Electric car company Tesla may resume accepting Bitcoin in the future, it said in a regulatory filing.
In an earnings report filed by the company for the quarter ending September, it said it might restart the practice of accepting cryptocurrencies for its products and services. “We may in the future restart the practice of transacting in cryptocurrencies ("digital assets") for our products and services,” it stated in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.
In March, Tesla chief Elon Musk said that the company will accept payments in Bitcoin for its electric cars from buyers in the US adding that the cryptocurrency would be retained as it is and won’t be converted into fiat money.
Musk earlier tweeted that Tesla had bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin. Tesla said in a filing the decision to move nearly 8 percent of its reserves into bitcoin was part of its broad investment policy as a company aimed at diversifying and maximizing its returns on cash, including holding gold.
However, nearly two months after the announcement the company suspended the use of bitcoin to purchase its vehicles due to environmental concerns. Musk said Tesla would not sell any bitcoin and intends to use bitcoin for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy.
The digital currency is created when high-powered computers compete against other machines to solve complex mathematical puzzles, an energy-intensive process that currently often relies on electricity generated with fossil fuels, particularly coal.
At current rates, such bitcoin “mining” devours about the same amount of energy annually as the Netherlands did in 2019, the latest available data from the University of Cambridge and the International Energy Agency shows.“We believe in the long-term potential of digital assets both as an investment and also as a liquid alternative to cash. As with any investment and consistent with how we manage fiat-based cash and cash-equivalent accounts, we may increase or decrease our holdings of digital assets at any time based on the needs of the business and our view of market and environmental conditions,” the filing added.