back to article Elon Musk hits the brakes on taking Bitcoin for Tesla purchases

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced his electric car maker will stop accepting Bitcoin payments for its vehicles. The occasional host of television sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live took to Twitter to deliver the news. Tl;dr: Tesla is concerned about the "increasing use" of fossil fuels, particularly coal, to support …

  1. Sparkus Bronze badge

    Fake excuse

    and about as lame as you can get.

    Performance Activism or worries that a potential BTC crash will leave Tesla over-exposed??

    1. nintendoeats

      Re: Fake excuse

      If they were worried about a crash, why would they hang on to their bitcoin? They might as well sell ASAP (thereby causing a crash, which would be quite entertaining).

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Fake excuse

        Well, they certainly wouldn't advertise in advance that they're planning on selling it off, slowly, bit by bit...

        That would be announced in the quarterly results after the sale.

      2. Dave_uk
        Facepalm

        Re: Fake excuse

        Bitcoin certainly is _NOT_ ecologically GREEN.

        BUT to make such a comment nintendoeats must be super green!

        Bitcoin Trading volume during last 24hours: $98,818,278,865

        Musks pennies he has invested/now retracting?!? is not going to cause a collapse.

      3. Packet

        Re: Fake excuse

        pump n dump, perhaps

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Greenwashing

      ..and about as lame as you can get.

      Nah, Musk is all about saving the Elves. This is why his activities produce negative CO2!

      Thanks to revolutionary science, his rockets now do this... CH4+O2=H2O-CO2!

      Every rocket launch transforms dirty fossil fuel into anti-carbon, which is then annihilated. Just one way that our lord and saviour is protecting the planet! But wait, there's more-

      https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/spacex-plans-to-drill-for-natural-gas-next-to-texas-launchpad

      (Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk recently moved to Texas, where he launches some of his rockets and is building a battery factory. Now, for good measure, he plans to drill for natural gas in the state. The billionaire’s SpaceX intends to drill wells close to the company’s Boca Chica launchpad, it was revealed during a Friday hearing before the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s energy regulator.

      Bloomberg kindly avoided using the 'f' word because people might get the wrong idea. Although Musk will be fraccing for gas in a nature reserve, this is purely to extract fossil fuels and safely dispose of them in space. This way, the evil fossil fuel industry will have less gas to mine bitcoin!

      (Sarcasm aside, not sure if it'd be possible to do what Musk claims, ie use methane directly for his scrap launches. Presumably it'll need some processing to remove impurities first. Also the legal dispute mentioned was due to Musk not actually owning the land, although he's been busily converting Boca Chica into a wholly owned subsidiary of Musk Enterprises.)

  2. HildyJ Silver badge
    Facepalm

    In the words of Elon Musk

    "Did you think I was also going to be a chill normal dude?" (SNL Monologue)

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: In the words of Elon Musk

      Does Tesla actually buy any advertising ?

      Fiat run an entire F1 racing teams for the publicity and get less media attention than this dude

      1. anonymousI

        Re: In the words of Elon Musk

        Good point, though we may note that Mr E Musk is all advertising - so an ad budget would seem somewhat superfluous...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does Tesla actually buy any advertising ?

        ROFL

        The Cult of Tesla/Musk do it all for them. They are out there evangelising their beloved vehicles (and slagging off every other EV at the same time[1]).

        Tesla does not even have a Public Relations department. That means it is down to Lord Muck himself to slay bad PR via any means possible.

        [1] I've experienced this myself while charging my own EV. Yet, the fit and finish of my car is far higher than their dull boring (to look at) computer on wheels

        1. 42656e4d203239

          Re: Does Tesla actually buy any advertising ?

          >>Yet, the fit and finish of my car is far higher than their dull boring (to look at) computer on wheels

          And, I suspect, your car doesn't have waxed cardboard as underbody sheilds, which are obviously a great design decision for arid parts of the world, but in Europe? not so good, yet the evangelists still use kleenex....

          There are many things wrong with the Tesla, however the one thing the Musk organ has done 'right' is generated a massive "keep up with the Teslas" movement in the worlds 'traditional' auto manufacturers.

          Without Tesla EVs would still largely (luxury markets notwthstanding) be limited to milk floats for the next 20-30 years. The main reason that many governments have said 'no new internal combustion cars aftfer 2030' is because of the EV rush engendered by Mr Musk's favourite orbital test vehicle!

          1. Julian 8

            Re: Does Tesla actually buy any advertising ?

