Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, who recently added “Technoking” to his title, said Wednesday that the company will accept Bitcoin to pay for cars in the United States, a move that contradicts the company’s image as an eco-friendly manufacturer of electric cars.
Tesla will hold the digital currency, instead of converting payments to dollars and processing cryptocurrency transactions internally, Musk said.
“Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be kept in the form of Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency,” Musk explained in a tweet. That means when someone buys a Tesla with Bitcoin, the price of the car can go up – or down – over time. In other words, Tesla is turning one-off payments into variable value assets, or fundamentally investments.
Buyers outside the US will have the option to use Bitcoin “later this year,” Musk said.
Musk’s embrace of Bitcoin has been hailed by many crypto enthusiasts, but the impact of cryptocurrencies on climate change is increasingly being monitored.
“Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to humanity, and so it’s not a climate cool thing,” Bill Gates recently told The New York Times. Depending on the study, the annual carbon footprint from the electricity required to mine Bitcoin and process its transactions equals the emissions of all of New Zealand. Or Argentina.
Alex de Vries, an economist who created the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index and tracks the unintended consequences of digital trends also has an issue of e-waste associated with bitcoin mining. . Bitcoin mining, he told The Times, is done using highly specialized devices that have a short lifespan and these tools are irreplaceable, making it even more difficult to invest in digital currencies. from an environmental perspective.
Musk said last month that the company bought $ 1.5 billion in Bitcoin for its treasury. Wednesday’s announcement confirmed speculation in the crypto community that Tesla would not simply contract payments to third-party processors and treat Bitcoin as a dollar.
Since Tesla’s Bitcoin purchase in February, the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has risen to record highs, but trading has been volatile.
Analysts are at least satisfied with the symbolism. Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe, analysts at investment firm Wedbush, write: “This is a pivotal moment for Tesla and the world of crypto. “This morning’s news formalized Musk and Tesla’s strategy to delve into the deep bottom of bitcoin and cryptocurrency from a trading perspective.”