Crypto Leaders React to Elon Musk’s Bitcoin Environment Bombshell



When electric automaker Tesla revealed in February that it had bought Bitcoin and, moreover, would accept it for car purchases, the price of the cryptocurrency rocketed up $4,000 in a matter of hours.

Now that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated the company will stop accepting Bitcoin for its cars until the blockchain network adopts more sustainable energy practices, the price of BTC has shed about the same amount in the opposite direction, lowering it to just above the $50,000 threshold.

But a little price volatility never stopped Crypto Twitter from having a good time.

One common refrain among the crypto crowd: Did Elon Musk even know how Bitcoin mining worked? The process of minting new Bitcoins and validating transactions is purposely energy-intensive because the investment of those resources makes the network more secure. But Musk's announcement reads as though he's just getting wind that some people use fossil fuels to generate electricity.

"Gotta love the due diligence process over at Tesla," wrote Aubrey Strobel of Bitcoin shopping app Lolli.

"Elon and Tesla performed less due diligence buying a billion of Bitcoin than I do on my average shitcoin trade," quipped Rob Paone of crypto recruiting firm Proof of Talent.

Others accused Musk of hypocrisy, noting that he had earlier endorsed the proposition that Bitcoin could promote renewable energy use.

 

The environmental impact of Bitcoin has been discussed for years—although the extent to which the network relies on renewable energy sources is debated (with Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor, for example, tweeting that the "net impact on fossil fuel consumption over time will be negative"). Thus, something else could be going on here. One obvious possibility is that Tesla was taking heat from investors, employees, and/or customers who had bought into Tesla's green image.

Arcane Assets CIO Eric Wall wrote that it could be a "'mea culpa' defense in the face of misguided environmentalists and regulators."

CoinShares CSO Meltem Demirors said there's more to being a socially responsible company than just the environment. "On social equity, bitcoin enables people to escape tyranny, censorship, financial violence, redlining and improves access," she wrote.

But Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports and on-again/off-again Bitcoin investor, suggested the environment was just an excuse. In Portnoy's estimation, the CEO is manipulating the market after Tesla sold off some of its BTC holdings last month.

"Shady shit," he said in a video.

Since Musk's tweet declared that Tesla was still open to investing in cryptocurrencies that use less than 1% of Bitcoin's energy consumption per transaction, some wanted to know whether that meant Tesla would begin accepting Dogecoin.

Uh, no.

But more than anything, it was a chance for no-coiners to laugh at those who put their faith in Musk, who has repeatedly promoted joke token Dogecoin via tweets and his recent SNL performance.

Wrote data scientist and Tether investigator Bennett Tomlin, "I have nothing insightful to say except 'how predictable.'"


Guide & Tools