            G-wizz

          2. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Does Tesla actually buy any advertising ?

            You really think Tesla pushed EVs forward by 20-30 years? More like 2-3 years. The big automakers have been looking at electric for decades (remember GM's EV-1 back in the 90s?) but have been waiting for the technology to catch up to where the cost was similar. Musk decided not to wait, figuring he could sell to the higher end of the market.

            The big players are getting ready to enter the market en masse since the product cost figures are showing signs of crossing later this decade, which would have happened around this time regardless of whether Tesla ever existed or not.

        2. Andre Carneiro

          Re: Does Tesla actually buy any advertising ?

          "They are out there evangelising their beloved vehicles (and slagging off every other EV at the same time[1])."

          From what I've experienced in forums, that is mostly a USA thing.

          Most of the UK forums are quite balanced and I am more than happy to chat to anyone about my Tesla and, whilst I still think it's the best car I've ever had, I am quick to point out stupid design decisions (poor soundproofing from the foot wheel being my main gripe), poor implementation of technology or downright cheap-and-nasty cost cutting exercises (like the cardboard underbody protection that someone else mentioned, that one takes the biscuit).

          I once criticised Autopilot on the Teslarati comments box and I was quite surprised by the amount of vitriol I got for it. Obviously I was just a troll pretending to own a Tesla.... it shocked me a bit, actually, and further reinforced how much difference the Atlantic Ocean actually makes.

          But I would still buy my Model 3 again :)

      3. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: In the words of Elon Musk

        To be fair, the Alfa Romeo brand in F1 is not that high a profile compared to non-Fiat/Stellantis brands like Ferrari.

        And this dude runs and entire Space company that flies astronauts and is working toward Mars. I think that trumps anything Stellantis are doing with Alfa Romeo.

      4. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: In the words of Elon Musk

        "Stellantis"* may sponsor an F1 team (with the Alfa Romeo rebranded Sauber) but they certainly don't run it. In the same way AMD don't run Mecedes-AMG Petronas.

        *If they brand themselves with such a hum-drum non-name is it any wonder they have no media attention?

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: In the words of Elon Musk

          Yes, Mercedes are more Ineos and Toto than they are Benz now in terms of ownership. Maybe Petronas too.

          I was indirectly aiming at the fact that people still think that Fiat / FCA / Stellantis own the Ferrari brand when in fact they are just related via the Agnelli family.

      5. hoola Silver badge

        Re: In the words of Elon Musk

        But Fiat and the Formula 1 team are not splattered over every piece of social media with ridiculous comments.

        That are on those platforms in a professional capacity.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He declared a long position in BTC in February and then they went up

    Is he shorting them now?

    1. chuBb. Silver badge

      Re: He declared a long position in BTC in February and then they went up

      He's bored doing it for the lulz

      Thats my guess, shorting although not in a traditional sense, declare long, make it too attractive to his billionaire club rivals not to invest, then tweet hand grenades to wobble the price, safe knowing its unregulated enough that he cant get into trouble and have a giggle with his cornflakes when they realise they just lost the gdp of a small country thanks to < 140 chars (yet still not moved a place on the rich list).

      Any normal person who looses money well serves them right for investing what they couldn't afford to loose in crypto

      How i wish they would do follow up series of nathan barley where he has accidently become musk, as he really is a self facilitating media node, and if phones still had buttons would punt a tesla phone with a massive number 5 button because its the best one....

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: He declared a long position in BTC in February and then they went up

        > Any normal person who looses money well serves them right for investing what they couldn't afford to loose in crypto

        What is it with this lose/loose thing? If you got nose and noose mixed-up you could be lynched!

        [Expecting angry downvotes from people who are about to be 'whoshed']

        1. chuBb. Silver badge

          Re: He declared a long position in BTC in February and then they went up

          Autocorrect

          1. Def Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: He declared a long position in BTC in February and then they went up

            Have you tried proofreading your comments before clicking Submit?

