Jul 21 (Reuters) – Electric car maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) will most likely resume accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment once it has due diligence on the amount of renewable energy used to mine the currency, CEO Elon Musk said at a at conference on Wednesday.
Bitcoin rose 8% to $ 32,160.16 while Ether rose 11.6% to $ 1,993.36. Tesla shares fell 0.8% to $ 655.30 in expanded trading.
Musk’s comments at the B-Word conference come after Tesla announced in May that it would no longer accept Bitcoin for car purchases, less than two months after the company began accepting the world’s largest digital currency for payments.
“I wanted a little more due diligence to confirm that the renewable energy share is most likely at or above 50% and that there is a trend to increase that number.
“The answer is most likely that Tesla would resume adopting Bitcoin.”
Using Bitcoin to purchase Tesla’s electric vehicles had exposed a dichotomy between Musk’s reputation as an environmentalist and using his popularity and stature as one of the richest people in the world to support cryptocurrencies.
Some Tesla investors, along with environmentalists, have become increasingly critical of the way Bitcoin is “mined” using huge amounts of electricity generated from fossil fuels.
However, more and more digital currency miners are trying to use renewable energies to mitigate the impact on the environment.
“Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the emergence of sustainable energy. We cannot be the company that does this and does not take reasonable care of Bitcoin’s energy consumption, ”Musk said.
Musk added that he personally owns Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin, aside from Bitcoin, which Tesla and SpaceX owned.
“I could pump, but I cant,” said Musk. “I definitely don’t believe in getting the price up and selling … I want to see Bitcoin successful.”
Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta
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