The maker of Tesla electric vehicles will stop accepting bitcoin payments, the company’s CEO tweeted on Wednesday, Elon musk, alleging environmental concerns.
“We are concerned about the rapid increase in the use of fossil fuels for minting and trading bitcoins, especially coal, whose emissions are the worst of any fuel, ”Musk said on Twitter. He added that cryptocurrency is “a good idea in many respects,” but that its promise cannot be at “great cost to the environment.”
Tesla added that it will not sell any of the bitcoins it owns.
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The bitcoin price It fell about 5% to $ 51,847 after Musk’s tweets. Tesla shares closed Wednesday with a loss of 4.4%.
Tesla reported in February that it had invested about $ 1.5 billion in bitcoin and that it planned to start accepting digital currency as a form of payment “soon.” The market value of Tesla’s bitcoins as of March 31 was $ 2.48 billion, according to securities records.
Bitcoins owe their existence to the computers, which in turn depend on electricity. The number of computers and the energy required for their use is increasing. The increasing value of bitcoin is directly related to the amount of energy it uses.
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The bitcoin miners They unlock cryptocurrency by solving complex cryptographic problems. As the value of bitcoin rises, problems become increasingly difficult to solve, so more computing power is required for their solution. Estimates of how much energy bitcoins use vary.
A 2019 study by researchers from the Technical University of Munich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that, at the end of 2018, the entire bitcoin network was responsible for the emission of 22.9 million tonnes of CO2 per year, an amount similar to that of a large city in the West or a small developing country like Sri Lanka. Total global greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel consumption was about 37 billion tonnes last year.
cev / lsm