Talk about the effects of being one of the world’s richest men. Following an announcement from Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk that his company would no longer accept Bitcoin payments for its cars, the entire cryptocurrency market has been sent crashing.
On Wednesday night, Musk tweeted that Tesla was discontinuing its Bitcoin payment option, citing concerns over the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining activities.
The news came as a shock to many fanboys of Bitcoin. The announcement also sent the price of the flagship currency tumbling below $50k. Some have accused Musk of playing a “pump and dump” game with Bitcoin and Doge.
Recall that the car manufacturer announced in February that it would start accepting Bitcoin as payment. The move followed a $1.5 billion Bitcoin purchase for its balance sheet. The revelation of Tesla’s purchase pushed the price of Bitcoin from $39,000 on February 8 to $43,000 and then $53,000 a week later.
Tesla’s entry into the crypto space also attracted a blowback from climate-conscious individuals. The electric car manufacturer was widely criticized for supporting the energy-guzzling Bitcoin. It appears that Musk and his company have finally seen enough and will be backtracking on their earlier decision.
As a consolation, Musk said that his company will be “looking at” cryptocurrencies with a smaller carbon footprint. Considering Musk’s affinity for Doge, this may be the next possible option. Meanwhile, Musk disclosed that "Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy."