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Elon Musk Taught Investors About Bitcoin’s Carbon Footprint: Survey

Elon Musk talks a lot about Bitcoin’s carbon footprint. And investors are paying attention, according to a new survey.

2 min read
Elon Musk hosted SNL once, and predictably talked about Dogecoin and crypto. Image: SNL/Twitter

In brief

  • Elon Musk helped send the price of Bitcoin crashing when he criticized its energy consumption.
  • A new survey shows that this has influenced would-be investors.
  • But those surveyed also said Musk has “too much power.”

Investors are worried about the environmental impact of Bitcoin—and it’s partly down to Twitter loudmouth and tech billionaire Elon Musk. 

That’s according to a new report from financial news website Investing.com. The site surveyed 1,103 investors in early June, and about a third said they only learned about the effects of Bitcoin mining on the environment after the Tesla and SpaceX CEO trashed the coin’s carbon footprint on Twitter. 

Musk had initially helped the coin reach new highs. Bitcoin rose 8.5% to $44,790 after Tesla disclosed that it had bought $1.5 billion of Bitcoin in February, and continued to soar until April, when it hit its all-time high of $62,000.

Then Musk said his car company would stop accepting Bitcoin, citing environmental concerns. Powerful computers, often powered by coal, use entire countries-worth of electricity to crunch complex sums necessary to process Bitcoin transactions.

Musk’s comments, which preceded a much stronger crackdown on Bitcoin from China, contributed to a huge sell-off, and the price of Bitcoin swiftly cut in half. 

Of the Bitcoin investors that Investing.com spoke to, 30% said they sold Bitcoin last month when the market was in free fall. A fifth said they sold because of Musk’s criticism of the gas-guzzling Bitcoin mining industry. 

Bitcoin has struggled to hit its all-time highs ever since. Of course, China has dominated the news ever since it cracked down on crypto trading and Bitcoin mining. 

But 58% agreed that Elon Musk, the CEO of electric car company Tesla, “has too much power.” Of those surveyed, 52% said they want their governments to stop people like Musk from manipulating the markets. 

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