Elon Musk’s Bitcoin embrace is a bit of a head-scratcher – Los Angeles Times

Elon Musk’s Bitcoin embrace is a bit of a head-scratcher – Los Angeles Times

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has long maintained his purpose in life is to improve the prospects for humanity’s long-term survival — by colonizing other planets, building technology to keep artificial intelligence under human control and, above all, accelerating the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

Tesla’s core mission, repeated countless times by Musk, is “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” He once told Rolling Stone, “Climate change is the biggest threat that humanity faces this century, except for AI.”

But lately, Musk seems distracted by another calling: the prospect of making huge piles of money quickly through financial speculation. In recent weeks, he’s been pumping enthusiasm for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies on Twitter, and the more he talks, the higher the prices climb.

On Monday, Bitcoin rose more than 20% to an all-time high of $47,550 on the news that Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency and plans to accept it as payment for its electric cars.

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It was the currency’s second Musk-related bump in as many weeks. On Jan. 29, Bitcoin’s price shot up 20% after he added “#bitcoin” to his Twitter bio. It’s since been removed. Tesla did not say whether Musk has been trading in cryptocurrencies.

While Musk is ever predictably unpredictable, there are reasons to be surprised at his public enthusiasm for Bitcoin, or at least of making his electric car company the vehicle for it.
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