Fresh off his stint as SNL host over the weekend, Tesla CEO and noted cryptocurrency proponent Elon Musk announced today that his company will no longer accept Bitcoin as payment for its vehicles — just 49 days since announcing Tesla would accept Bitcoin as payment — citing the environmental damage caused by Bitcoin mining as the main reason behind the decision.
“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,” Musk says in the statement. “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.”
You can read Musk’s full statement below:
Many had previously pointed out the seeming inherent hypocrisy of a clean energy/electric vehicle company accepting Bitcoin as payment. According to researchers, Bitcoin mining (we’re not even going to try to explain what it is but it involves lots of computers) uses up an amount of energy that’s “equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of Argentina.”
That said, some crypto advocates like Mark Cuban believe that the long-term environmental effect of Bitcoin mining is perhaps a bit overblown.
We at https://t.co/VUydpLFzGh will continue to accept BTC/Eth/Doge because we know that replacing Gold as a store of value will help the environment https://t.co/bs7NvnJY8A and https://t.co/ELhbuLOBRV shrinking big bank and coin usage will benefit society and the environment https://t.co/zu08F0STEQ
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 12, 2021
Immediately following the announcement, the price of Bitcoin plummetted by about $2000, and Tesla’s stock price took a hit in after-hours trading as well.
Coincidentally, the price of Dogecoin also plummeted following the SNL appearance by the self-proclaimed “Dogefather” over the weekend. We have to hand it to Elon, singlehandedly causing the price of two global cryptocurrencies to freefall within the span of less than a week is an impressive feat.