Thursday, January 20

Tesla says no to Bitcoin to save the environment


It is no longer possible to pay for your Tesla in Bitcoin, as was the case from the beginning of February 2021. Deemed too polluting by Elon Musk, this cryptocurrency would therefore constitute a paradox in relation to Tesla’s mission, that of switching towards more sustainable energies, notably thanks to electric cars.

Bitcoin, the most famous cryptocurrency

Four short months, no more, no less. Being able to buy your Tesla with Bitcoin did not last long, since Elon Musk simply removed this means of payment from the manufacturer’s virtual configurator. This option was added in early February 2021, to the delight of Bitcoin owners.

Bitcoin, too polluting for Elon Musk

Except that the boss of SpaceX quickly changed his mind. The interested cracked a media release on his favorite social network, Twitter, to explain the why and how:

Tesla has suspended the purchase of vehicles through Bitcoin. We are concerned about the increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining, especially coal, which has the worst emissions. Cryptocurrency is a good idea in more ways than one, and we believe it has a bright future, but it cannot be done at the expense of the environment.

On several occasions, Bitcoin has indeed been criticized for its massive electricity needs. Several studies point to the high consumption of energy necessary for the mining of this cryptocurrency. For Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (Quoted by Futura Sciences), the annual consumption of Bitcoin corresponds more or less to that of Norway.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Another signed estimate Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index and relayed by The Verge puts the annual consumption of Bitcoin on an equal footing with that of the Netherlands. In short, the subject is not new and poses a real environmental problem here for Elon Musk, for whom the carbon footprint is extremely important.

Indeed, through Tesla and electric cars, Mr. Musk is trying to make a contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases. The electric car pollutes less than a diesel and gasoline vehicle, that’s a fact. But it would be contradictory that in parallel, Tesla counterbalances its environmental efforts through a Bitcoin considered too polluting.

Tesla gives himself time

However, there is nothing to say that this decision is final. It could also be temporary, since Tesla plans to use Bitcoin again once its mining becomes more sustainable. The Californian company is also considering turning to other less polluting cryptocurrencies.

Finally, it should be noted that the price of Bitcoin has fallen by nearly 10% in the space of 24 hours (according to Coindesk), before gradually recovering.


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