Tesla has stopped accepting bitcoin as payment for its cars out of concern that it will contribute to greater consumption of fossil fuels, according to a statement CEO Elon Musk tweeted Wednesday. Tesla had only just started accepting bitcoin in late March.
Tesla says it would resume accepting bitcoin (and would consider selling more of it) once the process of mining bitcoin “transitions to more sustainable energy,” according to the statement. The company is also “looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.” As of this writing, Tesla’s website indicates it will still accept Bitcoin for transactions.
“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,” Musk’s statement reads.
Without specifying a particular cryptocurrency, the company is looking at other options that it says use less than one percent of Bitcoin’s energy per transaction, likely by using proof of stake blockchain technology instead of proof of work. This would rule out Dogecoin, although it’s unclear if this policy will impact SpaceX’s crypto plans. Ethereum is a possibility as miners have discussed moving to a more energy efficient system, and predictably prices of the cryptocurrency have risen by over $200 in the last hour, while the value of Bitcoin has dropped by $2,000 or so to $52,795.53, according to Coinbase.
Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin. 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.
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.
Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.