            1. chuBb. Silver badge

              Re: He declared a long position in BTC in February and then they went up

              yeah i have didnt work very well for me, as:

              A) cant be arsed to attempt editing on a touch screen with a 10 min window for changes,

              B) triggering grammar and spelling prefects is a hobby of mine,

              C) i dont care enough about throw away comments on a forum to expend any more energy than i already have commenting,

              D) very much throwing the cat amongst the pigeons proof-reading is much more legible hyphenated

              E) search parties would be sent if i spent more time polishing comments whilst on bog

              1. Def Silver badge
                Headmaster

                Re: He declared a long position in BTC in February and then they went up

                You may find "proof-reading" more legible, but neither of those words in this context is an adjective, and the word "proofreading" is a verb in its own right.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Fantastic Market Opportunities ...... Ponzis to the Moon and Achilles Heel Arrows

    Now you all know how trader brokerages into gambling with investors' funds in the Markets Sectors work. Nothing is based and valued on anything real and manufactured, everything revolves and resolves around individualistic sentiment and random spaced opinion fed to y'all via mass multi media mogul operations. A vital critical infrastructure component in any sane program for the insane/lunatic project. -)

    And with so much now totally dependent upon such producing continual profit, which is greater reward for nothing extra, an epic 0day vulnerability to exploit and expand upon or attack and destroy.

    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: Fantastic Market Opportunities ...... Ponzis to the Moon and Achilles Heel Arrows

      What is it about bitcoins that attracts thus particular flavour of far right conspiratorial loon?

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Fantastic Market Opportunities ...... Ponzis to the Moon and Achilles Heel Arrows

        You must be new around here.

        Scroll through amanfromMars' earlier posts for a feel of what is "normal" for him. This one was quite lucid when compared to some of them.

      2. Packet

        Re: Fantastic Market Opportunities ...... Ponzis to the Moon and Achilles Heel Arrows

        I don't think greed limits itself to one side of the political spectrum...

      3. Martin Summers Silver badge

        Re: Fantastic Market Opportunities ...... Ponzis to the Moon and Achilles Heel Arrows

        I'm assuming you couldn't immediately tell that this is our resident AI bot. Which means the creator is doing something right even if it passes off as a far right conspiratorial loon.

      4. Naselus

        Re: Fantastic Market Opportunities ...... Ponzis to the Moon and Achilles Heel Arrows

        Amanfrommars isn't left or right, his political affiliation is probably best described as either 'upside down' or 'lemon flavoured'.

      5. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Fantastic Market Opportunities ...... Ponzis to the Moon and Achilles Heel Arrows

        Amanfrom's comment made an interesting point about perpetual growth not necessarily being a wise path... that's not a hard-right opinion.

        An answer for your wider question, why do you associate bitcoin with certain political outlooks, might be found by pondering why the coins in your pocket likely feature an image of a head of state. The stories of currency, politics, governance and society have been entwined from the get go.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Fantastic Market Opportunities ...... Ponzis to the Moon and Achilles Heel Arrows

          "an interesting point about perpetual growth not necessarily being a wise path... that's not a hard-right opinion."

          It isn't an interesting point unless you're a fan of Adolph. It is simply - literally - a nonsensical but key piece of far right propaganda. It sounds good to the useful idiots, but it's insane: is it better to do more with the same inputs by using them more cleverly, or to... Not do that?

          As your second paragraph demonstrates, you're a fan of Adolph yourself, or one of their useful idiots. Money is not a conspiracy. Claiming it is, is a means to an end. That end is finishing the job so rudely interrupted in the 1940s.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Fantastic Market Opportunities ...... Ponzis to the Moon and Achilles Heel Arrows

            >Money is not a conspiracy

            Actually it is - money is the very definition of a conspiracy.

            It only has value if everyone conspires to believe it is money and will continue to be so

  5. TReko

    Odd that

    one wonders where he thinks the electricity comes from that powers his cars?

    1. Mike 125

      Re: Odd that

      >one wonders where he thinks the electricity comes from that powers his cars?

      Batteries. DUH.

      We need to move around. We don't need to mine an ephemeral, toy currency.

      During the transition to renewables, a massive needless increase in consumption helps nobody.

    2. rg287 Silver badge

      Re: Odd that

      one wonders where he thinks the electricity comes from that powers his cars?

      The solar panels that Tesla also sell? French buyers will be >90% nuclear, UK buyers are ~50% CCGT right now, but today is an unusually still day.

      There is however at least one BTC miner (Greenidge) which has it's own power plant (or the power plant bought into BTC, whichever way you want to view it). Formerly coal, now natural gas. They're planning on scaling to 500MW of mining activity. Mostly fossil-based.

      The thing is, we need to get around and the alternative to Musk's cars is to buy one that burns petrol. EVs are as clean as the grid - and the grid is getting cleaner every year. An ICE car will never get any more efficient once it's built.

