Musk doesn’t want bitcoin, but the Chinese Teslas go… on coal

Shouldn't the world's largest electric car manufacturer know how an electric grid or electric car works ? We hope so, but Elon Musk's latest foray into cryptocurrency comments is sobering. A few days after promoting Dogecoin on Saturday Night Live and asking his Twitter followers if he should accept payments in the digital token based, one of the biggest supporters of BTC in the world has dramatically changed his mind.

Tesla "has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin" due to the rapid increase in the consumption of fossil fuels, particularly coal, in its electronic mining operations, Musk wrote in a tweet. The company will not sell its $ 2.48 billion holdings, but plans to use them "as soon as mining moves to more sustainable energy," he wrote.

Its wait is likely to be long, very long, and to see it just take a look at where the major mining businesses in the world are still located.
Up to this year, about 69% of the calculations have been made in China, about half of which in the Xinjiang region alone, known for its coal-fired power generation. Inner Mongolia, another coal-fired region, is also a leader in bitcoin mining, as are Sichuan and Yunnan powered by hydroelectricity.

But it is too simplistic to say that the bitcoins mined in Sichuan are cleaner, because electricity is fungible. If the hydropower generated at the Three Gorges Dam is not used to produce BTC, it will instead power homes or factories or high-speed trains, thereby reducing the coal-fired energy market. As a result, digital currency mining is not replacing other greener electricity consumers, but is merely increasing demand on the grid, forcing operators to plug in more generators to avoid blackouts.

This is important, because one of the largest sources of incremental carbon emissions in the world today is China's huge fleet of new coal-fired power plants. As of January, about 88 gigawatts were under construction, according to the Global Energy Monitor, a group pushing for the phase-out of coal.

China has set itself the goal of building new coal-fired power plants at least until 2025, significantly increasing its dependence on this fuel, setting its theoretical moment of carbon neutrality at 2060. However, electricity is minimally used to mine BTC. To move an electric car it takes about 15 kwh per 100 km. This energy, in China, is also produced from coal. So Tesla, which produces and sells electric cars in China, is responsible for the openings of the coal plants !!

So, dear Musk:

a) if you want to transact BTC with "Green" energy you have to wait until 2060. Which, given the latest BTC prices, also gives you a good alibi to cover losses on the exchange;

b) if you really want to be "Green" you have to close the factories of Tesla, "coal" electric cars, in China ..

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The Musk article does not want bitcoin, but the Chinese Tesla go .. coal comes from .

This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL on Mon, 17 May 2021 06:00:56 +0000.