Elon Musk says Tesla is suspending Bitcoin payments over environmental concerns
By tweeting on Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company is no longer accepting bitcoin payments.
Tesla before announced that it was accepting BTC for car payments starting in February along with the $1.5 billion investment in bitcoin as a treasury asset. Musk has since continued supporting Dogecoin, the meme currency currently boasting a market cap of $58 billion.
Cryptocurrency “cannot come at great cost to the environment,” the electric carmaker said in the statement shared by CEO Elon Musk. The statement was hedged, but only slightly, with praise for crypto’s “promising future” and a promise to investigate less energy-hungry networks than Bitcoin’s.
Following the news, Bitcoin’s price is now down more than 11% over the past 24 hours.
Bitcoin, a proof-of-work (PoW) blockchain reliant on energy-intensive mining units, has come under fire from environmental groups as its price has surged to all-time highs. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, also relies on PoW but is in the process of switching to proof-of-stake within new upgrades.
The company’s announcement to accept bitcoin in early 2021 was a watershed moment for corporate bitcoin adoption and the whole crypto industry.
Through this announcement, Tesla’s turn on environmental matters will likely give fuel to the social and even political moment demanding for change to the world’s largest cryptocurrency.
However, the company has stated, “Tesla will not be selling any bitcoin.” Adding, “We intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy.”
No such plans are publicly known. The most reputable report on the matter says nearly 40% of Bitcoin’s energy consumption was carbon-neutral.