Elon Musk said on Twitter that Tesla would accept bitcoin payments again as soon as half of the energy consumed for mining came from renewable sources. The projects in this direction multiply lately.
The bitcoin price rises again (+ 10% around the day of June 13), and again, this is linked to a tweet by Elon Musk. The very influential billionaire in the crypto scene has reconfirmé on June 13 that Tesla wanted to re-authorize payment in bitcoins as soon as the energy used to mine them would be greener. But what does this mean?
This is inaccurate. Tesla only sold ~10 % of holdings to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving market.
When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50 %) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 13, 2021
The CEO of Tesla clarified what threshold of green energy he considered acceptable. ” When we have confirmation that a satisfactory portion (around 50%) of clean energy is used for mining, with prospects for improvement, Tesla will re-authorize payment in bitcoins. “
Elon Musk gave these details in a response to a tweet that accused him of increasing the bitcoin announcements in order to influence prices for the benefit of his company. Tesla, which had bought 1.5 billion bitcoin at the start of the year, has indeed sold 10% of its stock, earning $ 101 million in the process, revealed the BBC at the end of April. Elon Musk says in his tweet that this decision was only intended ” to verify that bitcoin could be sold easily without moving the market. »
Greener bitcoin mining projects
Announcements that reassured the market because green bitcoin mining projects are developing. El Salvador, which on June 9 became the first country to give legal tender to this cryptocurrency, for example announced, in the wake, that it intended to use the energy of volcanoes to mine bitcoins.
« Our engineers informed me that they had dug a new well that will create a 100% clean electricity production site with 0 emissions with a capacity of 95 MW (…) We’re going to start building a bitcoin mining hub all around », Thus indicated on Twitter, President Nayib Bukele.
Elon Musk had also met at the end of May with many groups specializing in crypto mining to discuss the ecological transition of the sector. Around the table were Argo Blockchain, Blockcap, Core Scientific, Galaxy Digital, Hive Blockchain Technologies, Hut 8 Mining, Marathon Digital Holdings and Riot Blockchain, among others.
Cryptocurrencies could boost renewable energies
The CEO of MicroStrategy said on Twitter after the meeting that these companies had agreed to form a Bitcoin Mining Council to promote energy transparency and environmental initiatives. An approach that Elon Musk had described as ” promising ».
Some market players – notably the CEO of Tesla – believe that cryptocurrencies could even stimulate the development of renewable energies, by making the construction of these infrastructures profitable more quickly, and by exploiting their possible surplus of energy.
While the green mining projects are going in the right direction, several environmental issues remain to be resolved. As, for example, economist Alex de Vries at The Verge reminds us: “ Bitcoin uses huge amounts of hardware. And this equipment does not last very long with mining, on average a year and a half. So you have millions of devices getting obsolete very quickly, creating piles of electronic waste. »
The other risk is that conflicts of use (between the needs of cryptominers and those of other inhabitants and societies) appear in certain places, while enough green energy production infrastructures are developed. For these reasons, some entities like the Ethereum Foundation felt that the way bitcoin works (based on proof of work and which requires GPUs to perform increasingly complex calculations) should be reviewed. The Ethereum Foundation has thus decided to switch Ether to a different operation based on the proof of stake. She hopes this will reduce her consumption by more than 99%.
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