaction fees on the Ethereum network hit an all-time high, according to CoinDesk.The rally faded quickly. The cryptocurrency plunged Wednesday after the Wall Street Journal reported that Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin donated more than $1 billion of the coin to a charity that is fighting the spread of Covid-19 in India.Then that night, Musk struck again. He announced that Tesla Inc. would no longer accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for its cars. In a tweet, Musk said that the carmaker was “concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.”While his tweet left Bitcoin holders wondering what spurred the change -- the facts of the coin’s energy profile hadn’t changed since Tesla announced in March that it would accept it as payment -- the market reacted swiftly. Bitcoin plunged from nearly $57,000 before his flip-flop to $46,000 within two hours.Thursday brought some good news for crypto die-hards. Point72, the hedge fund run by billionaire New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, was set to make a sizable move into the market. Bitcoin gained 2.5% following the news.The rally didn’t last long.Tether, the crypto stablecoin that says it’s backed one-for-one by fiat currencies, released a reserves breakdown for the first time that showed a large portion in unspecified commercial paper. The company has faced questions over both its reserves and whether it was used to manipulate cryptocurrency prices. In February, Tether settled a legal dispute with the New York Attorney General’s Office and paid a fine of $18.5 million.After that, reports surfaced that Colonial Pipeline Co. paid nearly $5 million in untraceable cryptocurrency to the hackers that infiltrated the company’s network and forced the shutdown of its infrastructure, setting off widespread gasoline shortages up the U.S. eastern seaboard.At about the same time, Bloomberg reported that Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, was under investigation by the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service in relation to possible money-laundering and tax offenses.News of the investigation sent Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest cryptocurrencies, down by more than 7% each as fears were stoked about the Biden administration taking a tougher approach toward an industry that has largely operated outside of the gaze of regulators.Then at 4:00 p.m. New York time, Coinbase Global, Inc., the biggest U.S. crypto exchange, reported first-quarter earnings. Its revenues fell just short of consensus estimates and the company projected flat user growth. Coinbase also plans to offer Dogecoin trading on its platform. The exchange’s shares fell as much as 6.5% in after-hours trading before recovering.Friday is already bringing further drama, beginning with more comments from Musk. The billionaire in a tweet said he “strongly” believes in crypto but that “it can’t drive a massive increase in fossil fuel use, especially coal.”Not long after, he followed up with another post saying that he’s working with Dogecoin “devs to improve system transaction efficiency,” describing the effort as “potentially promising.” Dogecoin jumped more than 20% after the tweet. (Updates prices in last paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Sanjeev Gupta’s plans to save his embattled industrial empire suffered a major setback as the U.K. opened a fraud investigation, prompting a potential financial partner to walk away.For two months, Gupta has been scrambling to refinance after the collapse of his group’s main lender, Greensill Capital, and recently looked close to winning a reprieve -- helped along by a surging commodity prices.But on Friday, the Serious Fraud Office announced a probe into Gupta’s GFG Alliance, including into the financing arrangements with Greensill. That prompted White Oak Global Advisors LLC -- which had recently offered a lifeline with terms for a 200 million-pound ($282 million) loan for Gupta’s U.K. steel business -- to walk away. White Oak was also behind funding for part of Gupta’s Australian assets, the Australian Financial Review has said.