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Tesla Is Hitting Brakes On Accepting Bitcoin To Protect The Climate, Says Musk
By Mikelle Leow, 14 May 2021
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Image via betto rodrigues / Shutterstock.com
After self-driving the Dogecoin market, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced that the electric vehicle company will put Bitcoin payments on pause over climate change concerns.
“We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk and Tesla explained in a statement Wednesday.
“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment,” they continued in the tweet.
The decision comes just a few months after Tesla announced it had purchased about US$1.5 billion in Bitcoin and that it intended to take in the cryptocurrency as payment.
Tesla now says that it will not use its own wealth of Bitcoin until “mining transitions to more sustainable energy.” It is currently holding the tokens as it intends to use them in future transactions.
After the tweet on Wednesday, Bitcoin plunged by 13% at the end of Wednesday and dipped “as much as 7.5%” on Thursday, noted The Street.
Bitcoin is generated using high-powered computers, which evidently consume a significant amount of electricity—often generated with coal-based fossil fuels. It is mined by solving complex mathematical puzzles, and as its value rises, the puzzles increase in difficulty, requiring even more energy.
On Thursday, Musk tweeted that he is now “working with Doge [developers] to improve system transaction efficiency,” seemingly to make it a viable payment option for Tesla cars. Dogecoin spiked around 22% afterwards.
While the excitement over cryptocurrencies suggests that they are here to stay, their revolving rise and fall by the word of one man proves just how unpredictable the market can also be.
Tesla & Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/YSswJmVZhP— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2021
To be clear, I strongly believe in crypto, but it can’t drive a massive increase in fossil fuel use, especially coal— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2021
Working with Doge devs to improve system transaction efficiency. Potentially promising.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2021
Do you want Tesla to accept Doge?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2021
[via BBC, The Street, Coindesk, ABC News, cover image via betto rodrigues / Shutterstock.com]
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