July 21 (Reuters) – Electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) is likely to restart accepting bitcoins as payments after conducting a due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to mine the currency, CEO Elon Musk said at a conference on Wednesday. …
Bitcoin rose 8% to $ 32,160.16 and Ether rose 11.6% to $ 1993.36. Tesla shares fell 0.8% to $ 655.30 in extended trading.
Musk’s comments at the B Word conference follow after Tesla announced in May that it would stop accepting bitcoins for car purchases, less than two months after the company began accepting the world’s largest digital currency for payments.
“I wanted to do a little closer inspection to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy use is likely to be 50% or higher, and that there is an upward trend, and if so, Tesla will resume accepting bitcoins,” Musk said.
“Most likely the answer is that Tesla will resume accepting bitcoins.”
Using Bitcoin to buy Tesla’s electric vehicles has highlighted the dichotomy between Musk’s reputation as an environmentalist and using his popularity and status as one of the richest men in the world to support cryptocurrencies.
Some Tesla investors, along with environmentalists, are increasingly critical of how bitcoins are “mined” using massive amounts of electricity generated from fossil fuels.
However, more and more digital currency miners are trying to use renewable energy sources to mitigate environmental impact.
“Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the emergence of sustainable energy. We cannot be a company that does this, nor does it pay enough attention to the use of energy by bitcoin, ”Musk said.
Musk added that he personally owned bitcoins, ethereum, and dogcoins, in addition to the bitcoins that Tesla and SpaceX owned.
“I can swing, but I don’t drain,” Musk said. “I definitely don’t believe in overpricing and selling … I wish bitcoin would do well.”
Report by Noor Zainab Hussein and Nivedita Baloo in Bangalore; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta
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