Tesla CEO Elon Musk continued to bash Bitcoin on Thursday, after announcing hours earlier that the electric vehicle manufacturer would stop accepting the world’s largest cryptocurrency as payment for its cars.
His move sent a chill through the world of cryptocurrencies, sending Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin all sharply lower.
ELON MUSK: TESLA REVERSES WON’T ACCEPT BITCOIN, CRYPTO TUMBLES
Musk is now taking issue with the process of bitcoin mining, or generating digital currency by using powerful computers to solve ultra-complex mathematical equations, which consumes a huge amount of electricity. Musk, a longtime public proponent of cryptocurrencies, said the current mining process is too reliant on fossil fuels.
“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,” Musk said in a statement. “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.”
On Thursday, Musk tweeted a chart from Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, which found that its energy usage has steadily grown since 2016.
“Energy usage trend over past few months is insane,” Musk said.
According to the index, Bitcoin’s estimated annualized consumption as of Thursday morning is 149.63 terawatts per hour, which translates to 19.95 gigawatts. On the high end, current Bitcoin consumption can be as much as 514.69 terawatts per hour, or 68.61 gigawatts.
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Earlier this week, Musk put out a poll to see whether his followers would like Tesla to accept Dogecoin as an alternative payment for vehicles. Over 3.9 million people weighed in, with 78.2% voted in favor of the move, while 21.8% voted against it.
Musk’s aerospace company, SpaceX, also recently announced it would partner with Geometric Energy Corporation to deliver the first-ever commercial payload funded entirely by the meme token, Doge-1, to the moon in the first quarter of 2022.
His comments have caused Bitcoin’s price to plunge about 10% in the last 24 hours to below $50,000 per coin, according to tracking by Coindesk. Other cryptocurrencies also tanked including Ethereum, which is down about 11% near $3,800 per coin, and Dogecoin, which is down about 13% near 41 cents per coin.
Fox Business’ Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report
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