Tesla hints it may start accepting crypto payments again

This is the second time this year that Tesla has suggested it may resume bitcoin payments

Tesla logo and bitcoin                                 
Tesla may start accepting bitcoin once more – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

American electric vehicle and clean energy company Tesla has hinted that it may resume accepting certain cryptocurrencies for its products and services.

In a September quarterly filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Tesla said: “We may in the future restart the practice of transacting in cryptocurrencies ("digital assets") for our products and services.”

In March this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would accept bitcoins as payment. He then made a volte-face in May and suspended the use of bitcoin, due to environmental concerns about the huge amount of electricity used in bitcoin mining.

Tesla and bitcoin

Tesla says it holds $1.5bn (£1.08bn) worth of bitcoin as a company. In the quarterly filing, Tesla stated: “We believe in the long-term potential of digital assets both as an investment and also as a liquid alternative to cash.”

The company also detailed its opinion regarding how many crypto assets it holds. Tesla said: “As with any investment, and consistent with how we manage fiat-based cash and cash-equivalent accounts, we may increase or decrease our holdings of digital assets at any time based on the needs of the business and our view of market and environmental conditions.”

The electric car company added that due to the price volatility of bitcoin, the company endured $101m (£73.28m) of “impairment losses” but gains of $128m (£92.87m) from sales of bitcoin by the company.  

Musk's earlier comments

In July, during the B Word virtual event, Musk discussed bitcoin with Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, and ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood. The Tesla CEO said at the time that the electric car maker would “most likely” start accepting bitcoin as payment again.

Musk said Tesla would be conducting a due diligence process to see how much energy was used in mining the coins.

During the event, the Tesla CEO said: “I wanted a little bit more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50%, and that there is a trend towards increasing that number, and if so, most likely the answer is that Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin.”

During the talk, Musk admitted to owning bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin.

Further reading: Elon Musk tweet causes Shiba Inu record gains to drop 20%

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