Tesla will stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases over concerns about the environmental impacts
In a tweet this evening, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla has “suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin,” out of concern over “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining.” On February 8, Tesla said it bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
At that time, the company said it would start accepting bitcoin as a payment method for its products. A couple of weeks later, the world’s largest electric automaker announced it had started to accept bitcoin for vehicle purchases.
Not long after Tesla purchased Bitcoin, the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Alternative Finance reported that Tesla’ bitcoin purchase had caused a severe spike in the amount of electricity used to mine bitcoin. At the time of the purchase, the group estimated that bitcoin was using about 121.9 terawatt-hours, as much energy as consumed by countries like Argentina and the Netherlands in one year.
In a joint tweet, Musk said: “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.”
Musk continued, “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.”
Here was Musk’s full announcement via tweet:
Tesla & Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/YSswJmVZhP
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2021