      Conversely, the alternative to mining BTC with fossil-fuels is to simply... not mine BTC. It's a toy currency we don't need.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Odd that

      "holds onto the stash until mining becomes more eco friendly"

      one wonders where he thinks the electricity comes from that powers his bitcoin stash

      1. Ciaran McHale

        Re: Odd that

        The trend over the past few years in many countries has been towards renewal energy (solar, wind, hydro and so on). We might expect that in another few years/decades, most/all electricity will be generated via a renewable source. At that point, bitcoin mining will be eco friendly.

        1. hoola Silver badge

          Re: Odd that

          Fair comment but that does not change the view that it is an incredibly waste of resources, renewable or otherwise.

          There are some things that really do add minimal value to most of humanity.

        2. rg287 Silver badge

          Re: Odd that

          At that point, bitcoin mining will be eco friendly.

          It'll be decades away given that the likes of Greenidge are - today - investing in hundreds of MW of fossil-based capacity explicitly for mining purposes.

          And even if we do go all-renewable, it's still a horrendous waste of energy.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Odd that

      “Hello, I have neither read nor understood the article and yet feel compelled to share my strong opinions on the topic.”

    5. katrinab Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Odd that

      It takes 707kWh to process a bitcoin transaction.

      A Tesla Model 3 has a fuel efficiency of 4.4 miles per kWh.

      Therefore for the same amount of electricity that it would take to process a bitcoin transaction, you could drive the car 3110.8 miles. That is about the same as the distance between Vancouver and New York.

      Or, put it another way. If you paid for your car charging session with bitcoin, it would take 10 times as much electricity to process the transaction as it would to recharge your battery from flat.

      People who make whataboutism comments, I don't think they understand just how bad bitcoin is at consuming electricity.

    6. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Odd that

      I suspect he does not care as long as there is a cable to hook the charging points up to.

  6. 45RPM Silver badge

    Distributed ledgers solve some very real problems, but the cure should never be worse than the disease. Distributed ledgers and the technologies that use them (Bitcoin etc) are power hogs and unless this problem can be solved then it seems reasonable to limit their use - or discourage it.

    Sure electric vehicles may ultimately burn fossil fuels as well but they burn less than a directly fossil fuelled vehicle does because the generating apparatus can (usually) be run at peak efficiency whereas a fossil fuel powered car seldom does. The electric car therefore (as far as I can see) does less harm than those vehicles that it replaces.

    Bitcoin does more harm than the technology it replaces - and therein lies the problem.

    I’d suggest that before we go all gooey over a new tech and start adopting it the first question that we should ask is whether or not it does more damage to the environment than the tech it replaces. And if the answer is yes then we should kill it stone dead right there - whether it’s a new form of currency, a new car or even a new games console or computer. Our time is up. We can’t pussyfoot around anymore.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Those mass traffic jams with creeping stop start traffic that cause health-damaging local air quality in densely populated towns and cities, that’s where non emission engines make a difference. Where the fuel is burned by ICE engines and the emissions sprayed into the faces of the people. Non of those emissions come from Tesla cars even if their energy ultimately comes from fossil fuels and makes C02.

      And at traffic jam speeds, with regen brakes, even their secondary particulates from brake pads and tyre wear is minimal.

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Absolutely right. I forgot about this - I was thinking purely about the vehicle efficiency in terms of the fuel being optimally burned. I forgot about the immediate impact of breathing in smog (probably because I don’t live in a town!)

        Plus, EVs can be ‘upgraded’ to be totally carbon neutral in terms of miles travelled by upgrading the power generation capacity (as is being done all over the world) without any effort from the vehicles owner.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > ..mass traffic jams with creeping stop start traffic .., that’s where non emission engines make a difference.

        My small engine ICE car actually measures at 11L/100km in city driving because of this.

        My PHEV SUV measures at 3.4L/100km on petrol only, urban driving, but usually <1 as most urban miles are on battery.

        Over all 110,000km driven it has been better than 2L/100km.

        So that's ~8800L petrol saved, ~$18000, so far.

        I have probably spent <$1000 on power, as work mostly charges it (from landfill gas btw)

        So by the time I expect to replace it, a $43000 vehicle will have saved me ~$34000 on petrol.

      3. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        > even their secondary particulates from brake pads and tyre wear is minimal.

        A picky point but tyre wear is the same regardless of whether the braking applied to the wheel came from the disc brakes or regen.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          A picky point but tyre wear is the same regardless of whether the braking applied to the wheel came from the disc brakes or regen.

