Tesla and SpaceX founder and billionaire Elon Musk announcement of the company’s decision to stop accepting payments in Bitcoin for its products over its impact on the environment crashed the cryptocurrency market for a few hours in the late hours of Wednesday with the exception of Cardano, a cryptocurrency touted for its sustainability.
In his statement on Wednesday evening, Musk said that the company would halt its transactions of Bitcoin due to his concerns about “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.”
His statement wiped out nearly $300 billion in the cryptomarket.
“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment,” Musk added. “Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy.”
“We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction,” Musk concluded.
Forbes reports that in the wake of the crash, the price of Cardano’s ada cryptocurrency, which is valued as the world’s forth most valuable token, surged as crypto-traders latched onto its promise of a “much less carbon-intensive alternative.”
Cardano is the only top-ten cryptocurrency to see a rise as prices of Ethereum, Bitcoin and others fell, hitting its latest all-time high of $1.96 at noon Eastern time. The surge in interest also pushed its market capitalization to $61.5 billion even as the broader cryptomarket plunged nearly 10% after Musk made his announcement.
Per Forbes, Investing.com senior analyst Jesse Cohen said that Musk’s statement that the company was looking for Bitcoin alternatives that only used less than 1% of its energy per transaction provided two possibilities for investment: Cardano’s ada and Ripple’s XRP.
Cardano founder James Hoskinson, who also co-founded Ethereum, responded to Musk’s call for an environmentally sustainable cryptocurrency, tweeting: “Are we finally going to have the Cardano conversation? Come to my farm . . . Got sweet tea and minidonkeys.”
Hoskinson claims that Cardano uses 6 gigawatt hours of energy per year, which is less than 0.01% of the 115.85 terawatt hours bitcoin is estimated to use.