Elon Musk lays out when Tesla will begin accepting Bitcoin payments

Musk responded to a Cointelegraph tweet about Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka calling for the SEC to investigate him over alleged Bitcoin price manipulation.

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.

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 the asset’s 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…”

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 exercise more renewable energy options and boost the transparency of cryptocurrency mining.

Despite all the criticism about Bitcoin mining, it’s estimated that a strong majority of miners already use alternative energy sources. Yassine Elmandjra, an analyst with Ark Investments, told CNBC in April that roughly three-quarters of miners use carbon-free sources in their operations.

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Crypto industry brass explains harnessing renewable energy could help BTC miners

Bitcoin mining via renewable energy is already prominent, one CEO explains.

The energy consumed by mining — the process that keeps Bitcoin’s blockchain running — has been an increasingly popular topic of discussion in recent weeks.

On Friday, CNBC posted an interview with SUKU CEO Yonathan Lapchik, during which he explained the Bitcoin mining scene as it relates to renewable energy. The interviewer noted Lapchik previously claimed that 75% of Bitcoin mining comes from renewable energy.

“We think that 75% is an actual figure,” Lapchik told CNBC, “The miners are truly incentivized to use renewable energy.” Turning his thoughts to electric car-maker Tesla, which recently announced it would no longer accept Bitcoin for purchases due to environmental concerns, Lapchik said “It’s surprising that Elon didn’t consider that before getting into the space, before accepting Bitcoin as a payment mechanism for Tesla.”

Tesla opened its doors to payments via Bitcoin by United States clientele back in March. The move went public following the car company’s purchase of $1.5 billion worth of BTC, announced in February.

Musk, however, recently stated disapproval of the fossil fuel energy Bitcoin mining calls on, via a Tweet on Wednesday. He also discontinued payments to Tesla in BTC, albeit seemingly a temporary move until Bitcoin mining reaches satisfactory energy usage levels.

“Really the data has been there forever,” Lapchik said of the 75% number. “We’ve been proving over and over and over that that’s a real case for miners in the Bitcoin network.”

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Green energy tokens capitalize on Tesla’s decision to nix Bitcoin payments

Tesla’s decision to cease Bitcoin payments ignited a green energy debate that sent the price of low energy consumption protocols like NANO, HBAR and EWT higher.

After months of touting the benefits of Bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain technology, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shocked the crypto Twitter on May 12 by announcing that the electric car company would suspend its accepting BTC as a form of payment, citing concerns related to the energy required to mine the top cryptocurrency. 

As Tesla issued its statement, Bitcoin, Ether and a large segment of altcoins sold off sharply but there were a few projects that found clever ways to capitalize off the mayhem by tweeting about the ‘green’ nature of their networks that require only a tiny fraction of the energy required to maintain the Bitcoin network.

HBAR/USDT vs. NANO/USDT vs. EWT/USDT 1-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Three of the biggest beneficiaries of the focus on energy consumption are Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR), Nano (NANO) and Energy Web Token (EWT). Each experienced double-digit gains on May 13, while a majority of the cryptocurrency market is in the red.

HBAR/USDT

Hedera Hashgraph is a public network that was designed to be a fairer, more efficient system that seeks to overcome some of the limitations of earlier-generation blockchain platforms that struggle with slow performance and instability.

The network received support from an unlikely source on May 13 as Deepak Chopra, a well-known spiritual teacher and meditation advocate, responded directly to Musk’s tweet about discontinuing Bitcoin payments by discussing the low energy nature of the HBAR.

Further exploration of the project’s Twitter feed show a litany of posts from various community members and project developers displaying the low energy cost of the Hedera network. This activity coincides with the May 13 spike in its price from a low of $0.226 to an intraday high of $0.41.

NANO/USDT

A second protocol that has jumped on the green energy wave initiated is Nano, a lightweight cryptocurrency designed to offer secure, near-instant payments with zero fees.

The project, along with members of its community, was quick to highlight Nano’s status as “one of the leading energy-efficient and eco-friendly cryptocurrencies of 2021” which may have helped propel the tokens price 121% on May 13 from a low of $8.00 to a 3-year high at $17.71.

NANO/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

EWT/USDT

Energy Web Token is a more obvious beneficiary of the refocus on environmental concerns as it is the operational token behind Energy Web Chain, a blockchain protocol designed to facilitate application development for the energy sector.

