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Tesla will no longer accept Bitcoin as payment for its cars

Elon Musk announced via Twitter yesterday, 12 May, that Tesla will stop accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for its vehicles, citing energy consumption and related environmental concerns. The company started accepting Bitcoin payments in March.
Picture credit: Pixabay

"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 said.

He explained that the benefits of cryptocurrency cannot come at a great cost to the environment despite its promising future.

“We intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We're also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use less than 1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction," said Musk.

The announcement caused the value of Bitcoin to fall to its lowest point since March and comes months after Tesla bought $1.5bn (R21bn) worth of the world’s most popular digital currency.

A total of $365bn was wiped off the cryptocurrency market after Musk's announcement, according to a report by CNBC.

Bitcoin is not issued by a single entity like a central bank. Instead, it is maintained by a network of 'miners'. These 'miners' use purpose-built computers that require a lot of energy to solve complex mathematical puzzles in order for bitcoin transactions to go through. Bitcoin's energy consumption is reportedly is larger than some individual countries.

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