To the surprise of cryptocurrency fans, Tesla has just removed the ability to make any vehicle purchase with Bitcoins. This reversal of the situation is the result of a long reflection, following heavy criticism addressed to Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, about the environmental impact of the famous cryptocurrency.
We must admit that offering such a payment option was in direct contradiction with the image that the company wants to give, whose mission is to offer not only electric cars, but also sustainable solutions to allow their recharging, in particular by developing in parallel with efficient solar power plants.
Not long ago, we broached the subject of the catastrophic environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, and especially of Bitcoin given that it is the most used – and therefore the one that requires the most resources for the calculation of transactions. Indeed, bitcoin will soon consume as much energy as all the data centers in the world …
An announcement made directly by Elon Musk
” Tesla suspended bitcoin vehicle purchases “, wrote Elon Musk on Twitter. ” We are concerned about the rapid increase in the use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which shows the worst emissions of all fuels “.
This decision therefore comes just a few months after Musk decided to introduce bitcoin into his payment system (in March). Not to mention that just yesterday, Musk was hinting that Tesla may soon accept Dogecoin, a meme-based cryptocurrency.
To justify his announcement on Twitter, he took the opportunity to publish a graph showing the increase in the electricity consumption of bitcoin:
Back then, Musk’s adoption of cryptocurrency (which he called “brilliant”, claiming that “paper money is disappearing”) has always come with an inherent tension. On the one hand, it is a democratized financial system that clearly refers to the billionaire’s roots at PayPal. On the other hand, Musk has always been opposed to fossil fuels, in favor of renewables, which is a big part of their importance at Tesla, and it’s hard to imagine how cryptocurrencies, with their heavy carbon footprint, would fit in. in these convictions.
A decision that does not seem final
” Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a bright future, but it cannot come at a high cost to the environment. He wrote. ” Tesla will not sell bitcoin, but we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining switches to more sustainable energy. “.
Musk added that the company is studying other cryptocurrencies, which consume less energy per transaction. Among the promising candidates that we could imagine, there is in particular Peercoin, which uses “proof of stake” in order to avoid the centralization of calculations (as is the case with the “proof of stake” method. of work ”used by the traditional blockchain). Instead, the calculations are spread across all coin users, drastically increasing energy efficiency.