On Sunday, Elon Musk said he did not consider bitcoin decentralized, as much of the mining is concentrated in the hands of very few. Ever since Tesla's CEO announced last week that his electric car company would no longer accept payments in bitcoins for environmental reasons, cryptocurrency fans have been very unhappy with them - and Musk has added fuel to the fire.
After criticizing bitcoin and a recent demonstration of support for dogecoin on Twitter by crypto-bull Peter McCormack, who singled out decentralization as a key advantage of the cryptocurrency, Musk hit back.
"Unpleasant topics like this make me want to switch completely to Doge," Musk tweeted. McCormack changed his name on Twitter to"Peter McObnoxious"before commenting on the content of the topic.
"Bitcoin is actually very centralized, the vast majority controlled by a handful of large mining companies. One coal mine in Xinjiang was flooded, nearly killing miners, and the rate of bitcoin hashing fell by 35%. Sounds "decentralized" to you?" Musk tweeted.
"Hey, cryptocurrency "experts," have you ever heard of PayPal? It's possible... It's possible... I know more than you think about how money works," Musk continued, prompting a furious reaction from cryptocurrency fans who said the PayPal is not suitable for comparison because it is not blockchain-based and is the financial structure that bitcoin is trying to resist.
Musk announced on Twitter last week that Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin as a form of payment because of environmental concerns and was looking for alternatives. He has previously publicly supported bitcoin, making it one of the most popular figures in the cryptosphere.
His statement once again drew attention to the long-running debate about the environmental impact of bitcoin. Critics argue that the process of mining bitcoin requires an absurd amount of energy that often comes from fossil fuels, while advocates say it is mostly clean energy, and bitcoin uses less energy than other forms of investment.
Crypto-bull Michael Sailor shared a video in which he describes bitcoin as "the least energy-intensive and most efficient technology we have ever discovered in human history."
"Sailor Moon," Musk tweeted in response, comparing the crypto-bull to the character of the sci-fi anime Sailor Moon - a young girl who is looking for mystical crystals to save the world.
"He should wear Halloween clothes, but with a "Bitcoin" tattoo on his hips," Musk continued as supporters shared gifs with Sailor Moon.
Bitcoin fell to $42,185 during its barrage of tweets last night, which also mentioned Tesla's potential sale of its bitcoin holdings. In April, it hit a historic high of about $65,000, but has since gone through various peaks and busts. It last traded at $45,416.14 on Monday, about 30 percent below its record peak.