Changpeng Zhao – the CEO of Binance, arguably the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume – has called out Elon Musk over his alleged lack of willingness to accept bitcoin payments for Tesla-based goods and services.
Elon Musk Has Attracted Some Backlash from Zhao
It appears Zhao has issues with Musk’s recent words regarding the mining process behind bitcoin. While Tesla was initially set to accept bitcoin as a method of payment, Musk later rescinded this decision claiming that the extraction process behind new coins was causing serious environmental concerns.
The company later issued the following statement:
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. Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels, and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at a great cost to the environment.
Musk is now striving to ensure all mainstream miners divulge their clean energy statistics so that buyers know where their electricity sources are stemming from.
This would all be fine except for one issue that Zhao has. Tesla is an electric car company, and he is not too happy about the double standard Musk seems to have. Apparently, it is okay to utilize electricity to manufacture vehicles, but when it comes to mining crypto, that is a whole other ballgame. Either way, Zhao has called Musk out on social media, writing the following:
When you use electricity to run cars, it is environmentally friendly. When you use electricity to run the most efficient financial network in the world, it is an environmental concern.
Tesla’s sudden dismissal of bitcoin payments ultimately led to a heavy cryptocurrency crash that saw the price of bitcoin fall by several thousand dollars. Prior to the announcement, the world’s number one digital currency by market cap was trading in the mid-$50,000 range, though following Tesla’s refusal, the price fell to about $46,000.
The price continued to drop from there when Elon Musk hinted on social media that he was considering selling his personal stash of BTC, though he has assured followers everywhere that none of the BTC on Tesla’s balance sheet will be parted with.
The Mining Arguments Live On…
Musk has explained:
Tesla will not be selling any bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy.
To be fair, the criticisms that Musk has voiced regarding the crypto mining sector are nothing new, with many reports in recent years claiming that bitcoin mining leaves as big a carbon footprint behind as the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition, some documents claim that bitcoin mining uses more energy than certain countries such as Iceland and Argentina.