Tesla announced last year it was moving into the world of cryptocurrency after purchasing $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin.
Soon after they became the first automaker to accept cryptocurrency as a method of payment for their vehicles.
Less than two months later however, Tesla abruptly removed the option from their website. CEO Elon Musk explained the decision through a prepared statement on Twitter, saying it was done because of concerns about the use fossil fuels in Bitcoin mining.
Some questioned if that was the true motive behind the decision, but based on comments made by Tesla board member Kimbal Musk, that is exactly what happened.
In an interview at the Ethereum Denver conference yesterday, Kimbal said Tesla didn’t realize just how much of an impact bitcoin mining had on the environment prior to making the $1.5BN purchase. (via TechCrunch)
“When we invested in Bitcoin, we were very ignorant. We had no idea of the environmental impact, we literally didn’t know, we were like this seems like a good store of value and a good way to diversify assets.”
Kimbal explained that after announcing the purchase they became inundated with messages alerting them to the environmental impacts, which went against Tesla’s mission.
“And of course, it didn’t take very long to get a million — I’m not kidding probably a million — messages telling us what we were doing to the environment. And of course, our company is about creating alternative energy futures so we really were not informed enough when we made that decision.”
Kimbal went on to explain that Tesla isn’t against adding Bitcoin back to their website, it just won’t happen until the environmental impact has been reduced. Last year Elon Musk said renewable energy usage in Bitcoin mining and transactions needs to increases to at least 50% in order to do so.
You can watch Kimbal’s full interview below. The Bitcoin comments start at 6:10.