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Crypto investors are still following Elon Musk's 'every word'

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CoinDesk Learn Editor Ollie Leech breaks down the highlights from Elon Muks's cryptocurrency chat with Jack Dorsey and Cathie Wood.

Video Transcript

- We want to bring in Ollie Leech, CoinDesk Learn Editor. And Ollie, we saw the price of Ether, it actually hit its highs of the day right after those comments from Elon Musk. Dogecoin also moving to the upside as a result of this. I guess, what's your reaction just in terms of the fact that investors get so excited that someone like Elon Musk is still buying some of these cryptos?

OLLIE LEECH: Yeah, definitely, it says a lot about the crypto market. I mean, for-- for the last couple of months, a lot of people, and especially on crypto Twitter, have been particularly angry at Elon Musk, saying that he pump and dumps a lot of coins and now obviously saying that he-- he's invested in Ethereum, as well as obviously Bitcoin and Doge, and the price has gone up. So he clearly has a hold still of speculating-- speculating traders. And people are still hanging on his every word and looking to get in on whatever he's getting into.

- But what about the words of crypto founders? I mean, there's Dogecoin, or Dodgy Coin, as some of us prefer to call it. The founder there saying, crypto-- and he classified the entire asset class as something to stay away from, one of the co-founders. And then you get the co-founder, I believe, from Ethereum said something similar. If you're a believer in crypto, what are you supposed to believe when these two individuals are saying danger, Will Robinson?

OLLIE LEECH: So, I mean, Jackson Palmer, the-- the co-founder of-- of Dogecoin, he actually left in 2015, at a time when the market was very much driven by a lot kind of sort of scammy projects. There was a huge amount of project joining the market every single day. A lot of these had no merit. They were promising the world and scamming a lot of their investors.

And this is what he kind of moved himself away from. He said, I don't want to be a part of this anymore. It's not about the innovation of the tech. It's more about making a quick buck and-- and sort of defrauding people. So he left for that reason. Vitali Buterin, as I'm aware, I think he's still quite-- quite positive on the space. He's obviously a huge proponent in-- in Ethereum theory still and is looking to drive the-- the space as-- as far forward as it can go, and especially through-- through smart contracts, defi, and everything like that. He still plays an important role.

- Ollie, another thing that stuck out to me during this panel was when Musk asked Jack Dorsey whether or not he would consider whether Twitter, I should say, would accept a crypto for advertisers, for paying for ads on the site. And Dorsey, in his answer, he seemed to indicate that he would be open to this. When you see that type of talk out there, the fact that crypto will go more mainstream, I guess, how big of a boost or how big of an opportunity could this be for the space?

OLLIE LEECH: Yeah, absolutely massive. And I think the conversation in general was so important for the industry at this time, you know, when there's so much negativity and focus on things like, you know, crypto and ransomware and-- and the threat stable coins and money laundering. You know, it's come at a hugely important time and, yeah-- and absolutely great.

It's great to see people like Dorsey and Elon looking at new ways to innovate in the space. I mean, it's great to even hear from Elon that he-- he wants Bitcoin to succeed. He said that himself. He's like, people are saying I'm pumping and dumping. He said, I actually own Bitcoin. Obviously, Tesla and now SpaceX does as well. And he says, you know, it would actually hamstring me to-- to-- to-- to sort of dump it. He wants it to do well. So incredibly important for the space, and it's exciting to hear their vision of where they want it to go as well.

- Oh, Ollie, who are the voices? Because we pay so much attention to the same voices. Who are the voices-- because you folk at CoinDesk are writing about this all the time-- that we should pay attention to, in addition to the old and getting older crypto voices?

OLLIE LEECH: So who should we be listening to, sorry?

- Yes.

OLLIE LEECH: OK.

- On the likes of Elon Musk, I mean, if-- Elon Musk can move markets. But Elon Musk, in some-- some ways, is starting-- I don't want to say aging out. But there have to be others who have insight besides the-- we keep going back to the same-- you know, round up the usual suspect.

OLLIE LEECH: Yeah. I mean, it's-- yeah, I mean, Elon, he's at the forefront of a lot of technical innovation. A lot of people look to him in terms of people that are up and coming. I'm drawing a bit of blank, to be honest. There's a lot of--

- It's OK. I didn't mean to put you on the spot.

OLLIE LEECH: --[INAUDIBLE] industry that we look to. [LAUGHS] Put me on the spot.

- Well, are we? OK. So are we susceptible that we keep going back to the usual suspects?

OLLIE LEECH: Yeah, I mean, the space, there've been people over the last 10 years who really fought to-- to get to the top, and other people are really stuck around. And I think that that says a lot about who they are and their belief in the-- in the space. And a lot of people have come and gone in that time. But-- but the core, sort of, 20, 30 people that a lot of people know, they're common names in the crypto space. Those are the people who stuck around. And I think that's what gives them that sort of credence and why so many people follow them because they understand that they're in this for the long run. They really see the potential in it. And, yeah, that's why I think so.

- Ollie, another comment that Elon Musk made was that Tesla would start accepting Bitcoin once Bitcoin moves to that more renewable-- moves to a more renewable energy, and that's something he has said in the past. Obviously we saw the drop of Bitcoin once Tesla made the announcement, once Elon Musk made the announcement that they would no longer accept it as a result of how it was being mined. What's the likely timeline? I guess, how long do you expect that to take in order to achieve what Tesla is looking for and then therefore they would accept Bitcoin again?

OLLIE LEECH: In terms of timeline and how quickly things can-- can get moving on the energy front in terms of mining, I think if there's such a push right now to-- to make Bitcoin mining and other proof-of-works mining, cryptocurrency's more energy efficient. Jack Dorsey mentioned the Great American Mining Company, just one example of a company that is looking to use wasted energy and-- and repurpose that as-- as a means of-- of fueling crypto mining. So, yeah, it could happen very soon. It really depends on-- on how quickly these these companies can kind of get up to speed with everything and can-- and just make a name for themselves.