BRIEF: Electric cars and bitcoin? Not so fast

Into saving the environment but not keen to pay in Rands? You can now buy electric cars made by Elon Musk’s Tesla with Bitcoin. But if you’re really into saving the environment, that’s probably not the smartest thing to do.

Bitcoin, despite having no physical presence, is a huge electricity guzzler given the amount of energy used across its blockchain structure for just one transaction. Bitcoin’s entire network power usage is estimated to be more than Ireland’s!

Which makes you wonder why Musk is such an ardent fan of the currency, given Tesla’s green credentials. He regularly endorses it, helping bolster its price when he does so. Tesla also recently made a whopping $1.5 billion dollar Bitcoin purchase. But questions are being asked about that as the board member who reportedly approved the deal is also a cryptocurrency investor, who sits on the boards of two major crypto firms. Sounds like a conflict of interest to us.

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 18 February 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.