Tesla Accepting Crypto Again, Cybertruck Delayed


Tesla is taking another look at cryptocurrency, though this time it looks to be a goof as the currency in question is the meme-based Dogecoin. Though the joke could be on the market because the currency surged up by over 10 percent after Elon Musk made the announcement you could purchase “merch” with it.

Last year, Tesla said it would begin accepting Bitcoin. CEO Elon Musk had taken a visible interest in cryptocurrency and the automaker opted to take a chance on the one format that’s been able to break into the mainstream. Then the company changed its mind, with Mr. Musk referencing the sudden influx of media reports claiming it was bad for the environment.  

“We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” he explained. “Cryptocurrency is a good idea … but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.”

Though those who track the crypto markets noticed that Tesla’s decision to dump Bitcoin coincided with a noteworthy dip in its valuation taking place in May of 2021. It also seemed relevant that the automaker announced that it wouldn’t be selling any, including the $1.5 billion it had purchased ahead of time. One month later, the company announced it had made $101 off the currency in the first quarter of 2021. The premise that Bitcoin mining is so detrimental to the wellbeing of the planet that we need to steer clear is also sort of laughable when you consider the number of things that absolutely ravage the environment we’ve collectively decided are acceptable (e.g. international shipping, outsourced fuel refining, private jets, seasonal fashions, bottled water).

Dogecoin was previously by Musk during his 2021 hosting of Saturday Night Live. In the sketch, Elon appeared as a magnate known as “The Dogefather” and explained the numerous benefits of the cryptocurrency using terminology the rest of the cast couldn’t understand.

It seems to me that the man has a genuine interest in digital currencies, particularly Bitcoin, and likes to test how his actions will impact the market. Musk is clearly doing some of this for a laugh. But he’s also in the habit of making money and this is another item in his toolbelt for wealth management. It’s sort of like how Congress has insider trading and corporate bribery or Gwyneth Paltrow has insane fans that will pay anything to look like her via Goop.

I’ve often wondered if the Full Self-Driving (FSD) suite was another joke gone where the company laughed itself to the bank, especially since it was just announced that it’ll soon cost $12,000 starting January 17th. It’s still not clear what you’ll be getting for the money. But Elon says you better get in on the ground floor because prices will continue increasing on FSD as it nears completion — albeit several years behind schedule.

Speaking of which, Cybertruck is reportedly going to be delayed until 2023. According to Reuters, Tesla wanted to tweak the vehicle to make it more competitive against the deluge of electric trucks being prepped by rival manufacturers. It seems to me that beating them to launch would be the clearest path to victory unless there’s something lacking about the polygonal pickup.

From Reuters:

Tesla Inc aims to start initial production of its much-anticipated Cybertruck by the end of the first quarter of 2023, pushing back its plan to begin production late this year, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

The person said the delay comes as Tesla is changing features and functions of the electric pickup to make a compelling product as competition heats up in the segment.

Tesla is expected to make limited production of the Cybertruck in the first quarter of 2023 before increasing output, the source said.

Given the automaker’s history with delayed launches, I’m not sure who is going to be dumbfounded by the news. Cybertruck was revealed in 2019 and its planned production date has already shifted from the tail end of 2021 to sometime in 2022.

Considering we’ve already missed the revised target, the company is going to have to come up with something to tell the public during the Tesla earnings call scheduled for January 26th. For now, any mention of Cybertruck’s release date has been scrubbed from official messaging.

[Images: Tesla]

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