          Not the point I was trying to make. In stop start slow traffic the tyre wear is much lower than high speed cornering and braking.

      4. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        "mass traffic jams with creeping stop start traffic that cause health-damaging local air quality"

        They don't, though. Only the diesels. You can have a city full of modern petrol engines and see no noticeable change in local atmospheric composition.

    2. Filippo Silver badge

      "Sure electric vehicles may ultimately burn fossil fuels as well but they burn less than a directly fossil fuelled vehicle does because the generating apparatus can (usually) be run at peak efficiency whereas a fossil fuel powered car seldom does. The electric car therefore (as far as I can see) does less harm than those vehicles that it replaces."

      Also, an EV can in principle become cleaner as the grid becomes cleaner, while an ICE would still be burning fossils even if we had a 100% green grid. In theory you can make clean synthetic fuel from green energy, but in practice the efficiency is horrible.

      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        "In theory you can make clean synthetic fuel from green energy, but in practice the efficiency is horrible."

        No worse than electric cars, overall. But in any case the efficiency is pretty much irrelevant, since we don't have any large scale transportable storage alternatives, and solar is cheap but in the wrong place.

        Of course we're going to cover deserts with solar panels and make synthetic oil. It's a no-brainer. That we can continue using the existing infrastructure, instead of junking it and starting again, is another huge efficiency boost.

    3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Prime Bullshit Piled High to Protect and Preserve the Perma Bullshitters Hides

      I’d suggest that before we go all gooey over a new tech and start adopting it the first question that we should ask is whether or not it does more damage to the environment than the tech it replaces. And if the answer is yes then we should kill it stone dead right there - whether it’s a new form of currency, a new car or even a new games console or computer. Our time is up. We can’t pussyfoot around anymore. ...... 45RPM

      That argument would carry a great deal more weight and be easier supported, 45RPM, if the system wasn't so gooey on old tech and the quantitatively eased, fractional lending fiat currency forms which have created and continue to create increasingly staggering amounts of deficit and debt which future innocents are supposed to manage and repay to god knows whom and/or what then, whenever, apparently in the next breath, we are led to believe in the times we are presently living in, there's never been so much wealth generated and everything is looking up, fine and dandy, for the future.

      No way, José. Machines say that does not compute correctly, and they never be politically incorrect and misleading.

      It is current operating systems and systems administrations which are at fault and the fundamental cause of practically all catastrophic creeping woes, not anything novel and clearly not even fully betatested yet for Massive ACTive Live IT Field Demonstrators. It's a perverse legacy issue, not a novel enterprise result.

      1. ClockworkOwl
        Alert

        Re: Prime Bullshit Piled High to Protect and Preserve the Perma Bullshitters Hides

        Amen to that sir(?!)

        You seem to have a distinctly clear view of the base and crass hypocrisy at the root of humanities', and therefore the rest of the universes', ills...

      2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        Re: Prime Bullshit Piled High to Protect and Preserve the Perma Bullshitters Hides

        Gimme an S! Gimme an I! Gimme an E! Gimme a G!

        Gimme an H! Gimme an E! Gimme an I! Gimme an L!

      3. Packet

        Re: Prime Bullshit Piled High to Protect and Preserve the Perma Bullshitters Hides

        Hold it right there - how does your new technology based 'currency' solve deficits and debts?

        You aren't - all you've done is create a new store of dubious value

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Prime Bullshit Piled High to Protect and Preserve the Perma Bullshitters Hides

          Hold it right there - how does your new technology based 'currency' solve deficits and debts?

          You aren't - all you've done is create a new store of dubious value ..... Packet

          What post are you replying to there, Packet, for it does even remotely relate to anything alien said?

          But nevertheless, the secret is not to create deficits and debt and paint it over with sparkles that pimp and pump and dump it as flash cash and credit and an indicator of deposited, other third party wealth. That was the prime fundamental message regarding the Prime Bullshit Piled High to Protect and Preserve the Perma Bullshitters Hides.

          Jump/Quantum Leap right across into that mindset and one has a whole new immensely rich virgin space in which to try your very best not to fcuk up everything for everyone again.

          1. Packet

            Re: Prime Bullshit Piled High to Protect and Preserve the Perma Bullshitters Hides

            I hit reply and the posting system put my comment where it chose to.

            Your idyllic scenario does not have anything to do with creating a new store of value.

