2021 has been one of the most interesting years for cryptocurrencies from a developmental standpoint. Coin prices have moved dramatically, and investors are once more understanding the dynamics of the market.
Another interesting thing that has happened is the growing influence of notable figures in the technology and financial spaces. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has been bullish on cryptocurrencies - especially Dogecoin - even though his actions haven't been all positive. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, has also drummed up support for crypto as a much-needed paradigm shift.
Both billionaires have been more than vocal in their support for cryptocurrencies. Last week, they finally got together to talk about their views and perceptions. In a virtual conference tagged “The B Word,” Must and Dorsey sat down with Cathie Wood, the CEO of investment management firm Ark Invest.
The event, which was organized by Square and Ark Invest - as well as crypto investment firm Paradigm - was truly an eye-opener. It allowed crypto fans to see what their favorite tech influencers really feel about cryptocurrencies, as well as their possible plans for these assets.
Musk is Still All-in on Crypto
As usual, Musk was the biggest star of the show. One of the world’s wealthiest men, Musk has been at the forefront of institutional crypto adoption for months now. Tesla purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin in February, with the company explaining that it was looking to diversify its portfolio. Musk has also used his Twitter page to pump up Dogecoin, much to the joy of the asset’s fans.
But, Musk drew the ire of just about everyone when he announced that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin as a payment option for vehicles. The reason was understandable - Tesla focuses on renewable energy and the environment, and Bitcoin mining is notoriously energy-intensive. Still, the market reacted, and Bitcoin’s price dipped - dragging every other coin into what has now become a three-month bear market.
At the conference, Musk explained that contrary to popular opinion, he remains a Bitcoin believer. The billionaire pointed out that Tesla still owns Bitcoin. The company sold off a bit, but that was even before the downturn started. Musk confirmed that ever since prices began to drop, Tesla hasn’t sold off any BTC.
The billionaire went even further, revealing that SpaceX - the space exploration and telecoms company he also spearheads - owns Bitcoin as well. SpaceX isn’t a public company, so it is under no obligation to disclose when it buys or sells. However, for the company to actually own Bitcoin, it shows that Musk remains committed to it.
As for the billionaire himself, he disclosed that he still holds Bitcoin - as well as Ether and Dogecoin.
Much Progress With Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption Already
As for the talk about Bitcoin’s energy use, Musk explained that he was happy about the progress being made with the adoption of renewables. Musk took his time to reiterate that he never specifically bashed Bitcoin when he announced that Tesla would stop accepting it. Instead, he was looking to draw attention to a significant flaw in Bitcoin that seemed fixable.
In the past, Musk has said that Tesla could once again accept Bitcoin as a payment method for vehicles if miners commit to using more green energy sources and move the network in a more sustainable direction. The billionaire confirmed in the conference that there has been considerable progress in that regard as Bitcoin now seems to be shifting towards the use of renewables in mining.
Musk pointed to the fact that China has commenced a sweeping ban on Bitcoin mining. The county held as much as 65 percent of the global hash rate, although a majority of the miners in the country got their energy from heavy-duty coal-burning plants. With China now banning Bitcoin and forcing miners out of the country, there is an opportunity for mining companies to set up their bases where they can get access to renewable energy.
Tesla Might be Back to Bitcoin Soon
Several crypto firms have also tweaked their operations to make Bitcoin greener. Dorsey’s payments company Square partnered with Blockstream in June to build solar-powered Bitcoin mining facilities. Under the agreement, Square will invest $5 million in the mining facility while Blockstream will provide the right expertise for managing it.
Musk added that he could establish a benchmark above 50 percent right now for the amount of Bitcoin’s energy consumption that is from renewables. If that number continues to increase, Tesla will definitely resume accepting the asset as a payment option for its vehicles.
Wood offered her thoughts, explaining that Bitcoin has a great deal to play in impact investing for the foreseeable future. She pointed out that Bitcoin has the potential to become greener than other mining endeavors - for gold, silver, etc. So, there is no reason why the asset shouldn’t be explored. With more people and companies working on renewables, things are going in the right direction.