Tumbling Tesla stocks knocked Elon Musk out of the position of the world’s second-richest person on Monday. With the electric vehicle-maker’s shares falling 2.2% on May 17, Tesla Inc.’s chief executive officer lost his spot to Louis Vuitton chairman Bernard Arnault.
Musk, who held the top spot in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index till March, now has a fortune of $160.6 billion. His net worth was down 24% from its January high.
Bitcoin fell to a three-month low on Monday on the account of investors selling and buying the digital currency after Elon Musk tweeted about the carmaker’s bitcoin holdings. Bitcoin fell to as low as $42,185, its lowest since Feb. 8, and was last down 6.2% at $43,564.
In his latest tweet, Musk said “Tesla has not sold any bitcoin". A day earlier, he suggested Tesla may have done so, and last week, Musk said Tesla would stop taking bitcoin as payment due to environmental concerns about energy use to process transactions.
“We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel," Musk tweeted last week. Bitcoin has dropped by almost a quarter since Musk’s reversal on Tesla taking it as payment. Dogecoin has yet to fully recover from Musk describing it as a “hustle", although it did rise last week when Musk said he was working to improve its efficiency.
Musk became the world’s richest person in January after Tesla’s shares surged almost 750% last year. The hottest share in the market, have declined by about a fifth amid a global semiconductor shortage and increasing competition from traditional automakers.
Musk, who co-founded and sold Internet payments company PayPal Holdings Inc, now leads some of the most futuristic companies in the world. Besides Tesla, he heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers. He set up the Boring Company to make affordable tunnels below busy city streets for an all-electric public transportation system to avoid the nasty traffic jams in US cities.
Musk’s fortune has dropped about $9.1 billion this year, according to Bloomberg’s wealth index. Meanwhile, Arnault’s net worth climbed $47 billion to $161.2 billion as sales of his firm’s luxury goods surge in China and other parts of Asia.
(With inputs from agencies)