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Elon Musk Loses His Cool

Tesla's CEO, the richest man in the world, is not used to having his accomplishments questioned.
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Few people contest that Elon Musk has become the most influential CEO in the world. 

That influence extends beyond the automotive and space spheres, where two of the companies he leads -- Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report and SpaceX -- are the leaders or among them. The billionaire's tweets and decisions also have a significant impact on the cryptocurrency industry. 

Musk is one of the influencers of dogecoin, one of the most important digital currencies in terms of market value -- $11.6 billion, according to data firm CoinGecko.

Dogecoin features the image of the shiba inu dog as its logo and namesake. It's considered the first of the so-called meme coins, which are inspired by a meme or have some humorous characteristic. 

It was created by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, who'd said they'd decided to create a payment system as a joke. The coin was supposed to make fun of the wild speculation in cryptocurrencies.

Now, despite the billionaire's support for dogecoin, Palmer has just launched virulent attacks against Musk, in particular denying him his standing as a visionary.

Is Musk a 'Grifter'?

In a recent interview, Palmer says he had written a bot, which is a script to automatically detect crypto scams on Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Twitter Inc. Report. He says he gave it to the site's former CEO, Jack Dorsey, to his team as well as to other crypto influencers. 

Musk, of course, has proposed to buy the microblogging provider.

"Elon [Musk] reached out to me to get hold of that script and it became apparent very quickly that he didn’t understand coding as well as he made out," Palmer told the Australian website "He asked, 'How do I run this Python script?'"

Palmer continued: "After I gave him the script, I wasn’t a fan of him."

"He’s a grifter. He sells a vision in hopes that he can one day deliver what he’s promising, but he doesn’t know that. He’s just really good at pretending he knows. That’s very evident with the Tesla full-self-driving promise." That's a reference to the EV producer's oft-postponed production of a fully autonomous car.

The virulence of Palmer's criticisms of Musk is rare. He called the world's richest man a "grifter" several times:

"About a year ago when Musk was saying something about crypto, I said Elon Musk was and always will be a grifter but the world loves grifters.

"They love the idea that they may also be a billionaire one day, and that’s the dream he’s selling. When he talks to other users on Twitter, they’re like, 'Wow, Elon is talking to me! Maybe I can be a friend of his, or even become a billionaire myself.'"

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Palmer Is a 'Tool'?

Musk's response is just as sharp.

"You falsely claimed ur lame snippet of Python gets rid of bots. Ok buddy, then share it with the world," Musk answered on Twitter.

Musk sees himself as the visionary of our time. With Tesla he transformed the automotive sector, which now designs vehicles like salons on four wheels. With SpaceX, Musk has revived dreams of living on Mars, while his Neuralink company aims to develop a way for people to download their memories and personalities.

And as always, the tech tycoon has received support from his millions of fans.

"I can understand Elon asking how to run a Python script," one Twitter user commented. "There are too many versions of Python, and sometimes the requirements are not obvious. It probably was garbage code anyways."

Musk then launched his heaviest charge against Palmer.

"My kids wrote better code when they were 12 than the nonsense script Jackson sent me," the serial said. "Like I said, if it’s so great, he should share it with the world and make everyone’s experience with Twitter better. If he does, you will see what I mean."

"Jackson Palmer is a tool." 

Musk added:

"And Palmer always forgets to mention that he never wrote a single line of dogecoin code …" 

That's when Billy Markus, the other co-creator of dogecoin, stepped in to defend Musk.

"the people after us did exponentially more than either jackson or i did on the code base," Markus commented. "i think i wrote like 20 lines of code and copied the rest 🤣."

And unsurprisingly, Musk appreciated this support, which suggests divisions within the dogecoin project.

"You’re humble bro," Musk tweeted at Markus. "Billy’s sense of humor & irreverence is a big part of why people love Dogecoin."

From being a fan of crypto, Palmer has become one of the biggest critics of cryptocurrencies. Despite Musk's retort, Palmer stands by his criticism. He says he has shared the notorious anti-crypto scam bot since 2018.