Crypto enthusiasts have gone into a frenzy after rumors started to surface that Tesla might have added back support for Bitcoin (BTC) payments on its website.
Internet sleuths discovered a source code on the official website that showed Bitcoin, and Dogecoin (DOGE) alongside Apple Pay, Bancontact, and other payment options. The discovery adds fuel to speculation that the automaker might soon start accepting BTC payments.
The crypto community now eagerly awaits an announcement from Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of the company.
The news comes two years after Tesla announced that it will stop accepting Bitcoin for payments due to the digital asset’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels for production.
Tesla And Bitcoin: A Make Or Break Relationship
In early 2021, the electric car giant purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and shortly after began accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for its vehicles and services. The announcement was welcomed with open arms by the crypto community as it helped prop upward action in Bitcoin prices. At the time, BTC was trading at around $44,000.
However, a few days later, the company backtracked its efforts and removed Bitcoin as a payment option from the website. Tesla put out a statement saying that it had suspended vehicle purchases using the crypto asset as it was concerned about the “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining and transactions”.
However, the automaker noted that it was not going to sell its stake in Bitcoin and would consider accepting BTC payments once the network could prove its sustainability by using renewable energy for mining purposes.
This came as a sort of relief to Tesla community members, that are largely comprised of progressives with concerns for the environment and are worried about the negative impacts fossil fuels could have on the global climate.
Tesla continued to add to its Bitcoin tally and at one point held $2 billion worth of the asset under its balance sheet. However, as the crypto market began to fall in 2022, Tesla too was affected, with the company’s Bitcoin share losing as much as $500 million in value.
But the company wasn’t just holding the asset for merit. In its Q2 2022 financial filing with the SEC, Tesla reported that it had converted 75% of its Bitcoin purchases into fiat currency, which added approximately $936 million in cash to its balance sheet.
CEO Elon Musk stated that Tesla was open to increasing its Bitcoin holdings in the future and elaborated on how important the digital asset was for the company to raise liquidity, especially during the post-pandemic period.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Tesla currently holds $186 million worth of Bitcoin in its balance sheet and had not sold any since the fourth quarter of 2022.
Will You Be Able To Buy A Tesla Using Bitcoin Any Time Soon?
Two years down the line, there is still no confirmation as to whether Tesla will add back support for Bitcoin payments. But recent developments gave crypto holders a glimmer of hope. Internet users found a code on the website that was designed to accept BTC as payment.
The integration is supposedly through Stripe, a payments settlement system, but is still not available as an option on the Tesla website while the code is all over the ordering page. Some crypto users attributed the move to recent reports stating that more than half of all Bitcoin mining operations are now powered by renewable energy.
However, their excitement had to be contained as the rumor was soon debunked. Upon closer examination, it was revealed that the source code contained references to BTC and DOGE from an earlier configuration, and was not an indication of new changes to the website’s payment options.
Crypto journalist Collin Wu, who goes by Wu Blockchain on Twitter, clarified the confusion to his followers. In a tweet put out on Thursday, Wu said that the codes for Bitcoin and Dogecoin were present in the source code as early as January 2023. Apparently, Tesla had not removed the code despite discontinuing the option to pay using Bitcoin two years prior.
The rumor had created a firestorm in the market but now leaves investors doubtful. However, optimism stays strong among crypto enthusiasts as they recognized that Tesla engineers hadn’t fully removed the Bitcoin code from the website. Will the original cryptocurrency make its way back to Tesla? Only time will tell.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $29,868 – up 0.2% in the last 24 hours.