Tesla will ‘very likely’ start accepting bitcoin as payments again, Musk says

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REUTERS: Electric car maker Tesla Inc will most likely resume accepting bitcoin as payments once it does its due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to mine the currency, chief executive Elon Musk said on Wednesday during a conference.

Bitcoin rose 8% to US $ 32,160.16, while ether jumped 11.6% to US $ 1,993.36. Tesla shares were down 0.8% to US $ 655.30 in extended trading.

Musk’s comments at the B Word conference come after Tesla announced in May that it would stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases, less than two months after the company began accepting the largest digital currency to the world for payment.

“I wanted a little more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy use is most likely equal to or greater than 50%, and that there is a trend for that number to increase, and if that ‘is the case, Tesla would start accepting bitcoin again, “Musk said.

“The answer is most likely that Tesla would start accepting bitcoin again.”

Using bitcoin to buy Tesla’s electric vehicles had highlighted a dichotomy between Musk’s reputation as an environmentalist and the use of his popularity and stature as one of the wealthiest people. of the world to support cryptocurrencies.

Some Tesla investors, as well as environmentalists, are increasingly critical of how bitcoin is “mined” using large amounts of electricity generated from fossil fuels.

However, more and more digital currency miners are trying to use renewable energy to mitigate the impact on the environment.

“Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. We cannot be the company that does it and fail to exercise due diligence when it comes to the energy consumption of bitcoin.” , Musk said.

Musk added that he personally owned bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin, with the exception of bitcoin owned by Tesla and SpaceX.

“I could pump, but I’m not vacuuming,” Musk said. “I certainly don’t believe in increasing the price and selling… I would like to see bitcoin succeed.”

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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