Musk Sets Condition For Tesla Acceptance to Bitcoin on the Use of Green Energy

The eccentric millionaire is at it again, this time stating that Tesla will resume accepting Bitcoin as payment once its mining operations are 50% ‘green’.

Drawing Flak Again

In a Tweet posted on June 13th, Elon Musk took to social media to set conditions for Tesla to resume accepting Bitcoin as payment. This tweet was in response to an article by Cointelegraph. In the article, titled ‘Sygnia CEO criticizes Elon Musk for alleged Bitcoin pump and dump’, CEO Magda Wierzycka certainly did not mince her words when she accused Musk of price manipulation. Musk has been infamously identified as the catalyst that sparked a massive dump on the Bitcoin price. The price of Bitcoin from its high of $64,000 plummet to less than half of its former glory after a series of sell-offs. This has led many to urge the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch a probe into the impugned conduct by a very influential man. 

Wierzycka initially made the comments on The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield

She said, “The [Bitcoin] volatility we have seen is an unexpected function of what I would call market manipulation by Elon Musk ….If that happens to a listed company, he would be investigated and severely sanctioned by [the] SEC.”

In a series of news that has linked Bitcoin with the activities of Tesla, the market has been seeing massive volatility. However, unlike traditional companies, Bitcoin is not an openly traded security, hence exercising jurisdiction over the conduct of Elon Musk would likely be faced with a few legal obstacles. 

Fossil Fuel Debate

Whilst the billionaire clearly identified the reason for his decision in halting payment in Bitcoin by citing his concerns on the use of fossil fuel, he has been severely rebuked for that reasoning. Many commentators have since produced factual evidence to debunk the statement made by Musk. A study published in September, 2020  by the University of Cambridge shows precisely where the mining industry stands when it comes to use of renewable energy. 

It is no longer debatable that Musk was at least partially wrong when faced with factual evidence. The report even clarified that the use of coal in mining activities is likely from surpluses from the excesses generated by the coal power plants. 

Logically, it would be easy to deduce that any mining operation will have its sights on maximising profits and using an expensive source of energy such as fossil fuel would be a bad decision. 

Benchmarking Bitcoin’s Energy Use

Elon’s conduct by drawing attention to fossil energy, although misguided, has its blessings. Square has invested $5 million towards a solar mining facility. There is a concerted effort to remain accountable through a Bitcoin Mining Council, lobbied by Michael Saylor.

These are all positive steps that would hasten adoption of green energy. The proof of work protocol now has an additional feather on its cap. It has given enough incentive for a wide scale participation and adoption of renewable energy more than any single project could have achieved. The 50% target set by Elon Musk has no impact on an industry that has far exceeded the given benchmark. It will be interesting to see if Musk continues to have such a strong effect on market tendencies as more of his reasoning is factually debunked.

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