On Wednesday, Tesla Inc.’s CEO Elon Musk announced that the company won’t accept Bitcoin for the car purchase. In addition to jokes and memes galore, the value of Bitcoin plunged as much as 15% to just above $46,000 the moment the tweet was posted. This was done due to environmental concerns. As soon as the news broke out, #Dogecoin, #Bitcoin and #Tesla trended the social media.
Taking to Twitter, Elon Musk mentioned concerns regarding the “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin transactions and mining”. He added that he supports the concern, especially the use of “coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel”. Further, he signaled that his electric-car company might accept other digital currencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s transaction/energy. He continued that Tesla won’t be selling any of the Bitcoins it owns.
Along with environmentalists, some Tesla investors have been increasingly condemnatory about the way bitcoin is “mined” using so much electricity generated with fossil fuels.
Eventually, in the immediate aftermath of Musk’s tweet, the largest crypto plunged as much as 15% to just above $46,000. Other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, also dropped before regaining some ground. The moment the tweet was posted, tweeps took to the micro-blogging site, sharing jokes and memes. Netizens also prompted speculations and debates on which other cryptocurrencies might be affected by the billionaire’s tweet.
Earlier in February, Tesla announced that it had bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and planned to accept it as payment. The announcement added legitimacy to the virtual currency as an increasingly acceptable form of investment and payment.