Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company has suspended purchases of its vehicles using Bitcoin.
“We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter Tueday evening.
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Musk said “cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels,” and said the company believes it has a “promising future.”
“But this cannot come at great cost to the environment.”
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Musk said Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin, “and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy.”
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He said the company is looking at other cryptocurrencies that use less than one per cent of the energy Bitcoin does.
In February, the company announced it had purchased US$1.5 billion of bitcoin.
A month later, Musk said the company would accept Bitcoin as payment for its vehicles.
According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin remains the highest ranked cryptocurrency by market value.
There are currently more than 18.7 million Bitcoin in circulation and each are valued at US$51,149.98.
The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is created or ‘mined’ using high-powered, specialized computers. Miners use these computers to solve complex mathematical puzzles to create the Bitcoin.
Bitcoin mining has exploded in recent years.
However, the practice requires a large amount of energy, generated mostly by fossil fuels.
In fact, according to the U.K.’s University of Cambridge, Bitcoin mining currently uses more energy annually than Malaysia or Sweden.
The University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, which measures the energy required to create the currency found that Bitcoin uses 147.79 kilowatts/hour (TWh) a year, while Malaysia and Sweden use 147.21 TWh and 131.80 TWh, respectively.
— With a file from Reuters
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