Pied piper Musk conveniently ignored bitcoin’s inconvenient truth

World

Pied piper Musk conveniently ignored bitcoin’s inconvenient truth

The Tesla CEO has done an about-turn on the crypto currency after saying in February he would accept it as payment

Lionel Laurent

When electric carmaker Tesla Inc said in February it would buy $1.5bn (about R21,3bn) worth of bitcoin and start accepting it as payment, billionaire boss Elon Musk had little to say about the crypto currency’s wasteful energy consumption, despite the obvious inconsistency with his firm’s green credentials.

And when fellow bitcoin bulls Jack Dorsey and Cathie Wood last month backed a report saying combining cryptocurrency mining and renewable-energy projects could be good for the environment, Musk praised the paper as “true”, even though its optimistic and overconfident assumptions smacked of greenwashing.

So while it’s an encouraging development to see Musk’s latest tweet acknowledging bitcoin’s inconvenient truth, namely that energy-inefficient mining algorithms by some measures consume more power than entire countries, the speed of his overnight conversion is a little discombobulating. Not least for the crypto fans hanging on Musk’s every word, who were stung by the $365bn (about R5,2-trillion) or so wiped off the market’s value after Musk’s decision to halt support for bitcoin payments...

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