Tesla boss Elon Musk has just cut off the wings of bitcoin. After a spectacular surge, the cryptocurrency depreciates on the stock market by 12% in one session.
At the end of March, Elon Musk announced via a tweet that he now accepted the use of bitcoin to buy his cars: "You can now buy a Tesla in bitcoin" . Immediately, the currency jumped 20%. This announcement followed the purchase a few weeks earlier by Elon Musk for 1.5 billion bitcoin thus valuing his portfolio in the cryptocurrency at 2.48 billion dollars.
However, the honeymoon between the boss of Tesla and the virtual currency came to an abrupt end two days ago, when Elon Musk posted a level tweet saying that: “Tesla has suspended purchases of cars with bitcoins ”.
Even if he recognizes that "Cryptocurrency is a good idea on several levels and that it has a promising future". He considers its carbon footprint to be disastrous. Concerned about the impact on the environment and by the same on the image of his company, he chooses to put an end to its use. He motivated his decision by saying: “We are concerned about the increasing use of carbon-rich fuels to mine bitcoins, especially coal, which has the worst (greenhouse gas) emissions of all fuels. ". And to add that if the concept is good, “it cannot be to the detriment of a big environmental cost. Tesla will no longer sell bitcoins and we will use them for transactions when mining switches to sustainable energies ”.
A quick reminder for those of us who don't know what “mining” means: Mining is the process by which Bitcoin transactions are secured. For this, the "miners" carry out mathematical calculations for the Bitcoin network with their computer equipment.
We therefore understand the energy voracity that such a process leads to the exponential development of cryptocurrency in just a few years. From January 2011 to May 2021, the market value of bitcoin rose from $ 0.07 to $ 50,184 as of May 13!
For its part, the conclusions of the study conducted by the scientific journal Nature, published last week, seem to support Elon Musk's decision. Indeed, the study shows that Chinese bitcoin mines, which fuel nearly 80% of the global cryptocurrency trade, risk compromising the country's climate goals. These sites full of computers perform mathematical calculations that make it possible to create bitcoins. They consume huge amounts of electricity, partly drawn from coal-fired power stations. Left unchecked, the study indicates that Chinese computer mines will produce 130.50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2024, or nearly the total annual greenhouse gas emissions of Italy or Saudi Arabia.