Tesla stops taking Bitcoin for vehicle purchases

After a little over a month, the EV maker has reversed its stance on the controversial cryptocurrency.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt

Tesla's controversial decision to accept bitcoins for vehicle purchases didn't last long.

Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Remember when Tesla made a big show of accepting bitcoins for the purchase of a new Tesla? And then again, when it made a $110 million profit from the cryptocurrency in Q1 of this year? And then everyone criticized the company for its pro-crypto stance because mining currency is hugely energy-intensive?

Well, according to a Tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, all of that is changing. Tesla is no longer taking bitcoins for vehicle purchases and is suspending its policy of trading the bitcoins it already has until the currency transitions to a more efficient, sustainable energy source. It's also looking at adopting other cryptocurrencies so long as they use 1% or less of the energy that Bitcoin does.

Tesla officially started accepting bitcoins back in March, after having brought the idea up in February. It's not clear how many buyers took advantage of the offer to pay for their new cars with crypto currency, but given the currency's wild price fluctuations, it seems like maybe it would have been a bad idea to do so.

According to an article published in April by The Verge, Bitcoin has a yearly carbon footprint on par with Hong Kong, and for some perspective, as of 2019, Hong Kong had a population of just over 7.5 million people. A significant portion of Bitcoin's footprint comes from the fact that most bitcoins are mined in China, which relies heavily on coal and other nonsustainable energy sources.

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