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Elon Musk Changes Tune After Previously Dismissing Bitcoin Mining

by : Julia Banim on : 26 May 2021 12:48
Elon Musk Changes Tune On Bitcoin After Previously Slamming As 'Concerning'PA Images

Elon Musk has changed his tune on Bitcoin after previously dismissing the cryptocurrency due to its mining practices.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies saw a notable dip in value after Musk revealed Tesla would no longer be accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment for its vehicles.

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This move was prompted by fears over the enormous amount of energy required to mine Bitcoin, with Musk expressing concerns over ‘rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel’.

According to Digiconomist, a single bitcoin transaction uses the same amount of energy as the monthly energy consumption of an average US household. Bitcoin also produces around one million times more carbon emissions than is emitted during just one Visa transaction.

Meanwhile, the annual carbon footprint of Bitcoin can be compared to that of Singapore, while the annual electronic waste produced is comparable to Luxembourg.

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On May 12, Musk tweeted:

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 transactions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.

However, just a couple of weeks after his original announcement, Musk now appears to have reconsidered his thoughts on the matter, tweeting:

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Spoke with North American Bitcoin miners. They committed to publish current & planned renewable usage & to ask miners WW to do so. Potentially promising.

There have been various reactions to Musk’s latest take on Bitcoin, from admiration that the entrepreneur is taking an environmental stance, to frustration over the power he can wield over the market with just a few words.

One person tweeted:

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So thankful you are grindin to make crypto more sustainable and pushing the industry in the right direction! thank you @elonmusk! this is what crypto needed!

Another wrote:

If the market could stop impulsively reacting to your tweets, that would be great.

The price of Bitcoin has stabilized slightly in recent days and is now hovering at around the $37,000 mark, CNN Business reports. However, this is still a long way from the all-time high of more than $60,000 recorded just last month.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Technology, Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, Elon Musk, Energy, Now

Credits

Elon Musk/Twitter and 2 others
  1. Elon Musk/Twitter

    @elonmusk

  2. CNN Business

    Elon Musk changes his tune on bitcoin mining

  3. Digiconomist

    Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index