“As with any regulated financial institution, we are not in a position to continue discussions with any company that is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for money laundering,” White Oak said in a statement.GFG said Friday it will co-operate fully with the SFO investigation. It declined to comment on White Oak’s decision.The fraud probe also puts other efforts to replace about $5 billion Gupta had borrowed from Greensill in question.On Thursday, Gupta had conveyed a much brighter outlook, expressing confidence of a “new future” for his sprawling group of companies. On a podcast for employees, he said it had been “relatively easy to get refinancing” for the Whyalla mill in Australia. He also said that GFG had been “inundated by offers to help and to finance,” partly due to strong commodity markets.The picture is now bleaker in the wake of the SFO investigation, which follows months of scrutiny from lawmakers and the media over Gupta and Greensill’s financing practices. GFG has come under the microscope after the collapse of Greensill in March revealed it had been a recipient of financing based on expected future invoices, for sales that were merely predicted.Trading ActivitiesThe exact scope of the SFO investigation isn’t yet clear. Bloomberg has reported four banks stopped working with Gupta’s Liberty House Group trading business, starting in 2016, amid concerns about what they perceived to be problems in paperwork provided by Liberty, Bloomberg News has reported. In one example, the company had presented a bank with what seemed to be duplicate shipping receipts. A spokesman for Gupta has denied any wrongdoing.The two-month period it took from starting to covertly look into GFG and its financing by Greensill to announcing a formal probe is a quick turn-around for the SFO, which often takes years to publicly confirm it’s taking action against a company.It will now start to gather evidence, including securing devices and documents. However, it’ll likely take years for the office to make any tangible updates to the investigation, including whether it decides to charge individuals as part of the probe.The funding from Lex Greensill’s eponymous firm helped GFG expand at an astonishing rate in the past five years by targeting old, unwanted assets. His loose collection of companies now employs some 35,000 people worldwide, with steel and aluminum plants in the U.S., U.K., France, Romania and Australia.Staying afloat would enable Gupta to enjoy some of the best times his industrial businesses have seen. Steel prices are near an all-time high as demand recovers from the coronavirus pandemic and China cuts capacity to curb pollution. Aluminum, Gupta’s other major business, hit a three-year high this week amid a broad commodities boom.Still, Greensill’s collapse has already taken a major toll on Gupta’s businesses. On Thursday, his Wyelands Bank said it would be wound up if it can’t find a buyer. His steel units in France and Belgium have started creditor protection procedures, he’s approached buyers for some of his engineering assets, people familiar with the matter have said, and also sought buyers for two steel plants in France.For governments too, there is much at stake. Countries that once feted him as a savior for buying decrepit assets may have to pick up the pieces, due to the jobs at risk and some assets’ strategic importance to industry.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Not all industry participants are amused by dogecoin’s tricks.
The "Made in America" plan, which would require passage by Congress, expands on Treasury Secretary Yellen’s call this week for a global minimum tax.
(Bloomberg) -- At their highs, five electric-vehicle startups that went public through mergers with special purpose acquisition companies were worth $60 billion. The corrections that followed have been brutal.Three of the companies plumbed new lows this week as short-seller attacks, management turmoil and execution issues lead investors to reconsider their prospects. They’ve lost more than $40 billion of market capitalization combined from their respective peaks.The sliding valuations of Nikola Corp., Fisker Inc., Lordstown Motors Corp., Canoo Inc. and Arrival Ltd. underscore the risks surrounding the blank-check boom. Unlike in a traditional initial public offering, going public via SPAC allows companies to make forward projections to investors during their listings. This was key to ginning up interest in EV companies -- all five are still working on delivering their first vehicles to customers.Here’s a breakdown of what’s happened at each company:NikolaFounder Trevor Milton burst onto the scene last year boasting that he could “out-Elon” Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk. Days after his battery-electric and hydrogen-powered truck maker debuted on the Nasdaq in June, it was worth almost $29 billion, rivaling Ford Motor Co. at the time.When Bloomberg News reported that Milton had exaggerated the capability of his first truck years before the company went public, it got the attention of Hindenburg Research. The small short-selling firm produced a lengthy report accusing the company of deceiving investors. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation, and Milton resigned soon after.Early this year, the company cut its projection for semi-truck production this year to 100 units, one-sixth of its earlier plan. The shares have recovered somewhat since dipping below $10 in April.FiskerThe second EV venture founded by longtime auto designer Henrik Fisker announced its reverse merger a month after Nikola’s listing. While the company was more than two years from starting production, its plan to market an under-$40,000 sport utility vehicle and outsource the manufacturing work to others turned heads. Its market value peaked at almost $8 billion in February.The catalysts for Fisker’s decline to below $3 billion this week have been less clear than some of its peers. The company appeared to lose out as investors grew more bullish about incumbent automakers’ EV prospects. Its shares are surging in early trading after an announcement late Thursday of plans to develop an EV with Foxconn Technology Group and build it in the U.S.Lordstown MotorsThen-Vice President Mike Pence attended Lordstown’s unveiling of its Endurance work truck in June at the factory the company took over from General Motors Co. While it was a risky move championing a company with just 70 full-time employees, the Trump administration was eager to embrace a startup trying to revive an Ohio plant that once employed 10,000 people.Less than six weeks later, Lordstown found a SPAC suitor. Boasts about non-binding orders gave way to another attack by Hindenburg Research, which leveled accusations similar to the ones aimed at Nikola -- that Lordstown had misled investors. The SEC has been looking into the claims. Lordstown is now valued at $1.2 billion, less than a quarter what it was worth in mid February.CanooThe startup founded by a pair of former BMW AG executives unveiled a seven-seat prototype in late 2019, struck a deal early last year to help Hyundai Motor Group develop EVs, then another agreement in August to go public. In January, the Verge reported it had met with Apple Inc. about its car ambitions.That momentum is now long gone. The company announced a hard pivot in its business plans in March, deciding to de-emphasize engineering services for other companies and the subscription business model that was part of its original pitch to investors. It has replaced top executives, including its chief financial officer, and said it hasn’t addressed material weaknesses in its financial controls identified more than a year ago. Last month, one of its co-founders resigned the CEO position.ArrivalThe company pledging to build electric vans and buses as well as so-called microfactories to manufacture them had assembled big-name backers before its SPAC deal, including BlackRock Inc., Hyundai and United Parcel Service Inc.Last week, the London-based company founded by Denis Sverdlov, a former Russian deputy minister, said it will partner with Uber Technologies Inc. to develop an EV that’s purpose-built for ride-hailing. While Arrival shares haven’t sustained the immediate gain following that announcement, the company’s valuation is the highest among the five at $10.5 billion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
“They just want to gauge how you react and how you think through a response.”
By John Jannarone Stable Road Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: SRAC) narrowly secured enough votes to avoid being dissolved and will have more time to finalize the regulatory process in its merger with Momentus, a space-industry startup that provides last-mile services such as moving satellites. The SPAC had 66.2% of shareholders vote in support of the extension, […]
Indian crypto traders are receiving account closure notes from banks, and exchanges see issues with bank transfers
(Reuters) -Wall Street is expecting Canadian Pacific to raise its offer for Kansas City Southern even at the cost of more debt to win the bidding war with larger Canadian railroad rival Canadian National. In the latest twist to the takeover saga, the U.S. railroad operator on Thursday accepted Canadian National's $33.6 billion offer, leaving Canadian Pacific just five business days to make a new offer. Analysts said Canadian Pacific was unlikely to let go a chance to be the first railway spanning the United States, Mexico and Canada easily even though it had said it would not leverage its books to outbid Canadian National.
