Elon Musk’s Tesla U-Turns on Bitcoin over ‘Cost to Environment’

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Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and a major proponent of cryptocurrency, has announced that the company will no longer accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for its cars citing Bitcoin mining’s “great cost to the environment.”

CNBC reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday that the company has “suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin,” out of worries related to the “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining.”

The price of Bitcoin dropped by around five percent following Musk’s announcement. In a February SEC filing, Tesla revealed that it purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and may invest in other cryptocurrencies in the future.

Musk’s discussion of cryptocurrencies has boosted the value of multiple coins, including Bitcoin and Dogecoin. Musk’s tweet reads: “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.”

Musk has been a public fan of both Bitcoin and Dogecoin and many expected his appearance on Saturday Night Live last week to boost the value of the digital assets. However, during a segment on the show in which Musk joked about Dogecoin being a “hustle,” the price of Dogecoin plummeted. There was a slight increase in the coin’s value during SNL’s “Weekend Update” parody news section in which Musk explained to a confused Michael Che and Colin Jost what Dogecoin was.

Many were quick to criticize Musk’s decision to no longer accept Bitcoin at Tesla. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said that the team will continue to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment as “we know that replacing Gold as a store of value will help the environment.”

As of the time of the writing of this article, #DontBuyTesla is trending in the United States with many criticizing Musk for the move.

Breitbart News will continue to report on Elon Musk and Tesla.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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