AWARENESS: The coal needs for cryptocurrency mining are worrying. Tesla will return to bitcoins when “mines are powered by more sustainable energy”
While some of his statements helped drive up the most famous cryptocurrency in particular, Elon Musk took a step backwards on bitcoin on Wednesday. The boss of Tesla announced that his electric vehicle company no longer accepts this currency as a means of payment.
The billionaire justified this turnaround by a concern to preserve the environment. “We are concerned about the increasing use of carbon-rich fuels to mine bitcoin, especially coal, which has the worst [greenhouse gas] emissions of all fuels,” he tweeted. . At the end of March, it was already on Twitter that he had announced: “You can now buy a Tesla in bitcoin”.
Tesla’s investments in Bitcoin
Tesla invested $ 1.5 billion in bitcoin at the start of the year. At the end of the first quarter, his cryptocurrency portfolio was worth $ 2.48 billion, according to a stock document released in late April. But Elon Musk, who regularly displays his ambitions in terms of environmental protection, seems to have changed his mind.
It must be said that the scientific journal Nature published a study in April showing that Chinese bitcoin mines, which fuel nearly 80% of the global cryptocurrency trade, risk compromising the country’s climate objectives. These sites consume huge amounts of electricity, partly drawn from coal-fired power plants. According to Nature , if left unchecked, Chinese computer mines will produce 130.50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2024, nearly the total annual greenhouse gas emissions of the country. Italy or Saudi Arabia.
Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a bright future, but that should not compromise the environment, ” said Elon Musk. “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 cryptocurrency. Since the start of the year, the adoption of bitcoin by Tesla, Mastercard and other major companies has taken the currency to unprecedented levels in 2021. Bitcoin was trading around $ 52,500 on Wednesday night, but Thursday at 7:45 a.m. it fell more than 6% to $ 51,077.