In a move that may have amused regulators who received Tesla’s latest regulatory filing, Elon Musk is now “Technoking of Tesla” and the company’s CFO, Zach Kirkhorn, is now “Master of Coin.” Both C-Suite officers will continue to fill their previous roles of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, respectively.
According to separate paperwork, Jerome Guillen will now serve as the president of Tesla’s heavy trucking operations. He was previously the president of the automotive department. Tesla plans to begin deliveries of its electric Semi by the end of the year.
The regulatory filing indicates that Guillen has recently sold 82,000 Tesla shares and pocketed about $50 million, with the sale of most of those shares occurring within the last six months. Tesla shares (ticker symbol: TSLA) have performed well enough to have been included in the S&P 500 index late last year. Guillen’s decision to sell his holdings does not outwardly appear to have been a factor in the decision to put him in charge of heavy trucking.
The company said of the decision to move Guillen, “As Tesla prepares to enter the critical heavy-trucks market for the first time, Mr. Guillen will now leverage his extensive background in this industry to focus on and lead all aspects of the Tesla Semi program, including the related charging and servicing networks.”
Master of Futuristic Commerce?
Kirkhorn’s new title of “Master of Coin” may be a reference to Tesla’s massive acquisition of Bitcoin. The new title may simply indicate that he will be in charge of managing Tesla’s cryptocurrency holdings as part of his duties as CFO.
Elon Musk has previously praised cryptocurrency in Tweets, even briefly adding the title of “CEO of Dogecoin” to his Twitter profile as a joke. His Tweets have caused the market caps of Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and even the minor cryptocurrency Marscoin to jump significantly. Since his latest round of tweets, more members of Reddit have expressed interest in Marscoin in its official subreddit.
(Breaking: Elon Musk is also selling a song about crypto-based non-fungible tokens, or “NFTs,” as an NFT. See below tweet.)
The interest may be sparked by cryptocurrencies’ ability to function even in an environment that does not yet have a well-developed financial infrastructure. One of Bitcoin’s original selling points was that it could be popular with the unbanked as a way to send and receive money without having to rely on intermediaries like banks and international remittance services.
A well-developed financial infrastructure does not exist in space, which presents an opportunity for a medium of exchange that does not depend on banks, remittance services, Earth-based governments, or even making room for an ATM in the corner. A cryptocurrency’s users would simply have to be able to agree on a protocol for determining that a transaction is valid. Serious proposals to use cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange in futuristic space commerce date back to at least 2017 with the publication of Blockchain Space.
For now, though, space commerce is simply science fiction, not that Tesla’s gamble on Bitcoin would be the first time that one of Elon Musk’s crazy ideas actually worked if it pays off. Aerospace insiders once said that reusable rockets would never get off the ground and, in fact, SpaceX was once nearly bankrupt. Some people still think electric vehicles, especially large ones like the Tesla Semi, will ever take off for all that companies like Walmart Canada are interested in them for short hauls.
Musk’s decision to call himself the Technoking of Tesla and Zach Kirkhorn the company’s “Master of Coin” may merely be a joke that he shared with regulators to see if they actually read the paperwork. It might also show that “CEO of Dogecoin” Elon Musk is very serious about backing cryptocurrency for all his kidding around.