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Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, speaks during the Satellite 2020 conference at the Washington Convention Center on March 9, 2020, in Washington. Musk said on July 21 that his space exploration company owns bitcoin and that his electric car company Tesla would likely accept it as payment again when it uses more clean energy. Photo: AFP

Elon Musk says SpaceX owns bitcoin and Tesla may resume accepting the cryptocurrency when it’s more energy efficient

  • SpaceX founder Elon Musk said his rocket company owns bitcoin, sending the value past US$32,000
  • During ‘The B Word’ conference, Musk also said his electric car company Tesla would resume accepting bitcoin when mining uses more renewable energy

Elon Musk’s love affair with bitcoin runs deeper than previously known.

The billionaire head of Tesla Inc said his space exploration company also owns the digital token – and has no plans to sell it.
Speaking at “The B Word” conference hosted by the Crypto Council for Innovation, Musk discussed the outlook for bitcoin with fellow backers Cathie Wood, head of Ark Investment Management, and Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer of Twitter Inc and Square Inc.
Musk said that he personally owns bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, while Tesla and SpaceX both exclusively own bitcoin. The cryptocurrency climbed as high as US$32,820 during the panel Wednesday before falling to about US$31,683 at 3:49pm New York time.

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“I would like to see bitcoin succeed,” Musk said. “If the price of bitcoin goes down, I lose money. I might pump but don’t dump.”

Musk said that Tesla would most likely resume accepting bitcoin for purchases once mining becomes less environmentally taxing.

“It looks like bitcoin is shifting more toward renewables,” Musk said. “I would want to do a little bit more diligence to confirm the percentage of renewable energy usage is at or above 50 per cent.”

Hydroelectric, geothermal and nuclear energy could all be good sources of power for bitcoin mining, he noted.

“The expectation is not that energy production is pure as the driven snow, but it can’t be using the world’s dirtiest coal,” Musk said.

Wood said corporations should consider adding bitcoin to their balance sheets, partly as a hedge against deflation. She added that the Financial Accounting Standards Board should reconsider how it classifies bitcoin since institutions currently have to write off holdings when the price declines. Listing it as an intangible asset could help remedy that.

“Think about how explosive growth could be,” she said.


Is cryptocurrency too risky for China?

Is cryptocurrency too risky for China?

Still, MicroStrategy Inc, which reports earnings next week, may illustrate the perils of companies amassing large bitcoin holdings. The firm has piled into the digital currency in recent months, only to see the token slump roughly 50 per cent since its April peak.

As for Tesla, Musk noted that the company’s bank balances in Europe have negative interest rates, saying it “drives me crazy”.

“We should definitely move that into bitcoin,” he said.