(Bloomberg) -- Once again, the U.S. stock market suffered a major dip. And once again, buyers arrived on the scene right on time to stop the bleeding.Was that the right call this week, given the shocker of an inflation report that roiled markets on Wednesday? While only time will tell for sure, a chorus of analysts and strategists are defending their bullish positions and recommending clients take advantage of cheaper prices to buy stocks -- especially in the battered technology industry.The rationale for many echoes the Federal Reserve’s take on hot inflation reports in 2021: Price pressures will be temporary as the economy works its way back to normal following the pandemic. Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist at Crossmark Global Investments, said the consumer-prices report did little to alter her belief that above-normal inflation will be fleeting and the fundamentals in technology stocks remain attractive.“The question is, 12 months from now are we going to see a big jump in consumer prices? And I think most people will say probably not,” she said. “When you’ve had a pullback like this for some of these big tech names, to me that is an opportunity to go in and add to them.”Inflation concerns reached a climax on Wednesday when the government reported the consumer price index jumped 4.2% year-over-year in April, the fastest rise since 2008 and well above most economists’ estimates. That can’t be written off entirely to fuel prices and base effects from suppressed prices last year. Core CPI, excluding food and energy prices, rose 0.9% from the prior month, the biggest such increase since 1982.The initial reaction was brutal: By the end of Wednesday, the S&P 500 was down as much as 4% from its last record on May 7, poised for its worst week since October. It recouped more than half the losses on Thursday and Friday to close 1.4% lower on the week, still its worst drop in almost three months. The Nasdaq 100 Index plunged 2.6% on Wednesday, extending its retreat from an April record to 7.4%, then rebounded 3% in the last two days of the week. “That just shows there is a lot of cash on the sidelines and this weakness in the market is being met with a lot of demand,” said Matt Miskin, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management.Treasury yields, closely watched by equity investors for signs that inflation will lead to higher borrowing costs, marched upward. The 10-year yield ended the week up five basis points at 1.63%One interesting dynamic at play: Dip buyers in tech stocks appear to be mainly day traders and other individuals, rather than hedge funds and other professional investors. Retail traders bought a daily average of $300 million in tech stocks and related exchange-traded funds, according to data from Vanda Research.Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s hedge-fund clients boosted bearish wagers against growth stocks while adding money to value sectors like banks. Semiconductor stocks in particular saw cooling interest amid production constraints, with net exposure falling to the lowest level since at least the start of 2020, according to JPMorgan’s prime broker data. Software was the focus of many dip-buying calls this week. Some of the group’s formerly hot stocks like Coupa Software Inc. and Alteryx Inc. have tumbled more than 30% from highs notched earlier this year.That’s creating great opportunities for investors to buy the highest-quality software-as-a-service and cloud-computing stocks that are poised to rebound, according to Evercore ISI analyst Kirk Materne.“Each time we have seen a big valuation-induced software sell down, the returns over the next six, 12 and 24 months trounce the S&P 500,” he wrote in a note this week. “While we expect the sector to remain choppy near-term, we believe that picking away at leading SaaS/Cloud franchises makes sense for those investors taking a 3-6 months view.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
The hot crypto market "actually does resemble a casino" to investors, Gundlach told Yahoo Finance.
Big Tech, NASA and even the global healthcare industry depend on a critical gas, and it could be heading for a major supply shortage
Earlier, the three major indexes rebounded after declining sharply earlier this week.
(Bloomberg) -- Industrial materials from copper to iron ore are feeling the pain as China steps up efforts to cool a blistering rally in commodities that’s fanning fears over a global surge in inflation.Iron ore futures plunged as much as 11% in Singapore and steel rebar slid as Chinese officials rolled out fresh measures for steelmakers to take the steam out of markets. Base metals have also come under pressure in recent days, with copper down 4.7% from a record high set on Monday.The measures targeting China’s steel sector come after surging raw-material costs sparked the biggest jump in Chinese factory-gate prices in more than three years in April. A sharp jump in U.S. consumer prices has also sparked worries across financial markets that rising inflation will hamper a global recovery and force the Federal Reserve to tighten policy sooner than thought.“Many fear that high inflation will force the Fed to take away the punch bowl,” which acted as one of the forces in propelling a rally in commodities from their nadir in March last year, TD Securities analysts led by Bart Melek said in a note. “Ongoing deleveraging in China should take some wind out of the sails for commodity demand.”Copper and iron ore have been among the biggest gainers in a yearlong rally in commodities as Covid-19 upended supply while stimulus measures supported economies and sparked a surge in demand, particularly in China. An accelerating global decarbonization drive has also transformed the long-term outlook for metals like copper.But signs of easing short-term supplies and softening demand may be emerging in physical markets. LME metal has flipped into contango, a market structure in which spot prices trade below those three months out. That indicates loose supply or falling demand in the near term. Right now, it’s gapped out to the weakest since early January.“Copper will still trade at a very good price, but I do think it will come under pressure,” Colin Hamilton, managing director for commodities research at BMO Capital Markets, said by phone from London. “There are some headwinds coming.”Still, U.S. retail sales stalled in April following a sharp advance in the prior month when pandemic-relief checks provided millions of Americans with increased spending power. This could help the narrative by Fed officials this week that inflation numbers this week were an aberration and were transitory.Copper fell 1% to settle at $10,240.50 a ton at 5:53 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, after peaking Monday at $10,747.50. Other base metals fared better on Friday, though aluminum still had a 3% weekly drop.In ferrous markets, iron ore fell 4.3% in Singapore on Friday, while futures in Dalian dropped the daily limit. Iron ore had surged to record highs recently amid the broad commodities boom.Prices slumped as Tangshan’s local government vowed to punish violations including price manipulation, and steelmakers were told that they may be suspended from doing business or have their licenses revoked if they break the law. The city, which accounts for 14% of China’s steel output, has been at the center of an industry overhaul as authorities unveiled a slew of output restrictions to control emissions.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Stock sales are reaping a windfall for the world’s richest shareholders.Corporate insiders including Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos and Google co-founder Sergey Brin have ramped up stock sales recently, cashing in on a 14-month long bull market that’s helped boost fortunes to the tune of trillions.U.S. public company insiders offloaded shares worth $24.4 billion this year through the first week of May, with about half sold through trading plans, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s almost as much as the $30 billion total they disposed of in the second half of 2020.Large shareholders frequently sell stock in planned intervals, often through pre-arranged trading programs. Yet the prolonged rally in equities markets has made the value of these disposals, whether planned or opportunistic, strikingly high.There are multiple reasons an investor of any size might be motivated to sell. After the pandemic-defying rally, valuations are increasingly under pressure from rising inflation. Investors are wary the post-Covid recovery could prompt tightening measures from the Federal Reserve. And President Joe Biden’s proposed tax hikes -- including a near doubling of the capital gains rate -- have created uncertainty.Bezos, EllisonWhatever the reason, the sales are flooding the market with yet more liquidity, the consequences of which will ripple through philanthropy, the art market, real estate and other niches.Bezos has sold $6.7 billion worth of Amazon shares this year. While a relative pittance for the world’s richest person, it’s more than two-thirds the value of shares he sold in 2020. Larry Ellison unloaded 7 million Oracle shares in the past week for total proceeds of $552.3 million. Charles Schwab has sold $192 million worth of shares of his eponymous brokerage this year.Brin, who has signaled that he intends to sell as many as 250,000 Alphabet Inc. shares, has disposed of $163 million worth of stock in recent days, his first sales in more than four years, filings show.Mark Zuckerberg and his charitable foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, meanwhile, accelerated their sales of Facebook stock in the fall. Zuckerberg or his charity has divested shares at a near-daily clip since November, for a cumulative total exceeding $1.87 billion.The surging markets have exacerbated the concentration risk of the single-stock-dominated fortunes typical of many tech billionaires, said Thorne Perkin, president of Papamarkou Wellner Asset Management.