Elon Musk: Tesla will stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for vehicle purchases

On May 13, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the automaker will no longer accept Bitcoin as a payment method for the purchase of electric vehicles. 

The reason, explained through Twitter, seems to be the environmental pollution caused by the cryptocurrency mining process and by the transactions that require the use of fossil fuels: the extraction of Bitcoin worldwide involves a high consumption of energy which, according to some researchers at the University of Cambridge, can be compared to the needs of the entire country of Argentina. 

In February, Elon Musk’s company announced a 1.5 billion dollars purchase of Bitcoin and recorded 272 million dollars in proceeds from sales of digital assets during the quarter. In addition, at the end of March Tesla’s announcement confirmed the possibility of buying electric vehicles with Bitcoin. About two months later, the Group about-turn on bitcoin shifts its attention to other cryptocurrency. Elon Musk’s tweet obviously had repercussions on the financial market: a few minutes after the announcement, the price of Bitcoin dropped about 5% and that day fell 16%, from about 51,000 dollars to 46,000 dollars. 

“Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using bitcoin. 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. 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. Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction”, Tesla’s CEO said in a note posted on Twitter by explaining the reason why the automaker will no longer accept Bitcoin as a payment method, preferring other cryptocurrencies with a lower environmental impact. 

It seems that the company is evaluating other cryptocurrencies by showing interest in Dogecoin: “Working with Doge devs to improve system transaction efficiency. Potentially promising”, Elon Musk revealed the day after halting Bitcoin transactions. Shortly after his latest tweet, Dogecoin prices jumped to more than 50 cents. 

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