Tesla chief executive Elon Musk Wednesday evening tweeted that the company will stop accepting Bitcoin payments for purchase of Tesla vehicles, citing excessive energy consumption in the mining of the crypto-currency.
The announcement follows Tesla's earnings announcement on April 26 during which the company had said it made a small profit on the crypto-currency in the quarter after it sold 10% of a $1.5 billion position it had amassed in Bitcoin.
Musk's tweet was followed by a quick drop in the spot price of Bitcoin from $54,602.77 in U.S. dollars to $52.147.82.
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Said Musk in a word-pasted graphic embedded in a tweet:
Bitcoin creation on the Bitcoin block-chain requires the use of desktop computers with fairly high specs to crunch the blocks that are added to the chain. The mining operation has long been regarded as a fairly energy-intensive task.
During Tesla's Q1 conference call, the company's CFO, Zachary Kirkhorn, dubbed the "Master of Coin" by the company, commented to Wall Street analysts that "we do believe long term in the value of Bitcoin."
"So, it is our intent to hold what we have long term and continue to accumulate Bitcoin from transactions from our customers as they purchase vehicles."