Elon Musk goes to War with Bitcoin

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Elon Musk goes to War with Bitcoin.

By Andrew Backhouse

Elon Musk has ramped up his dispute with bitcoin, cryptically hinting Tesla might dump its holdings of the cryptocurrency.

The Tesla boss – whose tweets have a huge sway on the crypto market, has fired back at his critics.

He rocked the market last week when he posted a statement that Tesla would suspend vehicle purchases using bitcoin.

“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment,” the statement read.

“Tesla will not be selling any bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy.

“We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use (less than 1 per cent) of bitcoin’s energy/transaction.”

Elon Musk, once the champion of bitcoin, has made an unprecedented turnaround, sending the cryptocurrency spiralling.

This morning a tweet hinted at the blowback he’s been experiencing from bitcoin investors, who have seen the price of the currency plunge.

“Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their #bitcoin holdings. With the amount of hate [Elon Musk] is getting, I wouldn’t blame him…” @CryptoWhale posted.

Mr Musk responded by writing: “Indeed.”

It comes after he announced on February 9 this year that Tesla would invest $1.95 billion in the cryptocurrency.

Any move to “dump” those bitcoins would likely have a large impact on the bitcoin price.

Mr Musk also referenced an incident in China where the flooding of a coal mine impacted bitcoin “mining”.

“Bitcoin is actually highly centralised, with supermajority controlled by a handful of big mining (aka hashing) companies,” he wrote.

“A single coal mine in Xinjiang flooded, almost killing miners, and bitcoin hash rate dropped 35 per cent. Sound ‘decentralised’ to you?”

He was referring to an incident in Xinjiang where a mine was flooded.

The blackout halted about one-third of all of bitcoin’s global computing power, according to Fortune.


The price of bitcoin has plunged from $76,335 to $57,047 in less than a week.

Bitcoin mining uses vast amounts of energy to power specialised computers solving complex but useless mathematical problems.

Some studies suggest bitcoin production uses more electricity than the whole of Argentina, Poland, Norway or Switzerland. But even the lower estimates are that it results in more carbon emissions than Estonia.

Mr Musk, who founded X.com – which later merged to become PayPal – hit back at his critics writing: “Hey cryptocurrency ‘experts’, ever heard of PayPal? It’s possible … maybe … that I know than you realise about how money works.”

The price of bitcoin has dived since Mr Musk’s announcement last week, falling from $76,335 to $57,047.

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