By Amaka Obi (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Tesla Inc’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said the electric-vehicle manufacturer is suspending purchases using Bitcoin, triggering a slide in the digital currency.
In a post on Twitter Wednesday, Musk cited concerns about “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions,” while signaling that Tesla might accept other cryptocurrencies if they are much less energy intensive. He also said the company won’t be selling any of the Bitcoin it holds.
The largest cryptocurrency dropped as much as 15% to just above $46,000, before paring some of the retreat. It was down about 6% to $51,210 as of 7:03 a.m. in London on Thursday. Other tokens such Ether and Dogecoin also slid. The rush to sell briefly caused outages at some cryptocurrency exchanges. Bitcoin is still up more than fivefold in the past year.
Musk’s move comes after Tesla disclosed in February that it had purchased $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and planned to accept it as a payment. That announcement added legitimacy to the cryptocurrency as an increasingly acceptable form of payment and an investment, especially coming from a large member of the S&P 500 with a high-profile CEO who commands a big following among retail investors and the general public.