Elon Musk’s SNL appearance had far less controversy than many expected, though the days after he showed up and declared Dogecoin a “hustle” apparently haven’t been very kind to his net worth. Musk’s chance to host the show had cryptocurrency enthusiasts excited about the potential to send the coin “to the moon” in value, but while he said it on the show that hasn’t exactly worked out for anyone.
Despite mentioning crypto and quite literally explaining what Dogecoin was on Weekend Update, the price of the coin crashed throughout show and has continued to stay lower than it was in the lead-up to his appearance. Musk has encouraged people to invest in Dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies, and his Tesla had previously accepted Bitcoin to buy cars in the past.
But as Forbes pointed out, Tesla and some other of Musk’s investments saw drops as well in the wake of his SNL appearance and other decisions announced this week, to the tune of about a $20 billion loss in his net worth.
Shares of Tesla have fallen 15% so far this week, lowering Musk’s net worth by $20.5 billion—to $145.5 billion as of market close on Thursday—according to Forbes’ estimates. He remains the third-richest person on the planet, just slightly ahead of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, whose fortune stands at an estimated $127.6 billion.
It’s extremely unlikely the drops were entirely related to SNL, regardless of how well or not he did on the show. But the drops are related, in part, to cryptocurrency. This week Tesla abruptly said it would stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for vehicles, causing both the value of the crypto and Tesla itself to fall. Musk announced the move on Twitter, citing the currency’s mining uses a huge amount of energy and is not viable when it comes to climate change.
As Forbes’ Sergei Klebnikov pointed out, Bitcoin dropped by about 17 percent in the wake of that announcement, and another Tesla announcement about a factory further saw its stock dip. There are a number of different ripple effects that happened, and it’s all very interesting to see what impacts other things in the market. But it’s clear that Musk’s appearance on the show did not give crypto fans the boost they wanted. Since then, in fact, the news has pushed everything a bit further away from the moon.