Electric car maker Tesla will stop accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment, CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday, citing environmental concerns.
“We are concerned about the rapid increase in the use of fossil fuels for mining and Bitcoin transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk said on Twitter. He added that cryptocurrency is a “good idea on many levels,” but its promise cannot come at a “great cost to the environment.”
Tesla, he added, will not sell any of the Bitcoin it owns.
The price of bitcoin fell about 10% to $ 50,000 (41,442 euros), following Musk’s comments on Twitter. Shares of Tesla ended Wednesday down 4.4%.
Tesla said in February that it had invested about $ 1.5 billion (1.24 billion euros) in Bitcoin and that it planned to start accepting the digital currency as payment “soon.”
The market value of Tesla’s holdings in Bitcoin as of March 31 was $ 2.48 billion (€ 2.05 billion), according to securities files.
Bitcoin depends on computers, which depend on electricity, to exist. The number of computers and the energy required to power them is increasing: the increasing value of Bitcoin is directly linked to the amount of energy it uses.
Despite these ups and downs, in recent months the value of Bitcoin has skyrocketed. In mid-December a Bicoin was worth less than $ 20,000.