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Tesla reverses course on bitcoin, citing climate

05/13/2021 | 02:16am EDT

Tesla has suspended the use of bitcoin to purchase its vehicles, CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday.

Musk cited climate concerns for the decision.

After his tweet, Bitcoin fell more than 7 percent.

Back in February, Tesla bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin.

It began accepting Bitcoin as payment the following month, sparking a 20% surge in the world's biggest digital currency.

Bitcoin is created when high-powered computers compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles.

It's an energy-intensive process that often relies on electricity generated with fossil fuels, especially coal.

Bitcoin "mining" currently consumes the same amount of energy as the Netherlands did in 2019, according to data from the International Energy Agency and Cambridge University.

Investors and environmentalists have repeatedly sounded the alarm on Bitcoin, citing the carbon dioxide emissions from mining.

The dominance of Chinese bitcoin miners and refusal to swap cheap fossil fuels for more expensive renewables makes it harder to fix the emissions problem.

In theory, Blockchain analysts say it's possible to track the source of bitcoin, raising the possibility that a premium could be charged for green bitcoin.

Musk is a fan of digital currencies, but also advocates for clean technology.

His tweets made the once-obscure dogecoin well known.

Musk said Sunday that his commercial rocket company SpaceX will take the meme-inspired cryptocurrency as payment on a lunar mission next year.

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BITCOIN - EURO -2.02% 33836.54 Real-time Quote.42.16%
GOLD -0.25% 1799.374 Delayed Quote.-4.56%
S&P GSCI CORN INDEX 0.55% 454.8194 Delayed Quote.13.89%
S&P GSCI GOLD INDEX -0.41% 1049.0221 Delayed Quote.-4.25%
SILVER -0.05% 25.098 Delayed Quote.-3.69%
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