Electric car maker Tesla Inc is likely to restart accepting bitcoin as payments once it performs due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to extract the currency, CEO Elon Musk said at a conference on Wednesday.
Bitcoin rose 8% to $ 32,160.16, while ether rose 11.6% to $ 1,993.36. Tesla’s shares fell 0.8% to $ 655.30 in expanded trading.
Musk’s comments at the B Word conference come after Tesla said in May that it would stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases less than two months after the company began accepting the world’s largest digital currency for payment.
“I wanted a little more care to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy consumption is most likely at or above 50% and that there is a tendency to increase this number, in which case Tesla will resume acceptance of bitcoin,” said Musk.
“Most likely, the answer is that Tesla would resume acceptance of bitcoin.”
Using bitcoin to buy Tesla’s electric vehicles had highlighted a dichotomy between 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 of the way bitcoin is “extracted” using large amounts of electricity generated by fossil fuels.
However, more digital currency miners are trying to use renewable energy to reduce the impact on the environment.
“Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the emergence of sustainable energy. We can not be the company that does that, nor can we take appropriate care with the energy consumption of bitcoin, ”said Musk.
Musk added that he personally owned bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin, apart from bitcoin, which Tesla and SpaceX owned.
“I can pump, but I do not dump,” Musk said. “I certainly do not believe in getting the price high and selling … I want to see bitcoin succeed.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 6pm. 4 and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.