Many In The Bitcoin Community Now Want To Short Tesla [TSLA]

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There’s been a lot of drama with Tesla and bitcoin and it peaked yesterday when Elon Musk agreed with Twitter user @CryptoWhale, who said “Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their holdings. With the amount of hate @elonmusk is getting, I wouldn’t blame him…”

Elon replied with one word. “Indeed.” This one word led many to believe that Tesla sold all of its bitcoin and a movement on Twitter by many in the bitcoin community began. The bitcoin community, generally speaking here, is already upset with Elon Musk and Tesla for taking a stance in favor of the environment, but Tesla is a clean energy company and it’s clearly taking a stance to align with its mission.

Tesla came under a lot of scrutiny from critics when it purchased $1.5 million in bitcoin back in February and announced plans to start accepting payments with the cryptocurrency. Many in the bitcoin community embraced Tesla and Elon Musk and now they feel betrayed, which I think is silly. Shorting Tesla’s stock out of anger is not only irresponsible, but unnecessary. Note: I’m not a financial advisor, but wasting your money to short a company because you’re mad that company is “against” your favorite cryptocurrency seems dumb to me. A smart thing to do, especially if you truly supported that cryptocurrency, is to just pull your money and invest it into that cryptocurrency instead.

Personally, I’m a Tesla shareholder (small-time) and I’m holding. I also have some small amounts in bitcoin and other cryptos as well — not much, though. There was one time when I had 2 whole bitcoins back when they were $2000 each, but I was married to someone toxic who convinced me to sell them. I regret it, honestly. That aside, I agree with Elon’s stance here.

He shared an article by Fortune which noted that mining accidents in China highlighted just how much bitcoin mining comes from electricity produced from coal. Now, there are some who use renewable energy to mine crypto, but it seems to me that Elon has been listening to some of the criticisms brought forth by environmentalists who weren’t too comfortable with Tesla buying bitcoin or accepting the cryptocurrency as a payment for vehicles. He has also highlighted recent data of bitcoin-related energy use.

The article noted that the Xinjian accident highlighted that “Bitcoin is a creature of fossil fuels — principally coal, the dirtiest of them all. Its rise is even providing a lifeline for the fading natural-gas industry. In the U.S., miners from New York State to Kentucky are repurposing obsolete facilities to supply the cheap power they cherish. That Bitcoin spreads a carbon footprint bigger than Australia’s, and that the run-up in its price could triple the carbon dioxide it spews, so far doesn’t seem to bother the famous otherwise-green enthusiasts feeding the craze, from Elon Musk to Gwyneth Paltrow.”

So, yes, it does seem to bother Elon Musk — enough for him and Tesla to decide to suspend payments of the cryptocurrency for vehicles. He didn’t say that he would permanently suspend it. Although, by the way many in the community reacted, you would think he was trying to cancel bitcoin completely.

Bitcoin Supporters Shorting Tesla’s Stock Out Of Vengeance For Tesla Taking A Stance Against Coal Sounds Familiar

Tesla is a threat to many industries, but the largest one is the fossil fuel industry. Many of those with a stance against Tesla and its stock have been fighting the inevitable for years. Whether it’s saying Tesla’s vehicles don’t exist, propping legacy automakers’ weak attempts to make an EV as a ‘Tesla killer’ or outright slamming its CEO through biased news articles.

Now Elon has taken a stance not against bitcoin as a cryptocurrency, but against the way bitcoin is mined. As usual, his words have been misinterpreted to the point where people who are upset with the losses of their money are taking the blame out on him and not the industry that is slowly killing this planet. If only the bitcoin community was this angry at coal.

In both scenarios, the fossil fuel industry and the bitcoin community are only looking at one thing, and that’s the loss of money. Money is all they care about. As long as Tesla and Elon Musk are benefitting them, they are good. But if Elon and Tesla take a stance in favor of the environment, which, in their eyes is against them personally, then Elon Musk is enemy number one.

Quick Recap Of Deaths From Coal Mining

I’ve written this before and I’ll share it here again. A great site to find statistics on just how bad coal is for our health is the website End Coal. Annually, over 800,000 people die from exposure to coal in some form with many millions more having serious and minor illnesses. In China, around 670,000 people die prematurely each year as a result of coal-related air pollution.

Energy Usage of Bitcoin

Alex de Vries, the founder of Digiconomist, touched upon the energy usage of mining bitcoin. He was interviewed by Marketplace, which asked this question:

“We should be clear that energy usage is not always the same as a lot of carbon emissions. People in the industry like to talk about their increasing use of renewable energy. Is that a valid argument, that the drive for more efficiency could cause this industry to move more quickly toward renewable energy?”

de Vries replied:

“We have seen so far, these mines have only obtained one significant source of renewable energy, which is in the south of China during the summer months, when it’s the rain season over there. That’s when there is a little bit of an excess that they can take, and that lasts for about four to five months. The only thing is that then the dry season starts and those miners move to the north of China, where they take advantage of an abundance of coal-based energy, which more than negates the gains from using renewable energy in the summer. And there’s no other area where they can get such a substantial amount of renewables. And it’s questionable whether they’ll even be able to access these renewables in the south of China for much longer because China actually needs that to clean up the rest of the grid. And they’ve been working on upgrading the infrastructure in China, so they can export that energy.

“So it’s really hard to say whether Bitcoin miners are going to be using an increasing amount of renewable energy. I consider that very unlikely, personally. And we know that more than half of this network is already using fossil fuels. Just very recently, a coal mine incident in the north of China led to one-third of the Bitcoin network going down. So that shows that at the moment, this is a really dirty business. And we see that there is also a trend towards Bitcoin miners using obsolete fossil fuels. We’ve seen that in several areas — in Montana, in New York very recently, and even Kentucky thought it was a great idea to try to attract these miners to save their obsolete coal fields. So I don’t see a trend to renewables in this current energy transition. We need renewables, so we don’t have an excess of that, but we do have an excess of obsolete fossil fuels, and they would be better left in the ground. But some of these miners will love to take advantage of the availability because it’s both cheap and also constantly available. These miners don’t just need cheap energy, they also want constant power, which is something really hard to provide with, for example, solar energy.”

You can read the full interview here.

Related story: “Why Bitcoin Truly Is Bad For The Climate & Environment, And Counter To Tesla’s Mission


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Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

Johnna Crider has 1996 posts and counting. See all posts by Johnna Crider