US Tesla customers are now able to purchase a Tesla vehicle with Bitcoin. The company’s CEO and founder, Elon Musk, revealed the news on a Twitter post.
Musk's announcement on Wednesday bumped up the price of the controversial currency, favoured by scammers and cybercriminals, by more than four per cent, and is currently trading at around $56,400.
Purchasing with Bitcoins requires a lot of electricity, releasing massive amounts of greenhouse gases. As we know, Tesla is reported to be an environment friendly vehicle, however this recent decision is contradicting the environmentally-friendly premise of Tesla's electric vehicles. Earlier this month, billionaire Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, highlighted the negative impact mining Bitcoin has on the environment. Gates said: “Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind.”
The cryptocurrency is 'mined' by high-powered computers that continuously solve computational maths puzzles, the complexity of which means the processors require huge amounts of energy.
While the machines use electricity, fossil fuel is a major category in electricity generation.
The option to purchase a Tesla with Bitcoin is still restricted to only US citizens, however, the CEO revealed that the option would be available outside the US later this year.
Musk added that Tesla would be using “internal and open source software”, and operates Bitcoin nodes directly. Bitcoin nodes are computers or servers that are running the Bitcoin software.
As we all know, Musk is no stranger to Bitcoin, and frequently refers to the cryptocurrency in a positive light in his tweets. Back in January, Musk added the hashtag #bitcoin to his Twitter bio. Since then, it helped to briefly push up the price of the cryptocurrency by as much as 20 per cent. On March 13, Bitcoin passed the $60,000 mark for the first time, reaching a record high of nearly $62,000.
Days later, the billionaire said on the social medial chat site, Clubhouse, that, "I do at this point think bitcoin is a good thing, and I am a supporter of Bitcoin".
Tesla also revealed last month, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that the company purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, and that the plans for the future will hold accepting the currency as payment for the cars.
Tesla has also set up a support page on the company’s website, where they explain to customers how they can pay for a Tesla with Bitcoin. The firm did warn customers that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency the company will accepts. The warning also states that, if a customer tries to pay with another cryptocurrency, it will not receive the transaction, likely resulting in a loss of funds.
Like other cryptocurrencies, including Ether and Dogecoin, Bitcoin is still little used for commerce in major economies. But, there are however other major companies who are already accepting Bitcoin, including Microsoft and Wikipedia, even though it's hampered by its volatility and relatively costly and slow processing times.