Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has put out a tweet announcing that his company will no longer accept Bitcoin for the purchase of its vehicles. Musk cites the environment as issues related to Bitcoin’s mining process, which require energy-heavy computing. Currently, the industry consumes 149.6 terawatt-hours of energy, slightly lower than the energy used by the nation of Egypt.
“Tesla has halted vehicle purchases made with Bitcoin. We are concerned about the increasing utilization of fossil fuels for the mining of Bitcoin, especially coal,” the statement reads.
“Cryptocurrency is a great idea in many ways and it has a promising future, but this must not damage Earth’s environment. Tesla will not get rid of our Bitcoin and we plan to use it when mining goes back to a more sustainable level. We are also seeking out other cryptocurrencies that use less than 1% of Bitcoin’s energy per transaction.”
The announcement triggered a 13 percent collapse for the cryptocurrency as well as a drop in Tesla shares.
The move has surprised many investors, as Musk has been a long-time advocate for Bitcoin, with his company Tesla purchasing 1.5 billion dollars of the crypto, according to the SEC. And with him even changing his Twitter bio to say #Bitcoin earlier this year. In March he said “People can now buy a Tesla vehicle using Bitcoin,” adding that Bitcoin given to Tesla would be kept as Bitcoin and not traded for dollars.
The move comes only days after the Tesla CEO announced his SpaceX DOGE-1 moon mission, the first space mission paid for in Dogecoins, another cryptocurrency that he has supported. It is not clear if that mission is still being planned.