When it comes to discussions about cryptocurrencies, Elon Musk’s name gets brought up more than anyone.
He’s become so synonymous with the crypto world that a staggering 56 per cent of Australians believe the Tesla CEO created Bitcoin, according to a recent Finder survey.
Although he didn’t, Mr Musk holds an incredible amount of power in the cryto market.
His tweets can send the entire market tumbling or skyrocketing, meaning crypto investors can see their portfolios hammered by a single person’s opinion.
Some see him as a powerful supporter to digital assets such as Dogecoin and Bitcoin but others have accused him of being a “manipulator” who is using his position and massive following to influence the crypto market.
After the crash earlier this month, in part caused by Mr Musk tweeting his concerns about the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining, many of investors have had enough.
Now a group of furious army of nerds — describing themselves as a “community driven movement to stop the biggest market manipulator of them all” — have come up with a plan.
A coin to stop Elon
They’ve created their own meme currency, the StopElon coin, aimed at curbing the billionaire’s influence.
“Anyone with even a shred of critical thinking sees through his lies. He has been trying to pump crypto for ages, tweeting about it to no end, and even going to Saturday Night Live as a final resort to get Dogecoin up! It’s ridiculous,” the official StopElon website reads.
“He’s toying with people’s portfolio like candy, like the narcissistic billionaire he is and always will be. We say ENOUGH. Hence, we created $STOPELON. Where we get rich, without anyone controlling our fate except ourselves.”
According to the website, the ambitious overall goal is to create enough value to buy Tesla stock, with the ultimate plan being to purchase full control of the company.
The coin is being seen by many as yet another joke in the crypto world but, as Dogecoin has shown us, that doesn’t really matter to some investors.
StopElon got off to a flying start shortly after its launch earlier this month.
TomsGuide reported that the cryptocurrency, which is minted on the Binance Smart Chain grew by 1800 per cent in just 24 hours.
While that is impressive, the value only rose $0.0000019 to $0.00003679 and it has dropped since then. At the last check on PooCoin, it was worth $0.0000329019.
Anger grows at Musk
Mr Musk’s tweets, particularly over the past month have unleashed a wave of fury from crypto investors.
“Musk is very calculated,” Eloisa Marchesoni, an angel investor and cryptocurrency consultant, told CNN. “People are angry.”
The Tesla CEO sent markets spiralling earlier this month by saying his electric car company would be backtracking on a promise to accept bitcoin as a form of payment, citing environmental concerns.
This is because bitcoin is created by “mining” – the process by which new bitcoins are entered into circulation – which uses a lot of computing power and energy.
Mr Musk previously cited concerns that much of this energy was coming from traditional fossil fuel resources – which isn’t a great look when you’re trying to sell electric cars.
However, last week Mr Musk turned the crypto world on its head again by simply mentioning that he had a conversation with some “North American Bitcoin miners” about where they get their energy from.
“Spoke with North American Bitcoin miners,” he said. “They committed to publish current & planned renewable usage & to ask miners WW (worldwide) to do so. Potentially promising.”
According to Coindesk, the price of bitcoin had shot up by 17.12 per cent that morning, while etherereum had gone up by 29.51 per cent.
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This comes after bitcoin saw a calamitous drop in price since the record high of $81,961.56 on April 15 this year.
Rebalancing ‘healthy’ for crypto market
Some in the crypto community feel like this month’s crash is a rebalancing, needed for the market to move higher over the long term.
“The large falls in valuations seen this week are, in one way, healthy as they enable the market to clear excess speculative positions and consolidate before its next phase of expansion,” Anatoly Crachilov, the chief executive of investment manager Nickel Digital, told Forbes.
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He pointed to bitcoin’s “122 per cent gain from the beginning of the year” through to April.
“We have seen this pattern time and again across multiple cycles and expect this to remain in place until the market matures and achieves a larger involvement of institutional capital,” he added.
Mr Crachilov is one of many investors who believe bitcoin and other currencies will bounce back.
However, other analysts are warning that cryptocurrencies could implode at any time, leaving everyday investors in a world of strife.
Crypto billionaire and founder of digital coin ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, said he believed cryptocurrencies are in a bubble and it is “notoriously hard to predict” when it will pop.
“It could have ended already,” Mr Buterin said. “It could end months from now.
“We’ve had at least three of these big crypto bubbles so far. And often enough, the reason the bubbles end up stopping is because some event happens that just makes it clear that the technology isn’t there yet.”
Meanwhile, the ABC’s business editor Ian Verrender said investors should be “prepared to lose everything”.
“Bitcoin is a bubble,” he wrote in analysis piece. “While its value has risen exponentially in recent years, its incredible volatility makes it anything but a safe harbour. Given it isn’t much good for transactions and holds no proprietary technology or intellectual property, about the only thing it is good for is speculation.
“Who knows, it could go beyond $US100,000 [$A129,999] sometime in the near future. But if everyone suddenly decides to abide by the rules of economics and starts acting rationally, be prepared to lose everything.”