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Tesla CEO Elon Musk says his electric-vehicle company will start accepting Bitcoin (BTC) payments once there’s confirmation that miners are utilizing clean energy, offering a glimmer of hope that the FUD surrounding digital assets could soon subside.
Musk responded to a Cointelegraph tweet about recent accusations from Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka, who called on the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the billionaire for allegedly manipulating Bitcoin’s price.
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
According to Wierzycka, Musk knowingly pumped the price of Bitcoin only to sell a “big part of his exposure at the peak.”
“This is inaccurate,” Musk said in a Sunday response. “Tesla only sold ~10% of holdings to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving [the] market.”
As Cointelegraph reported, Musk acknowledged in April that Tesla had sold a portion of its Bitcoin holdings to prove its liquidity as an alternative to cash. Just one month earlier, the billionaire confirmed that Tesla added $1.5 billion worth of BTC to its balance sheet and would begin accepting the virtual asset as payment for its vehicles.
However, Tesla's embrace of Bitcoin-as-a-payment was short-lived after Musk flagged concerns over the cryptocurrency's energy usage. On May 12, Musk tweeted that his company would no longer accept Bitcoin payments due to the network's “increasingly rapid use of fossil fuels…”
Tesla & Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/YSswJmVZhP
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2021
Musk's tweet coincided with a slew of negative headlines about Bitcoin's energy usage, China's intent to ban Bitcoin mining and an overextended crypto rally that was showing signs of weakness. The news cycle helped trigger one of Bitcoin's most painful episodes, culminating in a 54% drop between mid-April and mid-May.
Related: ‘I have not sold any of my Bitcoin’: Elon Musk.
On Sunday, Musk laid the groundwork for when Tesla will once again accept Bitcoin payments:
“When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.”
As Cointelegraph reported, Musk was recently invited to a meeting of Bitcoin miners by MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor. The Bitcoin Mining Council, a voluntary, self-regulating industry body, emerged from the meeting with a mandate to use more renewable energy and promot more transparency in the mining process.
Despite all the criticism about Bitcoin mining, it's estimated that a strong majority of miners already use alternative energy resources.