Elon Musk has confirmed that Tesla will no longer accept bitcoin as payments for its cars, citing concern over the environmental impacts of the cryptocurrency.
Mining of bitcoin consumes a huge amount of energy — a study from researchers at Cambridge University measured that the annual carbon footprint of the currency is equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of Argentina. Forgive me if I sound like I don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s because I don’t know what I’m talking about:
Essentially, “mining” bitcoin involves solving complex math equations in order to create new bitcoins. When bitcoin was created in 2009 — the coin could be mined on an average computer. Since the value of the currency has escalated, so has its environmental impacts.
The more bitcoin mined, the more complex the algorithms. The more complex the algorithms, the more computers need to solve them. These aren’t your average Macbook’s either, these motherfuckers look like they’ve been taken straight out of Hackers. Obviously, running these gargantuan computers requires a hell of a lot of electricity.
Bitcoin ultimately contradicts Tesla’s mission toward a “zero-emission future.”
“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,” Musk tweeted. “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.”
Musk explained that Tesla will continue holding its Bitcoin earnings, claiming the company will “use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1 percent of Bitcoin’s energy [per] transaction.”
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Tesla & Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/YSswJmVZhP
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2021