Elon Musk has apparently changed his mind about bitcoin. Again. The billionaire founder of SpaceX said Tesla would likely accept bitcoin again in the future after dropping the cryptocurrency over environmental concerns.
“It looks like bitcoin is shifting a lot more towards renewables,” Musk said without any evidence during a livestream discussion on the B Word Conference with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey on Wednesday.
“I wanted to do a bit more diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50%, and that there is a trend towards increasing that number, and if so then Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin,” Musk continued.
“Most likely the answer is that Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin. Most likely,” said Musk.
The price of bitcoin surged over $US32,000 ($43,536) after Musk’s announcement, an extremely predictable outcome anytime the billionaire comments on the world of fake digital money.
Tesla started accepting bitcoin in late March, only to reverse course less than two months later. Musk said at the time that he was worried about the environmental impact of bitcoin, which requires an enormous amount of energy to mine. But the environmental problems surrounding bitcoin have been known for years and cynics would likely conclude Musk is merely trying to manipulate the price of bitcoin.
But Musk seems to have been prepared to answer that charge, making a curious assertion during the livestream, claiming he doesn’t try to get the price of bitcoin to ever plunge.
“The three things I own outside of SpaceX and Tesla — and obviously Neuralink and Boring Company — of any significance are bitcoin by far and some ethereum and some doge,” Musk said.
“If the price of bitcoin goes down, I lose money. I might pump, but I don’t dump,” the billionaire continued. “I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling or anything like that.”
Even just as an owner of Tesla stock and CEO of the company, Musk hypothetically stands to lose a lot of money if bitcoin’s price falls, since the car company revealed earlier this year that it had purchased $US1.5 ($2) billion worth of the cryptocurrency.
“If I was purely financially motivated then, I would not express this reticence about bitcoin energy usage,” Musk said later during the converstaion while sounding extremely defensive.
Where does that leave Tesla and when will the company start accepting bitcoin again? Your guess is as good as ours. But we definitely predicted Musk’s swing back to the pro-bitcoin camp.