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Elon Musk loses $19 billion in a day after Bitcoin warning

Elon Musk is no longer the world’s richest person after Tesla shares slid 8.6 per cent on Monday (US time), wiping $US15.2 billion ($19.2 billion) from his net worth.

Tesla’s biggest decline since September was fuelled in part by Musk’s comments over the weekend that the prices of Bitcoin and smaller rival Ether “do seem high.” His message – via his favoured medium of Twitter – came two weeks after Tesla announced it added $US1.5 billion in Bitcoin to its balance sheet.

Tesla bought $US1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and said it would soon accept it as payment for its cars.

Tesla bought $US1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and said it would soon accept it as payment for its cars.Credit:AP

Musk has defended Tesla’s purchase, which has ignited mainstream interest in the digital currency.

The cryptocurrency, which has surged more than 400 per cent over the past year, tumbled for a second day on Tuesday, at one point slipping below $US50,000 on scepticism over the durability of its rally. Tesla shares also continued their slide in early trading in New York, falling 5.2 per cent to $US677.50.

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