Tesla appears to be ready to take Bitcoin payments again after briefly doing it a few years ago, but stopping after pressure about going against its mission.
Early in 2021, Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. Shortly after, the automaker started accepting the cryptocurrency as payment on new vehicles.
However, a few days later, Tesla took a step back with crypto by removing the Bitcoin payment option. The company noted concerns over the energy needs of the Bitcoin network:
Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin. We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.
This is a concern that many Tesla community members shared when Tesla first announced its Bitcoin investment, and many were angered by the fact that the company didn’t think about it in the first place.
At the time, Tesla noted that they were not selling their stake in Bitcoin and that they planned to resume taking Bitcoin payments once the network showed a higher mix of renewable energy.
A year after the initial investment, Tesla’s Bitcoin holding increased to $2 billion, but the cryptocurrency lost a lot of its value in 2022 and the automaker’s position suffered greatly.
Last year, we reported that Tesla was likely down by as much as $500 million on its Bitcoin investment.
However, it looks like Tesla might have avoided some of those losses.
With the release of its Q2 2022 financial results, Tesla confirmed that it sold about 75% of its Bitcoin position:
As of the end of Q2, we have converted approximately 75% of our Bitcoin purchases into fiat currency. Conversions in Q2 added $936M of cash to our balance sheet.
With roughly $936 million from that 75% and having sold over $250 million as a sort of stress test early in its investment, Tesla is still likely up on its $1.5 billion investment in the cryptocurrency.
It has been two years, and Tesla hasn’t seemed to be taking steps toward bringing back Bitcoin.
Now internet sleuths have spotted that Tesla has added code on its website to accept Bitcoin payment again:
TESLA HAS ADDED BITCOIN BACK INTO THEIR CODE FOR PAYMENTS ON THEIR WEBSITE pic.twitter.com/BhRL4C4BK9
saying 1/2 bitcoin mining is done with renewable energy and now that means it’s ok is a really lame argument. It is still highly inefficient– all that energy could be used for something else, displacing other energy production.
What I don’t get, is why they haven’t picked up on ETH if they like crypto– seems like way better technology
The integration appears to be through Stripe, but it is still not available as an option on Tesla’s website.
But it is all over the code on Tesla’s ordering page:
The move could be due to recent reports stating that now more than half of Bitcoin mining is powered by renewable energy.
It could help Tesla justify bringing back Bitcoin as a mode of payment on its vehicles.
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