“From a portfolio-management perspective, it makes sense to spread it around,” he said.Covid EconomyAlso among the biggest sellers are some noteworthy beneficiaries of the Covid economy. Zoom Video Communications founder Eric Yuan and used-car retailer Carvana Co.’s Ernest Garcia II have together received more than $1.75 billion from stock sales since March 2020, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. George Kurtz, chief executive officer of cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, has sold shares worth at least $250 million over that period.Zoom founder Yuan -- the poster child, in many ways, for the coronavirus economy -- has stepped up his sales this year as the firm’s share price slumped. In 2020, he typically offloaded about 140,000 shares a month through a trading plan, which generated more than $350 million over the course of the year.Since March, he’s sold almost 200,000 shares a month on average, yielding him about $185 million. He also donated more than a third of his stake in the San Jose-based company as part of “typical estate planning practices,” according to a spokesman. Some of the cash from his share sales fund donations to unspecified “humanitarian causes.”(Updates with Charles Schwab’s sales in seventh paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said the electric-vehicle manufacturer is suspending purchases using Bitcoin, triggering a slide in the digital currency.In a post on Twitter Wednesday, Musk cited concerns about “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions,” while signaling that Tesla might accept other cryptocurrencies if they are much less energy intensive. He also said the company won’t be selling any of the Bitcoin it holds.The largest cryptocurrency dropped as much as 15% to just above $46,000, before paring some of the retreat. It was down about 6% to $51,210 as of 7:03 a.m. in London on Thursday. Other tokens such Ether and Dogecoin also slid. The rush to sell briefly caused outages at some cryptocurrency exchanges. Bitcoin is still up more than fivefold in the past year.Musk’s move comes after Tesla disclosed in February that it had purchased $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and planned to accept it as a payment. That announcement added legitimacy to the cryptocurrency as an increasingly acceptable form of payment and an investment, especially coming from a large member of the S&P 500 with a high-profile CEO who commands a big following among retail investors and the general public.Tesla’s website, which had a support page dedicated to Bitcoin, noted that the token was the only cryptocurrency that Tesla accepts in the continental U.S. Musk has also tweeted frequently about Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency started as a joke in 2013 -- and he quipped about being the “Dogefather” before and during his stint hosting the “Saturday Night Live” show on May 8. He tweeted on Tuesday, “Do you want Tesla to accept Doge?”Tesla’s addition of Bitcoin to its balance sheet was the most visible catalyst during this year’s rally in the digital currency. Bitcoin jumped 16% that day, the biggest one-day gain since the Covid-19 induced financial markets volatility in March 2020.Optimism grew after Mastercard Inc., Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and other firms moved to make it easier for customers to use or invest in cryptocurrencies, fueling the mainstream resurgence that took Bitcoin from about $29,000 at the end of last year to as high as almost $65,000 in April.Bitcoin mining is consuming 66 times more electricity than it did back in late 2015, and the carbon emissions associated with it will likely face increasing scrutiny, according to a recent Citigroup Inc. report.Musk is no stranger to considering the issue of crypto’s environmental impact.Musk Splits From Cathie Wood’s Ark on Bitcoin Environmental CostCathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management LLC published a report last month saying cryptocurrency mining can drive investment in solar power and make more renewable energy available to the grid. Twitter Inc.’s Jack Dorsey retweeted a post on the white paper with the comment that Bitcoin “incentivizes renewable energy.” Musk replied to Dorsey’s tweet, saying simply, “True.”‘Confusing’Musk’s tweet on Wednesday took many in the cryptocurrency community by surprise, including Nic Carter, founding partner at Castle Island Ventures, and a leading voice among defenders of Bitcoin’s energy use.“Surely he would have done his diligence prior to accepting Bitcoin?” Carter said. “Very odd and confusing to see this quick reversal.”It’s unclear what prompted the decision and Musk and Zachary Kirkhorn, Tesla’s chief financial officer, didn’t immediately respond to an email inquiry for comment. Kirkhorn in March added the tongue-in-cheek title “Master of Coin,” according to a regulatory filing.Tesla’s first-quarter earnings were bolstered by the sale of 10% of its Bitcoin holdings. Musk said last month the disposal was intended to demonstrate the token’s liquidity, and added that he’s retained his personal investment in the cryptocurrency.Kirkhorn said on the firm’s earnings call in late April that Tesla believed in Bitcoin’s long-term value and planned to accumulate the tokens from transactions with customers.(Updates markets in the third paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected the company name in the 11th paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
By Geoffrey Smith