Tesla maverick boss Elon Musk is no longer the richest person in the world after shares in the electric car company fell 8.6% on Monday, wiping out $ 15.2 billion (10 , £ 8 billion) of his fortune.

Musk, who passed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to claim the richest person in the world last month, fell back to second place with an estimated fortune of $ 183 billion behind $ 186.3 billion. by Bezos.

The 8.5% drop in Tesla’s stock price on Monday – the biggest one-day drop since September – was in part fueled by Musk’s tweet that the prices of bitcoin and other crypto currencies “seem high”. Tesla shares fell another 6% on Tuesday on the pre-stock market.

His comments came just two weeks after Tesla bought $ 1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, which sent the price of the cryptocurrency to new highs. Bitcoin, which peaked at $ 58,000 on Sunday, has since fallen to $ 47,500 on Tuesday morning. The price is still up over 500% over the past year.

Reply on Twitter to Peter Schiff, Gold Broker and Investor, Musk mentionned: “Money is just data that allows us to avoid the inconveniences of barter. This data, like all data, is subject to latency and errors. The system will evolve towards that which minimizes both. That said, Bitcoin and Ethereum [another cryptocurrency] seem high.

The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, which is managed by Tesla shareholder Baillie Gifford, was the biggest shot on the FTSE 100 on Tuesday, down 11%. Baillie Gifford was the biggest faller in the FTSE 250, down 8%.

Musk said last week that Tesla’s decision to buy $ 1.5 billion in bitcoin was a company decision that was not motivated by him. “Tesla’s action does not directly reflect my opinion,” Musk said, again on Twitter.

“Having bitcoin, which is just a less stupid form of liquidity than cash, is quite adventurous for an S&P 500 company … When fiat [government-issued] money has negative real interest, only a fool wouldn’t look elsewhere. Bitcoin is almost as bs [bullshit] as fiat currency. The key word is “almost”. “

Tesla revealed ownership of Bitcoin a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last month. The company said it had “updated our investment policy to provide us with more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns” to allow it to invest cash reserves in “alternative reserve assets, including digital assets ”.

He said since the decision was approved by his audit committee, he had “invested a total of $ 1.5 billion in bitcoin under this policy and may acquire and hold digital assets from time to time. or long term ”.

Musk has already helped increase the popularity of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and dogecoin, by regularly tweeting that he is a “supporter” of cryptocurrencies. He also joked that bitcoin was his “safe word”.

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The price of bitcoin skyrocketed last month after Musk said he was a cryptocurrency supporter in an interview with Clubhouse, a new social media app designed for wealthy people. “I think at this point bitcoin is a good thing,” he said. “And, therefore, I am a bitcoin supporter. Like I said, I was late for the party, but I’m a bitcoin fan. And I think bitcoin is really on the verge of being widely accepted by mainstream finance people.

He previously changed his Twitter bio to “#bitcoin”.

Musk also tweeted on Monday that Tesla’s standard Model Y line-up SUV would still be available “on the menu,” following reports from new electric vehicle site Electrek that the model had been taken online.