Tesla CEO Elon Musk caused Bitcoin’s price to plunge after announcing his electric car company would no longer accept the world’s largest cryptocurrency as payment.
Just weeks after the EV maker revved up a surge with a $1.5 billion purchase of $BTC, the tech mogul tweeted that “Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin.”
“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.
“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.”
“Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.”
According to Reuters, Bitcoin’s price plunged 17 percent from $54,819 to $45,700—its lowest since March 1—in the two hours following Musk’s tweet. Even so, the popular crypto is still trading at around $50,205, about 30 percent higher than it was before Tesla’s initial purchase.
Bitcoin hasn’t been able to sustain the high of $64,895.22 it hit in mid-April, dropping to $47,000 just 11 days later before hovering around $58,000 since the start of May.
As for environmental concerns, data from the University of Cambridge and the International Energy shows that Bitcoin mining consumes about as much energy as the whole of Netherlands did in 2019, according to Reuters.
Musk also tweeted a chart from the University of Cambridge showing Bitcoin’s real-time energy usage, calling the data “insane.”