            All you're doing is using a word salad to make what you're saying seem plausible (hint: it's not working)

            So, I'll ask again, how does creating a new store of value prevent the creation of a deficit and/or debt?

            1. Martin Summers Silver badge

              Re: Prime Bullshit Piled High to Protect and Preserve the Perma Bullshitters Hides

              You're talking to a bot.

    4. firefly

      > Distributed ledgers solve some very real problems

      Do they? They have proven to be slow, ineffiecient, and if public are vulnerable to attack. I don't think there is any use case where they are preferable to a centralised database.

      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        He means it 'finally solves' the 'Jewish problem'. Nothing more to it than that.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          @Dave314159etc

          Amanfrom has not mentioned Jewish bankers in any way - that connection is in your head.

          His main points are, 1, decoupling a currency such as the USD from gold gave a nation's central bank the ability to print more money at will, and 2, that the concept of perpetual economic growth is absurd.

          Whether he's correct or otherwise is moot - they're reasonable ideas worthy of discussion and debate.

          Your attempt to paint him as anti-Semitic - instead of debating him - fails because the evidence doesn't support your assertion.

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

            "Amanfrom has not mentioned Jewish bankers in any way - that connection is in your head."

            I haven't mentioned them, and nor has he. You went straight there, though, proving me correct and you a full blown member of the far right.

            I have no intention of legitimising your hatred by engaging with you, or anyone else from the Rapid Response Team. I'm just pointing out what you are, so no bystanders tumble down your rabbit hole by mistake.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Your complaints are with a bot's arguments, which are related to actual points others have made. Your connection to Nazism is unclear in the extreme. Contrary to your argument, you have been the first to mention Jewish people, although you didn't refer to Jewish bankers specifically. What connection there is between blockchain arguments and Nazi statements is unclear, though it's clear you think there is a connection. The only connection I can see is that A) blockchain people sometimes argue that the banking system has problems and B) Nazis sometimes argue that the banking system has problems and blame those problems on Jews or somebody else they wanted to scapegoat. Statement B does not disprove that the banking system might actually have problems, nor do the blockchain people and Nazis talk about the same problems or blame them on the same people. If you want to argue against the arguments being made, try attacking them on the merits or lack thereof.

    5. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

      Distributed ledgers don't have to be Proof Of Work.

      VEChain is seeing use in supply chains by some very large firms (Wallmart China, BMW, PwC, etc) and that uses Proof Of Authority ( ie: no mining ).

  7. Adelio Silver badge

    What is the point

    There are 2 seperate things arounf crypto currencies

    1. The "ledger" used for all transactions

    2. the generation of new "coins"

    Although i can see a reason and a use for the "ledger" I have never understood the reasoning for "mining" Why not just have a central repository "like the central bank" that "generates" or Creates the "coin" and distributes it.

    The mining seems to have NO purpose in of itself except to soak up billions of watts of electricity.

    Does anyone have a good reason for the "mining"?

    1. chuBb. Silver badge

      Re: What is the point

      An anachronism from the days when btc value was a fraction of a cent and the gamification required to get enough people on the network to get it running.

      That and the whole decentralised philosophy which always read like the hackers manifesto.

      I've always wondered why mining isn't coupled to something useful like folding@home, wouldn't change the power consumption but at least useful data gets spat out as a waste product, which is better than what amounts to a guid when a coin is mined

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: What is the point

        > I've always wondered why mining isn't coupled to something useful like folding@home,

        I've already got folding money in my wallet...

        (Actually it's a good idea - maybe Cancer charities could give out 'free' pins or t-shirts to those who donate via folding that helps their research? Start small and all that...)

    2. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: What is the point

      The original philosophy was extremely hostile to anything centralized. However, a currency that anyone can arbitrarily make more of doesn't work. Hence, decentralized but difficult to make.

      I hear that other cryptocurrencies consume less power, but I don't know how that works in practice. It seems to me that any cryptocurrency must either be centralized at some point, or consume massive amounts of power as it becomes more successful. I don't understand how a decentralized-but-not-power-hungry scenario could be possible, and I'd welcome pointers in that direction.

      1. Emir Al Weeq

        Re: What is the point

        Bitcoin, the original blockchain, needs someone to add the next block (ie the latest version of the ledger) to the overall chain; but in a decentralised system, who? If everyone submits their version the next block, chaos ensues.

