Tesla CEO Elon Musk has hinted that the crypto industry is on its way toward greener future, but Tesla won’t be accepting Bitcoin payments just yet.
Speaking at “The ₿ Word” — a virtual Bitcoin (BTC) event with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood and moderator Steve Lee from Square Crypto — Musk said that Tesla would “most likely” consider resuming crypto payments for its vehicles — a policy the CEO said the company would be stopping in May — but said he needed to exercise diligence before making a decision.
“There appears to be a positive trend in the energy usage of Bitcoin,” said Musk, alsexpressing skepticism at the speed at which the network had moved towards green energy sources. “There’s just no way you could basically double or triple the amount of energy in such a short period of time with renewables […] Tesla’s mission is accelerating sustainable energy. We can’t be the company that does that and not do appropriate diligence on the energy usage of Bitcoin.”
“It looks like Bitcoin is shifting a lot more towards renewables and a bunch of the heavy duty coal plants that were unequivocally being used have been shut down, especially in China. I want to do a little more diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50% and that there is a trend towards increasing that number. If so, Tesla will resume accepting Bitcoin.”
In May, Musk announced that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin payments due to the network’s “increasingly rapid use of fossil fuels.” The price of the crypto asset subsequently fell under $40,000 for the first time since February. The Tesla CEO later clarified that the company would resume BTC transactions when there was confirmation miners were using more than 50% clean energy “with positive future trend.”
Musk also addressed some of the allegations from professionals that he had orchestrated a pump-and-dump scheme given his social media posts on cryptocurrencies including BTC and Dogecoin (DOGE). He said the only three assets “of any significance” that he owned outside of SpaceX and Tesla stock were BTC, DOGE, and Ether (ETH), and that neither he nor Tesla had sold any Bitcoin since the announcement stopping crypto payments.
“If the price of Bitcoin goes down, I lose money,” said Musk:
“I might pump, but I don’t dump. I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling it or anything like that.”
As Cointelegraph reported, Musk said in April that Tesla had sold a portion of its Bitcoin holdings — with net proceeds of roughly $272 million at the time — to prove the asset’s liquidity as an alternative to cash. He has not revealed how much of the crypto asset he personally owns, but said even his one-year-old son owns some Dogecoin.