This week’s Bitcoin price crash, widely attributed to Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) boss Elon Musk’s decision to stop the electric car maker from accepting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment amid concerns over its environmental impact, has likely come back to bite the billionaire as new analysis showed the decline could have wiped as much as US$370mln off the company’s balance sheet.
On Friday, Nickel Digital Asset Management said it had estimated the value of Tesla’s Bitcoin holdings at around US$2.18bn before Musk’s tweet announcing the decision, which not only caused a sharp drop in the value of Bitcoin but also a number of other popular cryptos including Ethereum and Dogecoin.
However, despite the dent in its cash reserves, Nickel’s chief executive Anatoly Crachilov said Musk’s decision is likely to accelerate the transition of the cryptocurrency industry towards more sustainable energy usage when mining new coins.
“Musk has chosen to undertake a drastic change to Tesla’s corporate policy, highlighting that nobody can afford to ignore environmental concerns today, even if this comes at a punchy marked-to-market loss of your own investment”, Crachilov said in a statement.
“But bringing public debate about greener standards is likely to trigger faster transition of the entire mining industry toward renewable source of energy. To address investors’ demand for ESG-compliance investment products, Nickel Digital has been evaluating opportunity to launch of a dedicated “green” Bitcoin fund, which will buy and hold only those coins that have been mined using exclusively renewable sources of energy, offering full compliance to ESG standards”, the CEO added.
In late-morning trading in London, Bitcoin was up 1.2% in the last 24 hours at US$50,472.