Elon Musk announced Wednesday night that Tesla has stopped accepting Bitcoin for car purchases due to increasing use of fossil fuel for its mining and transactions.
He zeroed in on coal, which he said, has the worst emissions of any fuel.
In a tweet that took many by surprise, the mercurial billionaire said:
“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.”
Though Musk said his Tesla electric cars will no longer accept Bitcoin as payment, he also said the company will not sell its $1.5billion holdings in the cryptocurrency.
He said the digital money will be used for transactions “as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy.”
Tesla & Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/YSswJmVZhP
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2021
Bitcoin dropped 6.2% to $52,960 at 7:59 p.m. New York time on Wednesday, while Tesla shares fell 4.4% to $589.89 in Nasdaq trading, Forbes reported.
Forbes reported that Musk’s move is a curious one since Tesla’s recent $1.5 billion Bitcoin investment triggered a surge in the currency’s value.
It also helped the carmaker report a first-quarter project this year, owing to the $101 million gain it reported from selling 10% of its Bitcoin holdings.
He’s also made comments that pumped up and then undercut Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that started as a joke.
Musk said the company is looking at other cryptocurrencies that “use “<1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction,” without identifying specific alternatives.