Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk said governments around the world can slow the advance of cryptocurrencies but they will never be able to destroy it.
Speaking at a Code Conference in California, Musk said, “It is not possible to, I think, destroy crypto, but it is possible for governments to slow down its advancement.”
Musk said in the summer that he and SpaceX still are holding Bitcoin and is a “supporter” of the cryptocurrency even though he retains concerns about its environmental impact.
Back in February Tesla disclosed a US$1.5bn Bitcoin investment ahead of accepting the digital coin as payment for its vehicles, before in May making a U-turn and decrying the energy sources used to power bitcoin mining, which were seen to go against the company’s green credentials.
He said overnight the decentralized nature of these digital coins may be a challenge for the Chinese government, which extended its tech crackdown to the sector, with all crypto transactions and mining activities now forbidden.
“I suppose cryptocurrency is fundamentally aimed at reducing the power of a centralized government,” Musk noted, adding that leaders in China “don’t like that”.
Musk suggested that China’s crypto crackdown might be connected to the country’s electricity generation issues, perhaps sparked by a story that he had recently commented about on Twitter, where state media has reported that companies in industrial areas have been told to limit their energy consumption in order to reduce demand for power.
“Part of it may actually be due to electricity shortages in many parts of China. A lot of South China right now is having random power outages because the power demand is higher than expected […] Crypto mining might be playing a role in that.”
He called for regulators not to try and slow down cryptocurrency adoption, saying the US government should “do nothing” about crypto and leave it.