Tesla and Crypto Climate Accord

Tesla just announced that they will stop taking bitcoins for their cars, being concerned about “rapidly rising” fossil fuel use, especially coal. I am not familiar with the research indicating rising coal use for Bitcoin in the last 49 days since Tesla announced they will take bitcoins for their product. Maybe someone can educate me.

Bitcoin supporters are not pleased and the market price has taken a hit as well. But this is a legitimate concern.

Stopping people from buying Tesla cars will of course help reduce fossil fuel use. They (exactly like Bitcoin) use a lot of electricity, much of which still comes from fossil fuels. If you decide to walk or use a bicycle instead, you will help save the planet.

On the other hand, anyone interested in buying a Tesla car can easily convert their bitcoins into dollars and buy it anyway, so this measure may not help much in reducing sales.

But it certainly helps in raising awareness for questions of energy use. Do we need all these cars? Can we actually afford to have cars in a climate emergency? And is there energy left in said emergency for rich man’s hobby interests like going to Mars?

Is going to Mars more important than fixing the broken money system on this planet?

I hear that the Space-X rockets run 100% on fossil fuel, Why is emitting all that CO2 for getting to Mars a good idea? There is nothing to hustle there.

And maybe someone will find a way to do rockets without fossil fuel, just like the altcoin pipedreams of doing what Bitcoin does without the energy expense.

In contrast, Bitcoin does not run 100% on fossil fuel. Actually, this is a great opportunity to get some attention to the Crypto Climate Accord, which aims to get to 100% renewable for the whole crypto industry (not only Bitcoin) until 2025.

The concerns about Bitcoin using a lot of energy are valid. But the answer should not be to shut down Bitcoin or trying to do so, but to shut down fossil fuel energy use for mining.

Renewable energy is the cheapest source now anyway. Bitcoin mining is a competition for the cheapest energy, which can be located anywhere on the planet. Of course renewable is going to win that race, and win it faster than with other forms of energy use as Tesla cars or rockets.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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