Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Sunday that the company will resume bitcoin transactions once it confirms that there is reasonable use of clean power by miners.
“When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing bitcoin transactions.”
Musk was reacting to comments from Magda Wierzycka, CEO of South African asset manager Sygnia, who said that Musk’s tweets on bitcoin prices were “market manipulation” and should have triggered an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Tesla revealed in an SEC deposit in February that it bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and said it would start accepting bitcoin as a payment method for its products.
However, the electric car maker stopped car purchases with bitcoin in mid-May due to concerns about how cryptocurrency mining, which requires powerful computer banks, contributes to climate change.
“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 May.
On Sunday, Musk disputed Wierzycka’s allegations of market manipulation, explaining, “Tesla sold roughly 10% of its bitcoin holdings “to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving market,” he said. During the first quarter, Tesla sold $272 million worth of “digital assets,” which helped it reduce operating losses by $101 million, the company revealed in its earnings statement.
Musk’s social media commentary about cryptocurrency often sends prices skyrocketing or falling, but seems to have a little immediate effect on Sunday. Overall, bitcoin prices increased by approximately 8% during the day.