Just under two months ago, Tesla announced that it would begin accepting Bitcoin as payment for its cars, a pretty on-brand move for the ostensibly future-focused automaker owned by crypto-cardinal Elon Musk. Now, via a tweet (what else) from Musk, it’s been announced that Tesla is backpedalling on that decision due to Bitcoin’s current environmental toll.
Tesla thinks again
The announcement tweeted by Musk explains that Tesla has suspended the purchasing of its vehicles with Bitcoin for the time being. Apparently it is, “concerned about the increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.”
It’s a fair point to make, particularly for a company so concerned with green energy and sustainability. The environmental cost of mining Bitcoin is a factor often overlooked by its proponents. The fact of the matter is, mining Bitcoin requires an immense amount of electricity, often provided by fossil fuels. And when massive equity firms are buying up old power plants to run crypto mining rigs, it’s hard not to see the environmental havoc that may follow.
Tesla’s statement goes on to explain that while cryptocurrency may be a “good idea on many levels” and may have a “promising future”, it’s current environmental impact is simply at odds with the company’s mission, and so it cannot support it for now.
In light of that, Tesla will not be selling any of its massive bitcoin bank to bolster its quarterly financials or fund its projects either.
Source: The Verge