Elon Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, has informed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a quarterly filing that it may restart the practice of transacting in cryptocurrencies for its products and services. Tesla suspended accepting bitcoin in May, citing environmental concerns.
Tesla May Resume Accepting Bitcoin, SEC Filing Shows
Tesla Inc. filed a quarterly report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Monday.
The company explained that during the nine months ended Sept. 20, it “purchased an aggregate of $1.50 billion in bitcoin.” In its Q3 earnings report, Tesla’s balance sheet shows bitcoin worth $1.26 billion, after reporting bitcoin-related impairments in the past two quarters.
The SEC filing further states that during the three months ended March 31, Tesla “accepted bitcoin as a payment for sales of certain of our products in specified regions, subject to applicable laws.” However, the company noted that it “suspended this practice in May 2021.” Tesla continued:
We may in the future restart the practice of transacting in cryptocurrencies (‘digital assets’) for our products and services.
The electric car company, whose market cap hit $1 trillion for the first time this week, explained that it “suspended vehicle purchases using bitcoin” due to concerns “about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk then tried to convince bitcoin miners to use renewable energy. In May, he spoke with North American bitcoin miners, after which they formed a Bitcoin Mining Council to “promote energy usage transparency & accelerate sustainability initiatives worldwide.”
In June, Musk tweeted: “When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing bitcoin transactions.”
At the “B Word” event in July, he said: “It looks like Bitcoin is shifting a lot more toward renewables and a bunch of the heavy-duty coal plants that were being used … have been shut down, especially in China.” He added: “I want to do a little 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 toward increasing that number. If so, Tesla will most likely resume accepting bitcoin.”
While Tesla only accepted bitcoin, Musk conducted a poll on Twitter in May asking his followers if Tesla should accept dogecoin (DOGE). 78.2% of more than 3.9 million votes were in favor of Tesla accepting the meme cryptocurrency. Musk recently confirmed that he personally owns bitcoin, ether, and dogecoin. Meanwhile, his companies, Tesla and Spacex, only own bitcoin.