        The solution is to have "miners" compete to find a specific number (called a nonce) that links the new block to the previous one according a set of rules defined such that this nonce can only be found by trial and error (mining). This is what takes a lot of power, but once found, the nonce can be easily verified by all and sundry so the new block can be accepted. To encourage people to mine, the rules allow them to add a bit of extra currency to their account in the new block. This system is known as Proof of Work.

        Now that concept of a distributed ledger is more established, people are more open to use different consensus mechanisms to determine who adds the next block. One such example requires miners to stake their own "coins" and the next contributor is chosen according to rules based on this stake. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof of Stake for such an alternative.

      2. Jason 24

        Re: What is the point

        What you're looking for is probably Monero - the algo used is ASIC and GPU resistant, so it can only be mined with CPUs so scaling it up massively is going to be very tricky. It follows a one CPU = one vote model and so anyone can join in, even now, which makes the whole system fairer.

        Due to needing ASICs (and apparently your own Power Station) effectively every normal person is locked out of mining Bitcoin.

        Oh, and it actually has an actual use case right now, albeit on the dark web for nefarious purposes. Bitcoin just seems to be investors trying to buy low and sell high constantly.

    3. Mike 125
    4. Gob Smacked

      Re: What is the point

      1) The ledger being shared is to keep the system honest. These nodes are simple, e.g. Raspberry PIs take care of that

      2) Mining is to incentivise spread of the system. Miners take huge real economy risks to try and solve the sums first that leads to their single instance reward and then need to restart solving. Their cost in turn makes sure they use the cheapest energy available, so most mining is done near to alternative sources where there's an abundance that cannot be dialed down, like solar energy, earth warmth, wind and water. Coal is too expensive in most cases today, unless a government interested in bitcoin subsidizes it. Not many governments do... :)

      Bitcoin was meant to take the place of the banking system. How much watts does the global banking system use, buildings, computer systems, security systems and infrastructure?

      I believe at the moment bitcoin mining uses about as much energy as Las Vegas. What is the use of Las Vegas (in a global sense...)?

      It's just a matter of looking at the picture with some distance, check facts and not hype and then to make your mind up. Bitcoin may not live up to all its early promises, but as a financial system that takes a crack at solving some big current financial uncertainty issues (indefinate inflation, excluding most of the worlds population to banking), it's a good start in my mind.

      1. Blank Reg Silver badge

        Re: What is the point

        The last comparison I saw had bitcoin using as much power as Argentina, but next month it will be a new country as power usage increases

      2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

        Re: What is the point

        "Bitcoin was meant to take the place of the banking system."

        No, it's expressly designed to make sure it never can.

        "some big current financial uncertainty issues (indefinate inflation, excluding most of the worlds population to banking)"

        Far right conspiracy theories from a bitcoin loon? You don't say...

      3. Packet

        Re: What is the point

        Ugh you're offending and hurting my economics brain here.

        Inflation is a good thing, ffs.

        And excluding the world's population to banking? what does that mean? go back to the barter system?

        1. Stork Silver badge

          Re: What is the point

          Low inflation, yes. As soon as you go into double digits not so much.

    5. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: What is the point

      Mining is the way to pay people for running the network.

    6. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

      Re: What is the point

      Bitcoin uses Proof Of Work but many don't. I think Ripple uses Proof Of Stake. VEChain uses Proof Of Authority.

  8. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    SNL

    The occasional host of television sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live

    A musical interlude for his next SNL appearance...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc_c_5nNELc

    And depending on the value of crypto shuffling on Musk's utterances...

    https://youtu.be/3O2MYC33dnU?t=9

  9. wolfetone Silver badge

    "Tl;dr: Tesla is concerned about the "increasing use" of fossil fuels, particularly coal, to support Bitcoin's electricity-hungry mining and transaction processing."

    Hopefully, one day, Bitcoin mining can be powered just by using Musk's bullshit instead.

  10. mark l 2 Silver badge

    How is it that that someone who has been a pioneer in EVs and pushing for greener technology didn't think about the environmental impact of mining bitcoin before he bought it?

    It is not like he got into bitcoin years ago, he splurged $1.5bn on it only 2 months ago. And I fail to see how other crypto currencies are going to be any better, they all require computing power to mine and therefore are using electricity.

    Even if the entire grid was running from 100% renewable, its still wasteful to be running systems 24/7 just to make a virtual currency which is just being used by investors and not being spent.

  11. sreynolds

    When did he acquire a taste for such luxuries?

    I didn't realize that he had, or was at least feigning to have a conscience. A bit of a luxury when you product consumes a vast amount of lithium, most of which isn't presently recycled, to start worrying about coal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When did he acquire a taste for such luxuries?

