Elon Musk loses world’s richest person title as Tesla falters

Elon Musk loses world's richest title as Tesla falters
A surge in Tesla shares first made Elon Musk the world's richest man in January. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Tesla founder Elon Musk has lost his title as the world’s richest person after a recent slide in the company’s shares, the main driver of his wealth.

The electric car company’s shares have tumbled more than 20% since hitting a high of more than $880 in early January.

Mr Musk’s wealth suffered especially steep falls this week, tied to the firm’s recent risky $1.5bn investment in Bitcoin.

The drop returned Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to the top spot on the rich list.

The risk of being associated with the notoriously volatile Bitcoin may have prompted some Tesla investors to sell their shares, even if the company has not been hurt by the declines, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said.

He said: “By Musk and Tesla aggressively embracing Bitcoin… investors are starting to tie Bitcoin and Tesla at the hip.”

“The recent 48-hour sell-off in Bitcoin and added volatility has driven some investors to the exits on this name in the near-term.”

Experts say Tesla’s embracing of Bitcoin has impact on Musk’s world’s richest person title.

Bitcoin’s value jumped nearly 50 percent in the weeks after Tesla revealed it had purchased $1.5bn of the currency and planned to accept it as payment.

Just as Elon Musk was credited with helping to fuel the cryptocurrency’s rise, he may also have himself to blame for some of the recent Bitcoin declines.

But since climbing above $57,000 on Sunday, bitcoin has dropped nearly 20%. It was trading at less than $48,000 on Tuesday – which was still higher than when Tesla disclosed its bet.

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