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This article was published on May 13, 2021

Elon Musk says Tesla is pausing Bitcoin payments for its cars now

Tesla will explore other sustainable cryptocurrencies for payments

Elon Musk says Tesla is pausing Bitcoin payments for its cars now
Ivan Mehta
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Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

There was a mood of jubilation amongst the crypto community when in March, Elon Musk said that you can pay for a Tesla with Bitcoin. However, the joy was short-lived as the “Technoking” of the company has now said that it’s pausing crypto payments for environmental reasons. 

In a tweet, Musk said while cryptocurrencies are good in multiple aspects, the environmentalcost of running Bitcoin is high at the moment.

There’s been a lot of debate around Bitcoin mining and energy consumption. A report from Digiconomist suggests that the annual carbon footprint generated from Bitcoin mining is comparable to the carbon footprint of Singapore.

Plus, he added that the company won’t sell its existing Bitcoin holdings and will use them for transactions when it becomes more sustainable to mine the crypto asset. Last month, during its quarterly earnings call, Tesla said that it earned $272 million by trading Bitcoin with $101 million in “positive impact.”

Musk also said that he’s going to explore other cryptocurrencies that are more energy efficient. That naturally led to a lot of people pitching their favorite digital assets firm in Musk’s quote tweets, but I wonder if he’s going through all those ideas. There are more than 40,000 quoted tweets at the time of writing.

The Tesla co-founder’s relation with crypto has been wayward. He has helped Dogecoin gain value multiple times by just tweeting about it in support. Earlier this week, he said that SpaceX will launch a mission next year that it will be paid for entirely in Dogecoin. Days later, he asked consumers if Tesla should start accepting the currency.

Musk’s latest announcement had a sizable impact on Bitcoin prizes: $365 billion were wiped off from the market because of the price drop of the cryptocurrency.

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