      More lithium is consumed by ceramic and glass production, that in car batteries.

      EV batteries (all EVs, not just Tesla) use around 17% of the worlds current supply of Lithium, and these can be re-used for things like power walls etc, and then eventually at EoL (after 10+ years of use) recycled.

      Ceramic and glass production consumes around 30% of current supplies.

      The supply of lithium is also expected to more than double over the new few years. There are more new lithium production sites in the planning stages now, than exist currently.

      1. hoola Silver badge

        Re: When did he acquire a taste for such luxuries?

        Yes, but where does it come from?

        It is still hugely energy intensive to get it out and refine it. The recycling of batteries to extract the useful bits is far from working efficiently at scale. Nothing gets away from the basic fact that a battery takes time to recharge, You can do it faster and reduce the life of the battery within the chemical and electrical constraints.

        EVs are here to stay but almost all the focus for the power source is on a concept from the 1940s.

        Hydrogen may be inefficient but if created using solar/wind/tidal does not create a huge environmental problem. The materials used to make batteries come from somewhere and have to be refined. Just like the sourcing of many materials, most do not care where they come from because it is not on their doorstep.

        Fossil fuels are also inefficient from source to point of use, as are the insane bio-fuels. We need to be looking at what has the least environmental impact from source to point of use and then the disposal of any residue. Only the middle bit is considered at the moment.

  12. steelpillow Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Bit c-word

    "holds onto the stash until mining becomes more eco friendly"

    Except, every bitcoin mined, the next is harder to find and you have to dig deeper. Currently the mining farms grow faster than alternative energy can be rolled out, and that is only going to get worse and worse until the last bitcoin is exhausted (yes, an endgame is built into the system).

    If the bitcoin community gave a damn about their planet, they would pull the endgame forward to right now and end this deathrace.

    1. Blank Reg Silver badge

      Re: Bit c-word

      but then how could people keep making their fake money? once that happens people will lose interest and move on to the next scam

  13. 9Rune5 Silver badge

    Making a point

    When I first heard this news my thought was that Musk did this deliberately. First he purchased a bunch of bitcoins, and then made a huge announcement denouncing them.

    Because the guy isn't dumb. He must've realized bitcoins were power hungry before his initial investment.

  14. graeme leggett

    Voting

    "three-quarters of four million voters indicated they wanted Tesla to accept Doge."

    I didn't even know Tesla had that big of a customer base.....or shareholders

  15. Elledan Silver badge

    Simple solution

    Just set up Bitcoin mining operations at all the nuclear plants that are being turned off because cheap fossil methane plants is cheaper currently. Keeps those plants running, makes Bitcoin a lot more green and preserves those NPPs for when they're needed again to decarbonise the grid.

  16. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells
    Coat

    What a sociopath.

    On a whim takes money out of people's pockets for no good reason ( unless he has friends who were shorting bitcoin ).

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whatever the rightness or wrongness of the environmental argument, it is monumentally stupid for the pedo-guy to reverse position 2 months later based on facts which were public knowledge and tank the price.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

      Not just of Bitcoin, the whole crypto market has taken a dump.

      A billionaire's whim has cost me a few thousand pounds. Hopefully only in the short term.

  18. This is not a drill
    Mushroom

    Super Villain Checklist

    Legitimate Front business to cover operations - Check

    Space Rockets - Check

    Attempt to control world economies - Check

    Sharks with lasers ......... Where's my Frickkin Sharks with Frickkin Lasers ???

  19. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Ok ...... Here's the Money Shot Bottom Line.

    Do you not realise Elon Musk has just made a fool monkey of the markets, showing one and all how easy it is for a few juicy tweets from a Grateful Deadhead to have it reacting crazily? And such is the way that a few who would be thinking they go about doing God's work operate, to effect and blight your existence with their shenanigans.

    Their eternal and infernal shame though, is that they can all too easily also be blamed for the dire straits mess of everything around everyone. The posit here is that such things can be done a great deal better ...... obviously with others more able leading them on the way.

  20. RobThBay

    Coal powered Tesla

    Tesla is concerned about the "increasing use" of fossil fuels, particularly coal....

    I guess he should quit selling his cars in countries that use coal fired generating stations.

  21. grumpy-old-person

    Killing the planet

    It may not mean much but the Bitcoin mining DOES have an impact on us - and worse, on the next generations

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