The boss of Space X, who had contributed to the success of the cryptocurrency, says he made this decision out of concern for the preservation of the environment.
Elon Musk announced Wednesday, May 12 that Tesla, his electric vehicle company, no longer accepts bitcoin as a means of payment, for the sake of preserving the environment, bitcoin mines consuming a lot of electricity. “Tesla has suspended car purchases with bitcoins. We are concerned about the increasing use of carbon-rich fuels to mine bitcoin, especially coal, which has the worst emissions (greenhouse gas) of all fuels’, tweeted the whimsical billionaire.
At the end of March, his tweet “You can now buy a Tesla in bitcoin” had raised the price of virtual currency. His company had invested $ 1.5 billion in bitcoin at the start of the year. At the end of the first quarter, its cryptocurrency portfolio was worth $ 2.48 billion, according to a stock paper released in late April. But Elon Musk, who regularly displays his ambitions in terms of environmental protection, seems to have changed his mind.
The scientific journal Nature released a study last week showing that China’s bitcoin mines, which power nearly 80% of the world’s cryptocurrency trade, risk jeopardizing the country’s climate goals. These sites full of computers perform mathematical calculations that make it possible to create bitcoins. They consume huge amounts of electricity, partly drawn from coal-fired power stations. According to the study of Nature, if left unchecked, Chinese computer mines will produce 130.50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2024, close to Italy’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions or from Saudi Arabia.
A setback for cryptocurrency
“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we think it has a bright future, but that should not compromise the environment”, Elon Musk explained. “Tesla will not sell bitcoins and we will use it for transactions as soon as the mines are powered by more sustainable energy”, he added. This surprise announcement is a setback for the cryptocurrency. Since the start of the year, the adoption of bitcoin by Tesla, Mastercard and other large companies has taken the currency to unprecedented levels in 2021.
Bitcoin was trading around $ 52,500 on Wednesday night, but recently topped $ 60,000.