Elon Musk. Source: Christophe Gateau/DPA/Picture Alliance via Reuters.
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  • Tesla chief Elon Musk says the electric car maker will likely resume accepting bitcoin as payment
  • Some Tesla shareholders have been increasingly critical of the way bitcoin is “mined” using massive amounts of electricity generated with fossil fuels
  • Tesla said in May it would stop accepting bitcoin over environmental concerns
  • Separate from the bitcoin portfolios held by Tesla and SpaceX, Musk himself owns bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin
  • As of Thursday morning, bitcoin’s value had registered a marginal uptick, standing at US$32,064 (A$43,605)

Tesla chief Elon Musk said the electric car maker will likely resume accepting bitcoin as payment after it completes due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to mine the digital asset.

His remarks at the B Word conference on Wednesday came after Tesla said in May that it would stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases over climate concerns.

“I wanted a little bit more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50 per cent, and that there is a trend towards increasing that number, and if so Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin” Musk said.

“Most likely the answer is that Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin.”

Some Tesla shareholders, as well as environmentalists, have been increasingly critical of the way bitcoin is “mined” using massive amounts of electricity generated with fossil fuels.

According to data from the University of Cambridge and the International Energy Agency, bitcoin mining uses roughly the same amount of energy each year as the Netherlands did in 2019.

Some miners, however, are now increasing their use of renewable energy in an effort to mitigate the environmental impacts.

“Tesla’s mission is accelerating the advent of sustainable energy,” Musk continued.

“We can’t be the company that does that and also not do appropriate diligence on the energy usage of bitcoin.”

Separate from the bitcoin portfolios held by Tesla and SpaceX, Musk himself owns bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin.

“I might pump, but I don’t dump,” he continued. “I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling […] I would like to see bitcoin succeed.”

As of Thursday morning, bitcoin’s value had registered a marginal uptick, standing at US$32,064 (A$43,605).

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