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Business & Finance

Elon Musk says Tesla will no longer accept bitcoin for car payments

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that his company will no longer accept bitcoin for car purchases.
  • Musk said the reason behind his change of mind was the long-brewing environmental concerns surrounding the mining process of bitcoin.
Updated 14 May 2021

In one of the biggest corporate betrayals, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that his company will no longer accept bitcoin for car purchases.

In a bombshell tweet on Thursday, Musk said the reason behind his change of mind was the long-brewing environmental concerns surrounding the mining process of bitcoin.

Bitcoin, which had shot to the sky when Musk announced using the currency for Tesla car payments in February this year, fell more than ten percent right after his tweet. Other cryptocurrencies including ethereum also felt the jolts after initially stabilizing in the Asian market.

The use of bitcoin by Tesla had highlighted Elon Musk’s contrast approach between his popularity as an environmentalist and the use of his stature as one of the world's richest people to back cryptocurrencies.

Some Tesla investors, due to its eco-friendly approach, have been increasingly critical about the way bitcoin is “mined” as it uses large amounts of electricity generated with fossil fuels.

Musk said in his tweet that she shares these concerns, especially the use of “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,” he tweeted. Tesla shares fell 1.25 percent soon after the tweet.

Note that the fully electric car company had bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin, before accepting it as payment for cars in March, driving a roughly 20pc surge in the cryptocurrency.

Musk announced that Tesla will not sell its share of bitcoin, and will use the cryptocurrency as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy sources.