While the project doesn’t focus specifically on payments, the protocol’s virtual machine has the potential to revolutionize the energy sector as it is oriented toward grid operators, software developers and vendors.

The project responded to the recent announcement from Musk with the following tweet touting the protocol’s ability to decarbonize the global energy sector.

EWT rallied 75% from a low of $13 late on May 12 to an intraday high at $22 before profit-taking pushed the price back below $18.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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The rise of crypto charities: Elongate and Munch raise millions for various causes

The cryptocurrency community is flexing its generosity amid the latest bull market, as charitable donations continue to grow.

Two unrelated cryptocurrency projects have collectively raised over $3 million for charitable contributions this month, underscoring the potential of digital assets in aiding mission-based non-profits around the world. 

Elongate, a cryptocurrency project that began as a parody of Elon Musk’s reference to the Watergate scandal, has raised $2 million for various food and general support programs via Human Relief Foundation and Give India. The latter is a Covid-19 relief effort in the South Asian country in the wake of a devastating spike in new infections.

Some of the biggest Elongate contributors are Children International, Action Against Hunger, The Ocean Cleanup, Big Green, Human Relief Foundation and Give India, among others.

“In just a month, the Elongate ecosystem has grown to change the face of charity and crypto trading,” said Hasan Aziz, the project’s chief technology officer.

Elongate also announced that its token will begin trading on BitMart Monday, May 10.

Despite starting off as a meme, Elongate has emerged as a major player in the market for crypto-based charities. The project claims to have over 400,000 holders worldwide.

Meanwhile, DeFi project Munch has raised over $1 million to aid various causes in developing nations through the GiveWell Maximum Impact Fund. Over the years, the Maximum Impact Fund has allocated tens of millions of dollars to combating malaria and other diseases in Africa.

The Munch project was able to raise the funds via Ether (ETH) transaction fees on every buy and sell order made on its platform. The transaction fee, which was 10%, was evenly distributed to its token holders and the charity.

The cryptocurrency community is stepping up in a big way to distribute its wealth to good causes. As Cointelegraph recently reported, The Giving Block has launched a new charity drive to encourage community members to donate at least 1% of their crypto holdings to charities each year. Several high-profile crypto industry veterans have already joined the initiative.

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DOGE is now supported at 1,800 ATMs in 45 US states

U.S. citizens can now purchase Dogecoin from ATMs in 45 of the country’s 50 states.

Famous meme crypto Dogecoin (DOGE) can now be accessed through 1,800 ATMs across the United States.

Leading Bitcoin ATM provider Coinflip announced the support for Dogecoin on Mar. 1, with the company’s CEO and co-founder, Daniel Polotsky, attributing the move to DOGE’s recent “popularity and recent mass adoption.”

On Feb. 4th, the cryptocurrency’s price rose 25% within minutes after Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk posted a rocket going to the moon and adding “Doge” in the comments.

Two days later, the world’s second-richest man continued his Doge shill, posting a survey that asked if Dogecoin will be the earth’s future currency — to which 71.3% of the 2.4 million respondents said yes.

NBA Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban joined the conversation on Feb. 8, telling Forbes that the attention the meme coin is receiving is “not a bad look” for the industry.

“[DOGE] gives you a better chance of winning than a lottery ticket all while teaching the economics of supply and demand and introducing people to crypto asserts,” said Cuban. “I truly love it as the lowest cost economics teaching tool available that entertains at the same time.”

Within the first two weeks of February, the cryptocurrency’s price rose almost 200% from $0.03 to just shy of $0.09. Since then it has slowly consolidated near $0.05.

Some users have been speculating that Dogecoin’s price surge wasn’t entirely organic with an 85% price pump occurring from Reddit group /WallStreetBets after the GameStop saga died down. A couple of days later on Feb. 1, Kiss frontman Gene Simmons told Twitter users that he will buy the crypto among others, resulting in an additional 40% price surge over a 24 hour period.

Coinflip has seen astronomical growth in demand over the last 12 months, with revenue more than tripling year-on-year as the firm increased its ATM count from 441 to roughly 1,800 since January 2020. Coinflip ATMs are installed in 45 of the United States’ 50 states.

The firm’s ATMs also support BTC, ETH, BNB, DASH, LTC, LINK, USDC, and XLM.

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