(Subscribe to our Today's Cache newsletter for a quick snapshot of top 5 tech stories. Click here to subscribe for free.)
Electric carmaker Tesla will no longer accept Bitcoin for car purchases, CEO Elon Musk said on Wednesday, stating concerns about emissions due to use of fossil fuels to mine the cryptocurrency.
“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 said in a tweet.
Tesla began accepting the world’s most-traded digital currency as payment in February. Prior to the move, the EV maker bought Bitcoin worth $1.5 billion.
However, the company’s decision was criticised by environmentalists as they saw Tesla’s move could turbo-charge the global use of cryptocurrencies. They view that mining cryptocurrency caused pollution as it used fossil fuel to mint Bitcoin. Musk faced severe backlash for supporting Bitcoin, despite projecting himself as an evangelist for clean energy.
The inclusion of cryptocurrency in Tesla’s investment portfolio could also complicate the company’s zero-emissions ethos , Reuters noted in a report.
Musk has also been influential in popularising another cryptocurrency, the meme-based Dogecoin. Just two days before his announcement, he asked Twitter users whether Tesla should accept Dogecoin as a form of payment, to which over 78% respondents said yes.
Earlier this week, Musk announced its aerospace services company SpaceX will start accepting Dogecoin as payment to launch a lunar mission next year .
Tesla will retain its Bitcoin holdings and will use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. “We are also looking for other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction,” Musk stated.