Yesterday, Tesla’s boss Elon Musk shocked the entire cryptocurrency community when he announced that Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin payments in light of its environmental impact.
“We are concerned that bitcoin mining and trading is causing the consumption of fossil fuels, especially coal, to skyrocket, and coal is the worst impact of all fossil fuel emissions,” Musk added, “Bitcoin’s recent energy consumption is insane.”
Having said that, Musk reiterated on Twitter that he still has faith in cryptocurrencies and said Tesla is looking for cryptocurrencies that use less than 1% of Bitcoin’s energy per transaction.
Over the past seven years, Musk’s stance on Bitcoin has shifted from curiosity to full-on acceptance, and Bitcoin fans have long been accustomed to the star entrepreneur becoming one of Bitcoin’s most influential supporters. The sudden change in attitude has taken Bitcoin fans by surprise, with many of them “unpopularizing” him.
01 The History of Musk and Bitcoin
Musk’s history with Bitcoin dates back to March 2014, when a Twitter user asked him about his stance on the cryptocurrency and he gave the elusive answer, “Well, since Satoshi Nakamoto has been found out, I guess it’s a closed case.”
Also that year, at a summit, Musk was asked by the moderator what he thought of bitcoin, and he said that it could be a good thing, adding, “It’s mostly being used for illegal transactions.”
It took some time before the Tesla CEO began to take a serious interest in Bitcoin. in 2017,he denied rumors on Twitter that he was the founder of Bitcoin, and he revealed, “A friend gave me some Bitcoins, but I don’t know where they are.”
The real shift in stance came in 2019, when speaking with tech investment firm ARK on a podcast, Musk called bitcoin brilliant and that “paper money is disappearing and cryptocurrencies are a better way to transfer value than pieces of paper, that’s for sure.”
In May 2020, Musk replied to Harry Potter author JK Rowling in a tweet, saying that the recent actions of the Federal Reserve and the ECB make bitcoin “seem more reliable.”
A little over a month later, numerous celebrity Twitter accounts, including Musk’s, were hacked and links were posted claiming that if you transferred bitcoins to a certain address, you would be given back more bitcoins, a scam that made about $2 million in just two months.
This proved to be just a hiccup, as Musk began to intensely express his support for Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency kingpin.
In December 2020, Musk tweeted that Bitcoin was his “safe word,” and a little later, he clarified that he was just kidding.
On the same day, Musk tweeted to Mike Seiler, CEO of Microstrategy, a publicly traded company that had previously bought a lot of bitcoin, asking about the possibility of converting “large transactions” on Tesla’s balance sheet to bitcoin. Seiler replied, “I’d be willing to share my script with you offline.”
A month later, Musk updated his tweet to “#bitcoin,” prompting a number of vloggers to follow suit. A study later showed that Musk’s actions drove the price of bitcoin up by 18.99%.
In February 2021, Musk appeared on audio social media platforms, this time very clearly confirming himself as a Bitcoin supporter: “Bitcoin is a good thing …… I’m late to this party.”
Later that month, Musk made good on his initial promise and Tesla announced a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin. Mike Seiler was so pleased that he said there would be a large number of companies following in Tesla’s footsteps, and indeed a number of companies did include bitcoin as an investment target, including magazine publisher TIME, Norwegian multinational Aker ASA and Latin American e-commerce platform Mercado Libre.
However, at the end of the first quarter of 2021, Tesla’s earnings report showed that the company sold $272 million worth of bitcoin. In response, Musk clarified on Twitter that Tesla did this “essentially to prove that Bitcoin is liquid enough to replace cash on the balance sheet.”
At this point, the crypto world already sees the Tesla CEO as one of Bitcoin’s biggest influencers. That didn’t last long, and it’s clear that Musk’s stance on Bitcoin is even more volatile than Bitcoin’s price.
02 Musk’s Big Change in Attitude
After Musk expressed his concerns about Bitcoin consuming energy yesterday, he left a number of Bitcoin supporters who had previously praised him very disappointed, including Seiler, who previously interacted with him and argued that 75% of Bitcoin’s electricity comes from renewable sources.
“Bitcoin does consume a lot of energy, but so does the U.S. dollar, as well as countless other industries, including Musk’s own company.”
In fact, Musk is right, Bitcoin does have a high carbon footprint. According to Cambridge University, Bitcoin consumes nearly 150 megawatt hours of electricity per year, meaning that if Bitcoin were a country, it would easily be among the top 30 countries in the world in terms of electricity use.
There is also a difference of opinion on whether or not to use renewable energy. Cambridge University data suggests that only 39% of bitcoin mining energy is renewable, while crypto asset manager Coinshares puts the figure as high as 77%.
Bitcoin’s counting power fell to its lowest level since November 2020 last month after a domestic coal mine was shut down due to an overflow, suggesting that the Bitcoin network is heavily dependent on fossil fuels like coal.
03 What’s next for Musk?
There’s a lot of speculation today about what made Musk’s sudden U-turn, when it was clear that just three months ago Tesla had invested $1.5 billion into bitcoin.
As Ledgermatic’s CEO Luke Salley says, “Tesla’s original due diligence had no trouble finding problems with Bitcoin’s energy use, but that didn’t stop them from buying billions in Bitcoin assets late last year.”
Musk gave the reasoning that Tesla cannot produce electric cars and support cryptocurrencies that affect the environment at the same time. However, according to his statement, Tesla has no intention of selling the bitcoin it holds either.
In any case, Musk’s influence among the bitcoin-believing community has plummeted as his attitude has shifted, and the group will continue to look for the next top-tier celebrity influencer.
That may not take long, after Facebook founder Zuckerberg announced to the world just a few days ago that his pet goat was named “Bitcoin.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/the-history-of-musks-bitcoin-attitude-evolution/
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