Elon Musk announces suspension of Bitcoin Tesla purchases
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The billionaire entrepreneur – and Tesla Chief Executive Officer – today hinted at the radical shift, which would come into force once the company conducts due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to mine the currency. Bitcoin spiked to £23,452.16, while ether surged 11.6 percent to £1453.62 after his remarks.
Tesla’s shares were down 0.8 percent at £477.86 in extended trading.
Mr Musk’s comments at the B Word conference come after Tesla said in May it would stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases, less than two months after the company began accepting the world’s biggest digital currency for payment.
He said: ”I wanted a little bit more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50 percent, and that there is a trend towards increasing that number, and if so Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin.
Elon Musk has suggested Tesla will start accepting bitcoin as payment (Image: GETTY)
Bitcoin spiked after Mr Musk’s remark (Image: Google)
Most likely the answer is that Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin
“Most likely the answer is that Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin.”
The use of bitcoin to buy Tesla’s electric vehicles had highlighted a dichotomy between Mr Musk’s reputation as an environmentalist and the use of his popularity and stature as one of the world’s richest people to back cryptocurrencies.
Some Tesla investors, along with environmentalists, have been increasingly critical about the way bitcoin is “mined” using vast amounts of electricity generated with fossil fuels.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (Image: GETTY)
More digital currency miners, however, are making attempts to use renewable energy to mitigate the impact on the environment.
Mr Musk said: “Tesla’s mission is accelerating the advent of sustainable energy.
‘We can’t be the company that does that and also not do appropriate diligence on the energy usage of bitcoin.”
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Tesla manufactures electric cars (Image: GETTY)
Cryptocurrency mining uses an enormous amount of energy (Image: GETTY)
He added that he personally owned bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin, apart from bitcoin that Tesla and SpaceX owned.
Mr Musk explained: “I might pump, but I don’t dump.
“I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling.
Crypto ATMs by country (Image: Express)
“I would like to see bitcoin succeed.”
Bitcoin in recent weeks had been locked in a relatively tight trading range, after investors sold heavily in May and June following a crackdown by China on cryptocurrency mining and trading.
Financial watchdogs and central bankers in the West recently have also called for tighter regulation.
Bitcoin is the world’s most famous cryptocurrency (Image: GETTY)
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told regulators on Monday that the US government must move quickly to establish a regulatory framework for stablecoins, a rapidly growing class of digital currencies.
Bitcoin yesterday fell to its lowest in almost a month, slumping below $30,000 (£21876.91) as regulators continued calls for tighter checks on cryptocurrencies.
The drop took its losses for the month to around 15 percent.
It had fallen by more than half since hitting a peak of almost $65,000 (£47399.97) in April.